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Thread: Should my company go union?

  1. #1
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    Should my company go union?

    Backstory, I am an independent welding contractor. Basically me and my welding truck operating as a subcontractor. I'm looking into signing up my company and myself in the local pipefitters union. The benefits that I'm looking for is the retirement plan and the health insurance. Plus help finding work when I'm slow. According to them I can keep working for the non-union contractors I currently do work for, but my business would be union and I'll pay into the union fund. Does this sound like a good idea? I know a owner-operator truck driver that did this with the teamsters union and now he is retired and it worked out good for him.

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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Quote Originally Posted by PWF View Post
    Backstory, I am an independent welding contractor. Basically me and my welding truck operating as a subcontractor. I'm looking into signing up my company and myself in the local pipefitters union. The benefits that I'm looking for is the retirement plan and the health insurance. Plus help finding work when I'm slow. According to them I can keep working for the non-union contractors I currently do work for, but my business would be union and I'll pay into the union fund. Does this sound like a good idea? I know a owner-operator truck driver that did this with the teamsters union and now he is retired and it worked out good for him.
    Your risk is that the union president is related to a guy that was named "Hoffa",,
    if that happens, all of your retirement money will be placed on either "RED" or "BLACK",,
    then the roulette wheel is given a spin,,.

    Normally, what happens, is that the union leadership lives a good life,,
    and, as far as your retirement?? Oh, well,, come back in 40 years, and let us know how it went,,,

  3. #3
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Is the PIPEFITTERS Union in the UA ? United Association . http://www.ua.org/pipefitting
    I would do it. I've been a Union member for 50 years. My pension, health care, and 401 K is amazing !!
    Each local has their own program.
    Chicago local 597 has the "employer" paying $12.00 per hour into the 401K for each employee .
    YES, $12.00 per hour. That's unbelievable but true.


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  4. #4
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    If you the owner NO , if you the employ YES.

    Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by PWF View Post
    Backstory, I am an independent welding contractor. Basically me and my welding truck operating as a subcontractor. I'm looking into signing up my company and myself in the local pipefitters union. The benefits that I'm looking for is the retirement plan and the health insurance. Plus help finding work when I'm slow. According to them I can keep working for the non-union contractors I currently do work for, but my business would be union and I'll pay into the union fund. Does this sound like a good idea? I know a owner-operator truck driver that did this with the teamsters union and now he is retired and it worked out good for him.
    HF 170 welder
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    South Bend 9N
    Mill
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    Victor torch

  5. #5
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Definitely no. Go find yourself a good financial guy. Start investing in both 401K and Roth type IRA. Make you deposits automatic each month and forget about the money. Check in every quarter and expect the financial guy to continue to tell you to ‘dig deeper’ for about 25 years. Then retire at 62 or so on your own savings.

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  7. #6
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Depends on the area. How is the unions market share. If you do sign up all they are going to want you bidding on is piping projects unless you sign up with the iron workers as well. Dock builders in some cases too. Where are you?

  8. #7
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    yes, definitely !!!!!
    lincoln 125sp
    monkey wards 250 ac/dc
    miller 211 w/spool gun
    ahp 200 sx tig
    lotos ltp5000d
    of course duramax diesel

  9. #8
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Hell no, unions are the reason everything is made in China. The original motives were good. The result is that America cannot afford goods made in America.
    Make your own investments and retire on that.

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    Hickory

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  11. #9
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    I don't know anything about unions. However, work takes time and not always convenient. How valuable are your nonunion clients? Will you hire that work out? I have seen folk dump on non union client and employers when the union calls.

    Good luck with your decision.

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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Hell no!

    Every single job I've ever been fired from.... I wouldn't have been fired from if I had union representation. I know for a fact that my life would have been a lot better as an employee if I had had a union to protect me from imbecile bosses. I live in a right-to-work state, so when I was canned.... there was nothing I could do about it even though I was working 100% within the rules.

    That said, unions are an absolute disaster that will ruin your life, too. Look at how much money they require from you on a monthly basis. If they guarantee you that much back in some kind of insurance plan.... you might as well cut out the middle man and just get your own insurance plan that doesn't come with all the union hooks. If they can't guarantee you all that extra work in writing, in a hard contract that your independent lawyer agrees is good for you, what's the point of having a union card?

    And what's going to happen to you when you don't play ball with what the union tells you to do? Remember, once you sign on.... they own your *** in a hundred ways.

    If you take your monthly dues and put them into a good stock portfolio that you control, what some call day-trading, you can make a small fortune in no time flat. To give you an example, my father decided to try his hand at it about a year ago. A 2k investment to start, with him tinkering around every couple of days, and he's already up 5k in earnings. He's crying because he didn't do this 10 or 20 years ago. I'm crying because he didn't do it 10 or 20 years ago.

    It's not hard to do, and it's no riskier than letting some broker do it for you. The difference is that you buy the stocks you want, and you sell them when you want. There's no harm going to come to you, for example, if you buy some Apple stock because you know it's not going to crash any time in your lifetime, but it will split and grow several times before you're ready to cash out.

    Remember unions are communist inventions meant to destroy, not create. When you hear about "The Rust Belt", those states along the Great Lakes that used to be bastions of industrial manufacturing and shipping, remember that it was the Unions who created the Rust Belt. It was only a bastion of industrial manufacturing until the unions got their feet in the door, and then it was all downhill after that. Sure, it might have taken time because they couldn't do things in big bold steps, but they did it nonetheless. Unions are the reason why it's so hard to manufacture anything in the US anymore. Unions are the reason construction drags out for decades. Look at how fast the Empire State Building went up, and compare it to how slowly the World Trade towers were replaced. The "Big Dig" took ages not because it was tough, but because the unions are happy to drag out the work so their guys can get paid. Those Sand Hogs don't come cheap!

    Unions might have served a good purpose back in the day, but everything they fought for at the time is now codified into local, state and federal law. There's no need for some permanent union and all the overhead they need. Remember, while you're struggling to make ends meet, that Union Boss is living quite nicely in the mansion on the hill. It's in the union's best interest to make sure there's always a grievance, always a divide, and they will always work to make sure it exists because that's their bread and butter. They're no different than the feminists always coming up with yet another horror story that happens to make them seem relevant.

    Unions don't benefit by making your life awesome. They benefit by making you just a hair better in the smallest way.... while magnifying all the bad that could might maybe possibly come if you don't support them. Unions destroy, they don't build. Every time someone tells you otherwise, just look at The Rust Belt for an example of what the unions did. All of that was union. All of it was destroyed only after it became union. The pro-union folks can tell you all they want, but the proof is everywhere you look if you want to look at it for what it really is. It's kind of funny to see how hard they work at blaming everyone else for the Rust Belt. You've got to wonder how the hugely powerful unions couldn't stop politicians from passing laws and regulations that would kill the very industry they were supposed to be working to benefit.

    I understand the allure of the unions, especially for the common man. Every guy I know who is in a union is making great money, often two or three times what I ever earned. But that crazy wage and incredible benefit package also drives the costs of doing business up. My buddy works in the entertainment union as a show installer. He's got his name in the credits on several big movies you've watched. While it was great for him to get paid double-time after 40hrs and triple-time after 50hrs, those wages were reflected in the cost of the tickets you and I have to pay for. Ever wonder why going to a show is so expensive? It's because the ticket-buyer has to pay for all those union wages and benefits. Ever wonder why a new truck costs you 40k? It's because you're paying for those union wages and benefits somewhere along the line.

    The guys in the union making $30/hr.... they love it. They don't see the larger picture, and I very much understand the sentiment that they don't really care about the larger picture because they're benefiting in the here-n-now. They've got the decent house, nice truck, good retirement plan, etc. They can't really worry about what'll happen in 20 years or 100. It's an every-man-for-himself kind of mindset that I really do get. I wish I had been a lot more cut-throat in my early years, so I can't fault them for doing what they've got to do to make their money. Still, with what I know about unions, I'd much rather be dirt poor than give them even a nickel.

    You can make a small fortune all on your own if you're just wise with your money. I know it's not necessarily easy, but don't think the unions aren't offering you the easy way out. Everything they do is to make them stronger, not you. They might give you a little taste of the good life -- just a nibble -- but it will always be only enough to keep you hungering for more. When in doubt, look to the Rust Belt.

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  14. #11
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    In my experience as a business owner who worked for people who were union/non union.

    I totally agree with everyone saying, owner no, employee yes.

    I have buddies that are union welders, they bitch all the time about the traveling but I also hear the stories of how the owners get screwed by union rules, bad employees, threatened to take jobs to keep another company afloat, but lots of good stories as well.

    It's a 50/50 crap shoot if you go at it as a small company. If you can buddy buddy with a larger company, that would be your ticket as they would take care of you. If your planning on going at it alone, I'd say dont do it.

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  16. #12
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    Hell no!

    Every single job I've ever been fired from.... I wouldn't have been fired from if I had union representation. I know for a fact that my life would have been a lot better as an employee if I had had a union to protect me from imbecile bosses. I live in a right-to-work state, so when I was canned.... there was nothing I could do about it even though I was working 100% within the rules.

    That said, unions are an absolute disaster that will ruin your life, too. Look at how much money they require from you on a monthly basis. If they guarantee you that much back in some kind of insurance plan.... you might as well cut out the middle man and just get your own insurance plan that doesn't come with all the union hooks. If they can't guarantee you all that extra work in writing, in a hard contract that your independent lawyer agrees is good for you, what's the point of having a union card?

    And what's going to happen to you when you don't play ball with what the union tells you to do? Remember, once you sign on.... they own your *** in a hundred ways.

    If you take your monthly dues and put them into a good stock portfolio that you control, what some call day-trading, you can make a small fortune in no time flat. To give you an example, my father decided to try his hand at it about a year ago. A 2k investment to start, with him tinkering around every couple of days, and he's already up 5k in earnings. He's crying because he didn't do this 10 or 20 years ago. I'm crying because he didn't do it 10 or 20 years ago.

    It's not hard to do, and it's no riskier than letting some broker do it for you. The difference is that you buy the stocks you want, and you sell them when you want. There's no harm going to come to you, for example, if you buy some Apple stock because you know it's not going to crash any time in your lifetime, but it will split and grow several times before you're ready to cash out.

    Remember unions are communist inventions meant to destroy, not create. When you hear about "The Rust Belt", those states along the Great Lakes that used to be bastions of industrial manufacturing and shipping, remember that it was the Unions who created the Rust Belt. It was only a bastion of industrial manufacturing until the unions got their feet in the door, and then it was all downhill after that. Sure, it might have taken time because they couldn't do things in big bold steps, but they did it nonetheless. Unions are the reason why it's so hard to manufacture anything in the US anymore. Unions are the reason construction drags out for decades. Look at how fast the Empire State Building went up, and compare it to how slowly the World Trade towers were replaced. The "Big Dig" took ages not because it was tough, but because the unions are happy to drag out the work so their guys can get paid. Those Sand Hogs don't come cheap!

    Unions might have served a good purpose back in the day, but everything they fought for at the time is now codified into local, state and federal law. There's no need for some permanent union and all the overhead they need. Remember, while you're struggling to make ends meet, that Union Boss is living quite nicely in the mansion on the hill. It's in the union's best interest to make sure there's always a grievance, always a divide, and they will always work to make sure it exists because that's their bread and butter. They're no different than the feminists always coming up with yet another horror story that happens to make them seem relevant.

    Unions don't benefit by making your life awesome. They benefit by making you just a hair better in the smallest way.... while magnifying all the bad that could might maybe possibly come if you don't support them. Unions destroy, they don't build. Every time someone tells you otherwise, just look at The Rust Belt for an example of what the unions did. All of that was union. All of it was destroyed only after it became union. The pro-union folks can tell you all they want, but the proof is everywhere you look if you want to look at it for what it really is. It's kind of funny to see how hard they work at blaming everyone else for the Rust Belt. You've got to wonder how the hugely powerful unions couldn't stop politicians from passing laws and regulations that would kill the very industry they were supposed to be working to benefit.

    I understand the allure of the unions, especially for the common man. Every guy I know who is in a union is making great money, often two or three times what I ever earned. But that crazy wage and incredible benefit package also drives the costs of doing business up. My buddy works in the entertainment union as a show installer. He's got his name in the credits on several big movies you've watched. While it was great for him to get paid double-time after 40hrs and triple-time after 50hrs, those wages were reflected in the cost of the tickets you and I have to pay for. Ever wonder why going to a show is so expensive? It's because the ticket-buyer has to pay for all those union wages and benefits. Ever wonder why a new truck costs you 40k? It's because you're paying for those union wages and benefits somewhere along the line.

    The guys in the union making $30/hr.... they love it. They don't see the larger picture, and I very much understand the sentiment that they don't really care about the larger picture because they're benefiting in the here-n-now. They've got the decent house, nice truck, good retirement plan, etc. They can't really worry about what'll happen in 20 years or 100. It's an every-man-for-himself kind of mindset that I really do get. I wish I had been a lot more cut-throat in my early years, so I can't fault them for doing what they've got to do to make their money. Still, with what I know about unions, I'd much rather be dirt poor than give them even a nickel.

    You can make a small fortune all on your own if you're just wise with your money. I know it's not necessarily easy, but don't think the unions aren't offering you the easy way out. Everything they do is to make them stronger, not you. They might give you a little taste of the good life -- just a nibble -- but it will always be only enough to keep you hungering for more. When in doubt, look to the Rust Belt.
    Last year the stock market was an anomaly. The market crashed and your father probably got lucky and bought when everything was down 50% he won’t double his money every year it’s not that easy.

  17. #13
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    It really depends on the market, the specific union and the union requirements. Typically unions don't like their members working on non union jobs and some unions will kick you out for this very reason. The union you talked to wants members so might tell you can work your non union jobs but 6 month's or a year later tell you to stop. What happens if they call you up for a job but your in the middle of non union job? Unions can stop calling you if you turn down too many jobs. Unions can also play favorites. They aren't supposed to but do. A good friend of mine was a union rig welder. He was lucky they let him leave without paying a penalty. He got sick and tired of name hires. He was fine if they were for a good foreman but too many guys that should have gone to the bottom of the list after a job were hired again right away for a new job. Some of them were mediocre welders at best and he figured they must know somebody hire up to get steady work. He saw this in shops too. He was name hired about 3 times because it was at jobs where he previously worked or the foreman liked him and he had the right tickets for the work. More tickets equals more work. The name hires would have steady work and he'd he'd be off for 2 or 3 month's up to 6 month's one time. Unions can also go on strike. The boiler makers at one shop did and it was for quite a long time. Can be lots of driving sometimes quite a ways away and you have to stay at a camp or hotel. A lot of guys take a travel trailer and still get subsistence pay for working out of town. I know another guy that was on a union pipeline job and bought a trailer with the subsistence pay. Then he he had it for future pipeline jobs. One advantage is the unions have shops where you can practice no charge and get instruction as well. Lots of things to consider but if the union is busy, you'll have work. On the other hand if the market is busy you should have work too.
    Last edited by Welder Dave; 07-30-2021 at 02:25 PM.

  18. #14
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Apparently you guys that are against Unions never worked for one in the UA.
    Why should I invest "my" $$ in a 401K when my Union employer pays $12.00 an hour for me. Yes, employer pays that $12.00
    My pension is amazing and my health care insurance is even better.
    I was never out of worked, worked 12 months a year, and took my vacations. I even got paid vacations and over scale from my employer which is not a Union policy. No paid holidays but I always got a Christmas Bonus.
    I always had it good.


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  19. #15
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Not saying unions can't be very good and actually agree with VaughnT about jobs I've either left or lost would never have happened if they were in union shops. First shop tried to cut my pay after I came back from an off work accident(broken collar bone). I questioned it and the new shop manager punched my time card out. Record of employment says I quit. 2nd time I was written up for cleaning up 10 minutes before quitting time (like was told) and taking tools and welding equipment back to the welding shop. Had a meeting with the idiot manager and HR and wasn't allowed to have a witness or anyone else at the meeting. I got fed up and walked out. They don't pay overtime or I would have stayed. HR person was not at all partial. 3 times cut me off and said I ignored a direct order. The idiot was yelling at everybody it must be done, it must be done. When you've 6 things that must be done that all take a few hours and you have 3, it's not all going to get done that day. Union would have been great on both of these instances. Funny all the guys I worked with at both jobs totally agreed with me.

  20. #16
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    There's good and bad in any company and unions. There are Mickey Mouse unions and there are Real Unions.
    I'm in the United Association, a real union.
    The UA gas been around for 125 years and has over 370,000 members and over 300 local unions.


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  21. #17
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigeze View Post
    Last year the stock market was an anomaly. The market crashed and your father probably got lucky and bought when everything was down 50% he won’t double his money every year it’s not that easy.
    This is the kind of comment you write when someone didn't read what was written, and read more than was written. Don't let folks scare you off from the idea because no matter how it's cut... your ROI is always going to be better than what you get from a bank if you put that same money into a interest-bearing checking/savings account.

  22. #18
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    Hell no!

    Every single job I've ever been fired from.... I wouldn't have been fired from if I had union representation. I know for a fact that my life would have been a lot better as an employee if I had had a union to protect me from imbecile bosses. I live in a right-to-work state, so when I was canned.... there was nothing I could do about it even though I was working 100% within the rules.

    That said, unions are an absolute disaster that will ruin your life, too. Look at how much money they require from you on a monthly basis. If they guarantee you that much back in some kind of insurance plan.... you might as well cut out the middle man and just get your own insurance plan that doesn't come with all the union hooks. If they can't guarantee you all that extra work in writing, in a hard contract that your independent lawyer agrees is good for you, what's the point of having a union card?

    And what's going to happen to you when you don't play ball with what the union tells you to do? Remember, once you sign on.... they own your *** in a hundred ways.

    If you take your monthly dues and put them into a good stock portfolio that you control, what some call day-trading, you can make a small fortune in no time flat. To give you an example, my father decided to try his hand at it about a year ago. A 2k investment to start, with him tinkering around every couple of days, and he's already up 5k in earnings. He's crying because he didn't do this 10 or 20 years ago. I'm crying because he didn't do it 10 or 20 years ago.

    It's not hard to do, and it's no riskier than letting some broker do it for you. The difference is that you buy the stocks you want, and you sell them when you want. There's no harm going to come to you, for example, if you buy some Apple stock because you know it's not going to crash any time in your lifetime, but it will split and grow several times before you're ready to cash out.

    Remember unions are communist inventions meant to destroy, not create. When you hear about "The Rust Belt", those states along the Great Lakes that used to be bastions of industrial manufacturing and shipping, remember that it was the Unions who created the Rust Belt. It was only a bastion of industrial manufacturing until the unions got their feet in the door, and then it was all downhill after that. Sure, it might have taken time because they couldn't do things in big bold steps, but they did it nonetheless. Unions are the reason why it's so hard to manufacture anything in the US anymore. Unions are the reason construction drags out for decades. Look at how fast the Empire State Building went up, and compare it to how slowly the World Trade towers were replaced. The "Big Dig" took ages not because it was tough, but because the unions are happy to drag out the work so their guys can get paid. Those Sand Hogs don't come cheap!

    Unions might have served a good purpose back in the day, but everything they fought for at the time is now codified into local, state and federal law. There's no need for some permanent union and all the overhead they need. Remember, while you're struggling to make ends meet, that Union Boss is living quite nicely in the mansion on the hill. It's in the union's best interest to make sure there's always a grievance, always a divide, and they will always work to make sure it exists because that's their bread and butter. They're no different than the feminists always coming up with yet another horror story that happens to make them seem relevant.

    Unions don't benefit by making your life awesome. They benefit by making you just a hair better in the smallest way.... while magnifying all the bad that could might maybe possibly come if you don't support them. Unions destroy, they don't build. Every time someone tells you otherwise, just look at The Rust Belt for an example of what the unions did. All of that was union. All of it was destroyed only after it became union. The pro-union folks can tell you all they want, but the proof is everywhere you look if you want to look at it for what it really is. It's kind of funny to see how hard they work at blaming everyone else for the Rust Belt. You've got to wonder how the hugely powerful unions couldn't stop politicians from passing laws and regulations that would kill the very industry they were supposed to be working to benefit.

    I understand the allure of the unions, especially for the common man. Every guy I know who is in a union is making great money, often two or three times what I ever earned. But that crazy wage and incredible benefit package also drives the costs of doing business up. My buddy works in the entertainment union as a show installer. He's got his name in the credits on several big movies you've watched. While it was great for him to get paid double-time after 40hrs and triple-time after 50hrs, those wages were reflected in the cost of the tickets you and I have to pay for. Ever wonder why going to a show is so expensive? It's because the ticket-buyer has to pay for all those union wages and benefits. Ever wonder why a new truck costs you 40k? It's because you're paying for those union wages and benefits somewhere along the line.

    The guys in the union making $30/hr.... they love it. They don't see the larger picture, and I very much understand the sentiment that they don't really care about the larger picture because they're benefiting in the here-n-now. They've got the decent house, nice truck, good retirement plan, etc. They can't really worry about what'll happen in 20 years or 100. It's an every-man-for-himself kind of mindset that I really do get. I wish I had been a lot more cut-throat in my early years, so I can't fault them for doing what they've got to do to make their money. Still, with what I know about unions, I'd much rather be dirt poor than give them even a nickel.

    You can make a small fortune all on your own if you're just wise with your money. I know it's not necessarily easy, but don't think the unions aren't offering you the easy way out. Everything they do is to make them stronger, not you. They might give you a little taste of the good life -- just a nibble -- but it will always be only enough to keep you hungering for more. When in doubt, look to the Rust Belt.

    Whoa whoa as one of those overpriced sandhogs I'm very offended haha



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  24. #19
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Don't trust anyone else to fund your retirement, especially the stock market.

    Everyone involved will get paid before you will.


    buy a rental home with positive cash flow.

    That's a home that still makes money after all the expenses include mortgage is paid.

    House prices are going up 20 % per year here and nothing else can match that.

  25. #20
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    20+year union boilermaker myself. I like my deal. My insurance is part of my package meaning I don't pay out of my check. I have a annuity (401k) and a pension. It's not for everyone but fits me very well. Read the fine print of the contract and make a educated decision for yourself. Unions didn't ruin the rust belt, crooked politicians and greedy corporations did. When people blame unions always remember there was two parties at every contract negotiation.

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  27. #21
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    the union thing depends on the industry too, our unions in the copper industry were a joke, they seemed to think that they could squeeze the company beyond the breaking point. In 83 the company I worked for was on the verge of going under, the contract was due, the negotiations started & the company announced that they were continueing to operate, with new employees if necessary, it got ugly & one innocent little was shot in the head as she slept, her dad had crossed the line, in the end the unions were given the boot by the workers, many existing employees crossed the picket line, including myself, our location operated for almost 2 years before they closed it, this property was long overdue for an expansion and got to the point that the higrading wasn't profitable. Joining a trade union may or may not do you any good, one fella I know tried going into one of the welders unions & they were gonna make him go throught their apprenticeship, the guy was one of the best tig welders I had ever seen. The unions were originally founded to help improve wages and more importantly, safety issues. When I decided to cross the line the MACHINISTS union held a trial in which I was charged with crossing the picket line, they fined me $5000.00, due and payable immediately, what a joke, one of my co-workers called the union to drop out so he could work and was told that he could drop out because there was a one month period where dropping out was allowed, the month immediately preceding contract expiration, he went to company management & they filed a lawsuit against ALL the unions we had, the unions lost and had to drop all the fines and reinstate everyone of us as union tradesmen in good standing.
    Personall I say screw the unions, there are no gaurantees for you.
    IMPEACH BIDEN!
    NRA LIFE MEMBER

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    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

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  29. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
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    Re: Should my company go union?

    Or choose door number 3.
    Get a civil service welding job, with a municipal union. Then you can get a great pension, healthcare, paid sick days and holidays, and still have A 401k OR 457k if you want to. Like the brother here who works as a weldor in the jails in NYC.
    Last edited by yesindeed; 08-03-2021 at 03:08 AM.
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