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  • #16
    Re: Plumbing Union numbers

    Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
    I kind of understand Unions within large corporations bordering on monopolies.

    But what is there purpose and why have unions developed in plumbing in some areas?

    I've just never seen a place where free market private plumbing companies couldn't do the same things while being fair to employess.

    Give me some edumacation.

    J.C.
    Unfortunately not all companies (small or large) treat their employees fairly. Not all plumbing companies are 'small'. There are plenty of plumbing outfits and mechanical contractors who are non-union and don't treat their employees fairly, nor do they do right by their clients as they do not hire knowledgeable or skilled workers (for more reasons than just the pay issue). Many companies small and large don't or won't abide by OSHA regs and provide the required PPE for a task or do any of the other expensive that help to ensure that an employee makes it home the same way they showed up for work that day.

    If all the contractors in an area collectively decide that they are not going to pay more than X dollars for a plumber who works for them isn't that an association with an intent to fix wages? If they do this and keep the wages low how does the employee benefit? To get enough money to feed his family and provide for their needs should he/she have to move to another area out from under their influence/wage fixing? In a NU world how would the plumbers (who are not self-employed) deal with this? Individually? Based on their own skills and merit you'd think they might stand a chance. If they got shot down for a raise what is their alternative? GO to one of the other shops and negotiate a higher wage, they might get it and they might not. If not then they are looking for work outside their home area, maybe end up moving and leaving friends and family behind.

    I'm not saying that all union workers or union contractors are good here, that's a different issue all together to me.

    I know of one NU (non-union) plumbing/mechanical company in may area who could not get decent help to man all his jobs. He ended up signing with the local plumbers union. A year later he said he wished he had done so years ago, he was pleased with the quality workmanship and productivity. He had always thought it would cost him to be a union shop, now he was finding out it was making even more money for one because of less repeat work or call backs.

    I know of a GC who was the president of the regional ABC (association of non-union contractors) chapter. HE took his company union and also was glad he did. You would think that someone in his position as Pres. of the regional ABC would be hard set against unions. So what's the story on why he went union I don't know the details.


    Who/What is the ABC? It's not a TV station that's for sure.

    www.abc.org

    From their website:
    "In response to the Baltimore Building and Construction Trades Department’s efforts to limit construction to union-only contractors, seven local general and subcontractors met in the home of Charles Mullan on May 1, 1950 to establish Associated Builders and Contractors of Baltimore. "
    "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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    • #17
      Re: Plumbing Union numbers

      out here, all job sites are open to non union and union---non union usually can bid and win jobs with lower cost---not many union only jobs--matter oif fact--havent seen a bid sheet that said union only in years---if the union guys want to work, they have to work with the non union---if they walked off a job b/c there was a non union contractor, another non union contractor would take the job cheaper--i have no problem with unions, i think they have lost a lot of power and i have no desire to be involved--im happy with my benefits and pay and i have job security----if they depend on union only jobs, they would be missing a lot of work

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      • #18
        Re: Plumbing Union numbers

        http://www.abc.org/

        How ironic...a non-union, union!

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        • #19
          Re: Plumbing Union numbers

          starting off in the union in 1981, i can tell you that the training and schooling is far superior to anything that even a full time 2 year college trade school can offer.

          i went 2 times a week 3 hours each night, for 4 years. miss more than 2 nights in a semester and you fail. no raise and have to retake the entire course. no excuses

          now it's 5 years.

          i highly doubt that the non union facilities would come close to the school facilities we had.

          between the welding shop, soldering shops and service and repair speciality classroom. along with the 25 or so other classrooms.

          the facility was built by union trades and every union member contributes into it's operation. the instructors are a combination of journeymen plumbers with state certifications and city inspectors.

          as far as manning the large jobs. we were one of the only union shops that were able to compete with the non union shops in the housing market. we also did hi end hotels, offices and large scale apartments and condos and townhomes. anywhere from 10 units to 1685 units.

          no single family homes.

          those days are gone and shops like ours are far and few between out here.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #20
            Re: Plumbing Union numbers

            "those days are gone and shops like ours are far and few between out here. "

            But not everywhere.
            "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
            John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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            • #21
              Re: Plumbing Union numbers

              If I went the rest of my life without hearing any more Pro-union rhetoric, I would be a happy happy man.... You know, there have been many a good plumber trained in non-union shops, and those of you out there who disagree can pound salt. Here's my non -union credo
              "Non-union-Twice the work, half the b!tching"
              West Trail Mechanical Ltd
              Service. Commitment. Expertise.

              www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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              • #22
                Re: Plumbing Union numbers

                Further to my last comment, I'd like to give an example of why union may not be superior. In my 3rd period of schooling, there was a union plumber in my class who had never so much as stepped on the pedal of a threading machine. Then to top that off, In my fourth and final period, there was a union plumber who had spent the full 4 years of his apprentice ship doing 2 things: Cast Iron plumbing vents, and medical gas lines. Hardly seems to me like there is some benefit to paying 23 dollars a paycheck. Although the union reps were always coming to the campus bar to buy beer for their members. Thanks anyways, I'll buy my own beer.
                West Trail Mechanical Ltd
                Service. Commitment. Expertise.

                www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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                • #23
                  Re: Plumbing Union numbers

                  While I would never put down a non union guy for wanting to work, I can say when you are in the trade for 20 years and getting paid the same amount as a second year helper, thats where I have an issue. I have only been a Union Plumber for 6 years, I will outperform any non union in any commercial project outhere. Like I said, I would not be one to say I am better person than them because I am union, you are what you make of your schooling. oh yeah and my $75 an hour package aint bad either

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                  • #24
                    Re: Plumbing Union numbers

                    Originally posted by stecar View Post
                    . I have only been a Union Plumber for 6 years, I will outperform any non union in any commercial project outhere.
                    yeah, out there maybe. It's a big world son, maybe you should get out more
                    West Trail Mechanical Ltd
                    Service. Commitment. Expertise.

                    www.westtrailmechanical.ca

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Plumbing Union numbers

                      Originally posted by stecar View Post
                      While I would never put down a non union guy for wanting to work, I can say when you are in the trade for 20 years and getting paid the same amount as a second year helper, thats where I have an issue. I have only been a Union Plumber for 6 years, I will outperform any non union in any commercial project outhere. Like I said, I would not be one to say I am better person than them because I am union, you are what you make of your schooling. oh yeah and my $75 an hour package aint bad either
                      If you have been trained for 6 years in commercial projects, then you damn well better outperform any non union plumber. If you don't you must be sleeping in class.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Plumbing Union numbers

                        As a service plumber I have absolutely no use for the union. A guy on Long Island, NY once tried to recruit me into his union. He was a really lazy loser type, and the whole thing seemed WAY too political for me. All he ever talked about was picketing and how non-union guys are evil, blah, blah, blah. He wasn't worth a sh!t as a plumber. I am sure the unions have their benefits, and can be great. I have had nothing but bad impressions, and frankly I will never need them in my life.
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                        • #27
                          Re: Plumbing Union numbers

                          i was in the Laborers' Union Local # 1298 19 yrs ago and i was nice when there was work but if no work not good ,
                          i was on and off work for a year and worked maybe 2 to 3 days a week and thats because i had family giving out the jobs

                          out here in pa the union gets the school and state jobs ,non union shops can bid on the job and they do get them . they must pay prevailing wages

                          now the only thing i have a problem with the schools is this brings the cost of the job up ,so why does this have to be that way . there are a lot of non union shops that can do just as good of a job cheaper .

                          just my opinion
                          Charlie

                          My seek the peek fundraiser page
                          http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                          http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                          new work pictures 12/09
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                          • #28
                            Re: Plumbing Union numbers

                            Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                            As a service plumber I have absolutely no use for the union. A guy on Long Island, NY once tried to recruit me into his union. He was a really lazy loser type, and the whole thing seemed WAY too political for me. All he ever talked about was picketing and how non-union guys are evil, blah, blah, blah. He wasn't worth a sh!t as a plumber. I am sure the unions have their benefits, and can be great. I have had nothing but bad impressions, and frankly I will never need them in my life.
                            Maybe as a service plumber working for yourself. Working for a company can be different. Work for one boss who is a cheating *^%#!@, and a change of tune will happen.
                            I remember my old boss, complaining that if they were non-union, then they would take money out of a guys check when a head on a cable broke, or when a customer stiffed the company. Or trying to persuade a guy to replace tools when they wear out and break. Or a company goes belly up, and stiffs everyone. The Union holds the bond, and the guys can get paid.
                            ONE BIG THING IN ILLINOIS IS...bosses hiring a kid, saying they signed him up with the state to start his apprenticeship, then working him for a year or so, then canning him. The kid calls the state, asks for his records, and finds out he was never signed up! All that time, wasted. Here, the Union sponsors you, and they sign you up for your apprenticeship, and educate you.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Plumbing Union numbers

                              I worked for a few different outfits over the years, none of them union. I got paid well and they treated me right. Like I said above:
                              I am sure the unions have their benefits, and can be great.
                              I have worked in areas that had almost ZERO union work, so my experience with them is very limited.
                              Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                              • #30
                                Re: Plumbing Union numbers

                                Originally posted by bigPipe09 View Post
                                "half the b!tching"
                                And half the pay and benefits!
                                Proud To Be Union!!

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