Union Bitching/Supporting Thread

Redmanss

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I helped derail another thread by bringing up union shit, so as a railroader and a union member, I'm putting this shit onto a siding so the other thread can continue down the mainline.

Unions: Speak your piece. I for one am in it only because we're a closed shop and if you want to work for a Class 1 Railroad, you have to be a union member regardless of the state you live/work in. I could go on for pages here of my opinion of unions, 95% of my union perspective is not in support of them, but at the same time a lot of that would change if they got out of the single party support of the dems. Unions need to realize who is the supporter of business and a growing economy, it isn't the socialist left, and if there isn't an economy, there isn't work to be done, and we're all out of a job - union or no union.

I'm a Brotherhood of Railroad Signalman (BRS) member, they're affiliated with the AFL-CIO, and they follow the lefty political marching orders of the master planners with them. Fuck that, the vast majority of BRS members I know are voting conservatives, gun owning staunch 2A supporters, pro-life, pro business, pro-LE, pro-CBP/ICE, pro-America, and stand for small government and even smaller taxes. We work hard for what we earn, believe every other able bodied American should do the same, and despise welfare. Of those I work with and have mentioned any type of politics with, we're 75%+ Trump supporters.

I know we have a lot of blue collar folks here who are union members, and I'd like to hear the conversation.
 

myronman3

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get in and take over the fucker. that way YOU get to stop the bullshit.

been a union member since the mid 90s. it’s been good for the most part. yes, i have seen a shitbag or two, but no worse than what i’ve seen on the non union side. i’ve seen what corporate will do if there is no one watching their actions. left unchecked, they fuck people as hard and fast as they can.

same same for unions. give them too much power and they get out of control fast. there has to be a balance.

i’d say this much....if it works for you, great. if it doesnt, i certainly understand that as well.
 

Moe Ron

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@Redmanss I also was part of the detail. Worked for American Airlines as a mechanic for 25 years. Transport Workers Union. You are right on point. I’ve said from the beginning, you go down the list of all the issues you state the rank and file is or was on board. Then turn around and vote Dem. I think maybe that has changed as the left goes full on communist. I’m now IAM with a defense contractor. I don’t know any Biden supporters. All the looney leftists are the college educated office folks.
I could go on forever about the corrupt,tone deaf union leaders.
 
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candyx

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Our Union Workers are all instructed who to vote for at their Union meetings and in NJ its always liberal asshat democrats.
 
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Keel Haul

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Union membership is required where I’m at in TWU. I’m in the middle because I’ve seen both the union and the company do petty ass shit to each other and it’s just a waste of time and money. I only hear about the political side when the union sends out a dozen page quarterly newsletter endorsing some leftist ass clown. I’m waiting for the next one to come in and I’m going to send it back and tell them stop sending me this political crap. It never was such a left leaning “you need to vote for this guy or else” kind of deal until the last few years and I’m sure you can fill in the blank as to why.
 

Sean the Nailer

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    FWIW, and this is ONLY my opinion, Canuckistanian unions I think are 'different' that AmeriYank unions. To which, I will say that there is a HUGE difference between unions in Western Canada than there is in unions here in Central Canada.

    I've got a LOT of experience at the Plant Committee level there in B.C. as well as some experience as a Job Steward here in Manitoba and the views/realms/perspectives are GALACTICALLY different. Here, they are 'bought-and-paid-for-shills' for the company, with no balls, no back-bone, and no integrity.

    Yeah, I said all that out loud.

    Whereas, from '95 to '03 in Northern B.C. it was completely different. THERE, they actually were 'for the people/for the worker' and union/mgmt negotiations actually took place and were 'worked on'.

    It's a good feeling to be able to phone up a laid-off co-worker, and ask them if they want to come back to work. Did that many times out there. Here, 'the people' are simply a "dues" farm, not of any other value. Pathetic.

    And yes, I've worked the 'non-union' shops as well, and have seen the difference in how people get/got treated and abused. Very little reward in comparison.
     
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    Orphanedcowboy

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    I am a union member, I pay my dues.

    Unions had a place a one time, maybe because I am in Texas I don't see the real benefit of them, but all I have ever seen is they protect the shittiest of employees who couldn't hold a regular job in a non-union shop. I hate that I am held ransom every month and have seen nothing but a decline in my "benefits". Good thing the GF/Domestic Partner is in management at AA, otherwise I would be paying $400(with HSA and life) a week for mediocre health, vision and dental insurance for just me.
     

    gunsnjeeps

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    I feel fortunate to work in Virginia. I don't have to join the union. I grew up in Ohio and watched the Democrats and Unions sink it.
     

    gigamortis

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    I don't care for the unions that are simply extortionists. A real trade union is interested in keeping their trade going from generation to generation through apprenticeships. The IBEW is big on apprenticeships. There are a lot of pipefitter and welder unions that do the same as well. The IAM and UAW are only extortionists.
     

    mcameron

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    yeah...im not going to pay money for the privilege of working...

    and union guys are a pain in the ass to work with....cant move a chair without filling out a request form and waiting 3 days....and god forbid you move that chair yourself, or else youll get bitched out for "stealing a union job"....

    sorry, but if you only have a job because i am artificially unable to move an office chair.....you dont deserve a job.

    when i was at Raytheon, our secretary literally had a grievance filed against her because she moved 2 office chairs 20' for a meeting.

    fuck them.
     

    Moe Ron

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    “They protect the shittiest employees “

    And those are the guys who become shop stewards and work their way up.
    We would always laugh and say “Yep, Screamin head long into mediocrity “
     
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    Hobo Hilton

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    Been in 3 different Unions... Teamsters (Local 5), Operating Engineers (Local 12) and UA Steamfitters (Local 250).... I also ran my own fabrication business for many years, which was non-union.... I chose to never get into the politics. I was and still am a very good craftsman. Carried a pocket full of welding certifications, AWS Inspector Card, CA Contractor, LA City Certified Welder............ For me, the bottom line was a top shelf craftsman always had someone calling him to go to a better job, making more money..... It did not matter if it was Union or Open Shop... A job in the world of construction is what ever you make of it.

    Hobo
     

    Palmetto-Pride

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    My take on unions....I got into the plumbing/pipe fitting industry shortly after high school in 94 working mostly non union jobs in GA, SC, NC. I met a Yankee girl in 99 and chased some pussy up to Boston. Her best friend's husband was also a pipe fitter and got me a job with the mechanical contracting company he worked for. We were on a union job just south of Boston and I was amazed at how different the jobs were ran. Back in the south on the non union jobs I had worked on before we didn't have separate "labors" to dig trenches/ditches for us to put our pipe in or at the end of the day sweep up the job site. I was told on many occasions to put the shovel and broom down "Hey we got guys for that if you need a ditch dug you let the labors know and they will do it for you" I was like "you mean I don't have to dig my own trenches or clean up the job site at the end of the day?" Guys were like "no man that is what the labors union is for they do all that" I wasn't complaining I hated using a Mexican backhoe anyway........LOL Then I thought I wonder how much more it cost to build a building with unions vs no unions.....Got to be a lot!
     

    Carlos Danger

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    My best friend works for a local municipality. There's one guy who has been caught for various "infractions" over his long career including, but not limited to, blatant theft and even killing a woman in a vehicular accident while transporting a large paving roller. He is caught time and time again, and each time he's suspended / fired, gone for months, then returns each time with back pay and keeps his job....all on the taxpayer dime. So basically gets a multi month paid vacation for sitting on his ass. So when people ask me how I feel about unions.....what do you think my response is?
     

    Sean the Nailer

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    My best friend works for a local municipality. There's one guy who has been caught for various "infractions" over his long career including, but not limited to, blatant theft and even killing a woman in a vehicular accident while transporting a large paving roller. He is caught time and time again, and each time he's suspended / fired, gone for months, then returns each time with back pay and keeps his job....all on the taxpayer dime. So basically gets a multi month paid vacation for sitting on his ass. So when people ask me how I feel about unions.....what do you think my response is?
    See, that's the kind of stuff that I've never had anything to do with. Hence why I was saying that there seems to be a HUGE difference in unions, depending on locality.
     

    chevy_man

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    I don't care for the unions that are simply extortionists. A real trade union is interested in keeping their trade going from generation to generation through apprenticeships. The IBEW is big on apprenticeships. There are a lot of pipefitter and welder unions that do the same as well. The IAM and UAW are only extortionists.


    The IBEW is hurting in a big way. They did everything they could to make it hard as fuck to get an apprenticeship, to artificial inflate the labor costs.

    Now everyone has seen that they're useless, and they're going to have a bunch of pensions and no workers.


    I watched a guy wait by his truck for 4 hours for a laborer to dig him a trench 3'. He was trying to recruit me (I was running GRC for fire alarm, which they wouldn't do because it was low voltage). He quit trying after I offered to teach him how to use a shovel since he must have missed that day in apprentice class.
    They had 150 guys on site, we had 3, and yet they refused to do the work we did (which was identical to theirs, just different voltage on the wiring) and then bitched at us that we were scabbing and taking their jobs.

    Nevermind the fact that I was getting paid more, had all the benefits, and none of the politics.
     

    BullGear

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    Most rank and file members of unions are conservative and only join the union because it's required to work. The grand lodge employees are the ones that are pro Demwits. I retired a few years back from a union job. I can tell you from my experience, most of my coworkers are Republicans. At least 90% of them are Republicans. My union puts out a quarterly magazine. If it's 30 pages, 20 pages are of a political nature. Most members threw the mag away after a quick review of it.
     

    Soulezoo

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    My thumbs are too tired to write about all I hate about unions.
    Bottom line, they cost jobs and protect union leaders more than workers. They are about money for themselves more than anything, just lime the greedy owners. Difference is what the laborers do feeds them. What the owners do feeds the laborers and the owners. The unions don't do shit and take money from both.
     

    Bradu

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    yeah...im not going to pay money for the privilege of working...

    and union guys are a pain in the ass to work with....cant move a chair without filling out a request form and waiting 3 days....and god forbid you move that chair yourself, or else youll get bitched out for "stealing a union job"....

    sorry, but if you only have a job because i am artificially unable to move an office chair.....you dont deserve a job.

    when i was at Raytheon, our secretary literally had a grievance filed against her because she moved 2 office chairs 20' for a meeting.

    fuck them.

    I was lucky to work on several union jobs that they didn't care who did what for the most part. I have worked on some where you don't even think about helping a laborer lift something to prevent them from getting hurt unless it was with a piece of equipment. That shit is fucking stupid.
     

    darkfader

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    I’m in the IAFF, and pay dues. It must be quite different than most of you guys though. My local is pretty small, we typically raise money for “coats for kids” and other local programs to better the community, and we send designees to legislative sessions at the state level, to which I’ve never been. My dues are fairly cheap, but I’d hope resources that were promised to me would be available if I needed them.

    This thread makes me wonder why I haven’t looked further up the ladder to know what is going on at higher levels, but I’ll admit I know little of what the top officials are up to. It’s past the time for me to become more educated on the matter and I will do just that.

    I will say that a few guys at the department who dropped out of the union are hated, but not for that reason alone.
     

    navynambu

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    I'm in favor of unions if I'm working in one, but if I have to hire them to do some work I need done, then I'm against them.
     

    chevy_man

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    I'm in favor of unions if I'm working in one, but if I have to hire them to do some work I need done, then I'm against them.

    I was working for a shop that got a contract based on the fact that we were $1.3 million cheaper on our bid. Union shop had been doing every remodel and new building for years and was soaking them. The union shop is no longer in business, all those guys were forced to move or travel.

    We did the project with half the manpower they wanted, kept the schedule, and impressed the general contractor enough to keep getting invited to bid as the only non-union sub.

    I no longer work for that shop, as I negotiated myself a better deal at another one. I've been offered more money other places but refuse to move, so I've settled into what I want to accept based on my individual needs and desires.

    I think too many focus on the money the union promises them, and they forget that the real reason for them was safety. OSHA took away most of the reason they existed in the first place.
     

    theLBC

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    thing is, the "unions" which have been a stalwart of democrat voting, are shifting (except teachers) because just being in a union doesn't mean you are too stupid to have seen what democrats did to your jobs, unions or not, and what they are likely to do to your jobs, unions or not.
    if corporations have to pay high taxes, the unions can't point at the bottom line to demand more, so it hurts them as much as anyone.

    of course teacher unions hate trump (and devos) because they don't want to actually have to teach anyone anything.
    they prefer to churn out retards and delinquents that will reply on government assistance, and vote for democrats that will protect their jobs doing nothing.
     

    Mwalex

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    I have no use for laws or organizations that continue to push for the hiring of or keeping of
    poor employees. This applies to hiring quotas or unions. Unions, as with many other things, started as a great idea and evolved to something that is less than ideal.
     

    Moe Ron

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    One problem is that the union is legally bound to try to keep the fuckups from getting fired. Then on the company side they are to lazy to document and build a case for termination. At least that’s the way American Airlines was.

    The corruption at the international level was outrageous. Then they had it set up so you couldn’t vote them out. There were secretaries at international making mid six figures 🤬
     

    MtnCreek

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    One problem is that the union is legally bound to try to keep the fuckups from getting fired. Then on the company side they are to lazy to document and build a case for termination. At least that’s the way American Airlines was.

    The corruption at the international level was outrageous. Then they had it set up so you couldn’t vote them out. There were secretaries at international making mid six figures 🤬

    Corporate secretaries or getting coffee and putting files back in the right place secretaries?
     

    silentwoods

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    Most rank and file members of unions are conservative and only join the union because it's required to work. The grand lodge employees are the ones that are pro Demwits. I retired a few years back from a union job. I can tell you from my experience, most of my coworkers are Republicans. At least 90% of them are Republicans. My union puts out a quarterly magazine. If it's 30 pages, 20 pages are of a political nature. Most members threw the mag away after a quick review of it.
    I use my IBEW newsletter and my NRA magazine to start a fire in my wood burner.
     

    FS1

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    I have worked union and non union and union was better. The pay was better the skill level was higher and benefits were better. I still am a card carrying member of the UA even though my business is non union.

    Trade unions, unlike labor unions, if you are lazy you sit on the bench a lot. You work only when they are desperate for bodies. If you are productive you will always work, always. I can say from experience comparing the union/non union people I have worked with. The union workers had more skill and were more driven by craftsmanship.

    Labor unions do protect the lazy but trade unions do not. For those of you who are non union your wages are higher because of unions. As unions have declined so have wages. Yes unions have their problems, but they do much good too. JMHO
     
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    myronman3

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    ^ that’s a fact. the company i work for, they have some areas that are union, and some that are not. i see good folks on both sides.

    the company pays the non union guys about 2$ more an hour for the exact same work. i have zero doubt that if a magic wand was waved, and the union was instantly gone and the company could do what they wanted, not only would the union guys take a heavy cut in wages, but so would the non union. the ONLY reason they pay them that extra 2 bones is to try to make it appear that it’s better to be non union.

    the company treats everyone so horribly bad. that despite the 2 bucks more, the non union guys are very close to going union. the biggest draw being job security. when you’ve busted your ass for 25 years for them, and they decide they are keeping the new kid that has a year and a half under his belt, and letting “your position” go, pretty much see the writing on the wall. especially in a field that takes a good 10 years to get good at.

    corporate america is absolutely unscrupulous. if they can rob their employees of their pension due to a loop in the verbiage, they will do it in a blink of an eye. motherfuckers making millions a year screwing some first level guy that has worked 25 years ensuring the health of the business, who is looking forward to his $550,000 retirement that he is going to live off the rest of his life. and for those of you who think 550k is a lot, it basically allows a guy to live off about 1/2 of what you made while working- IF you do it right. i’ve seen those corporate fucks pull in 10+ million in a year just in bonuses. and they want to rob the guy producing capitol? unreal.

    the more shit you see in life, the more it blows your mind what some folks get away with. it might be legal, but it damn sure aint ethical. or right. or even close to being right. i wouldnt want to be those folks on judgement day. i think the only ones who will have it worse are the politicians.
     

    Skookum

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    Two facets to unions:

    1) The local is very useful in combatting stupid shit and general fuckery that goes on where you actually work.

    Without the union, management has no one to keep them in check. Although sadly, the local often feels pressure to defend people who should be fired, because to give management any quarter would result in loss of power in any future negotiations.


    2) The national union leadership is always political, and because to rise to leadership at the national level you have to be a cock sucking politician to begin with, the national leadership is always corrupt and fucked up.
     

    quietmike

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    Never saw a need to hire an intermediary to negotiate for me.
    Worked in printing for a while in a non union shop. Some union guys from a different state came down to look at a new press. They made less money and had worse benefits than we did.
     

    darkfader

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    Skookum, this is no doubt my situation. As I said, I am happy with my local, the officers fight as hard as they can for the membership when it comes to pay raises and other issues we may be unhappy with at the city level. I don’t live in the county that I work in, so I can’t vote for any of the politicians in that city.
     

    navynambu

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    It is true industrial unions were initially and essentially set up to promote worker safety, and OSHA assuming it's still there took way a lot of that roll from the industrial unions, as stated above. But they have since supported the growth of a large middle class in the country at least since WWII. Which over all is probably very good.

    Some parts of the economy should not be allowed to have unions, In my view, the military and the civil police. Maybe teachers too. These are essential workers in quasi-military type public service organizations, and they should not be allowed to strike or hold the public up for high salaries and benefits. When you need them, you need them. Remember when all the police in New Orleans suddenly 'quit" when the hurricane hit, an what a cluster f*ck that was? They should have tracked down every one of those guys and put them in prison, for breaching the public's trust in therm. But no one said shit, they just let them take their uniforms off and wander away. So I see generally police unions, teacher unions, public service unions as keeping and protecting bad workers, which defeats the essential reason for their own existence, which isn't is not right.
     

    Lesch

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    My thumbs are too tired to write about all I hate about unions.
    Bottom line, they cost jobs and protect union leaders more than workers. They are about money for themselves more than anything, just lime the greedy owners. Difference is what the laborers do feeds them. What the owners do feeds the laborers and the owners. The unions don't do shit and take money from both.
    So basically they are the demoncrap party.....take your money and feed you shit
     

    wolf13

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    I am in a "professional" union and see both sides having been management as well. Department organized and people got up to a 50% jump in lay with the average being 30% based on a salary study (always debatable as go work there if you want more is the counter argument).

    I am a shop steward because I figured if someone is going to be making decisions for me I want to be closer to the people making those decisions. I've seen both sides: people stealing/bullying and getting fired and also management lying and making things up to get people fired. Every time I have felt the union person was wrong I do the bare minimum to ensure they don't get in more trouble and then tell the union not to appeal and explain why.

    For the most part our Union stays out of the "vote Democrat" and I check the box that says my dues can't be used for political stuff. Unions do protect the lowest and laziest people. I get paid the same as the person who literally does 1/3 of the work I do.

    The flip side like someone else mentioned is management is either too lazy or incompetent to get people fired. Document document document. In my company they usually screw up by making it very personal or just being lazy about the documentation.
     

    308pirate

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    Teamsters set fire to an office trailer in my dad's business when he was negotiating dockworkers contract for the shipping company that was his main gig.

    I was a boy, and I could do nothing about that.

    I'm not a boy now, and there will be hell to pay for a repeat of that shit.

    To say that I despise unions with a burning hatred would be an understatement.

    One of the reasons I buy American-made Japanese cars is because no union labor touches them.
     

    2aBaCa

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    UA pipefitter/ HVAC service. HVAC is different as you are more of a permanent employee of a company and can get fired or layed off if you aren't pulling your weight.

    I went the union route for several reasons.

    Paid apprenticeship training
    Great pay, 6 figures
    Great Benefits, 401K + pension
    Great medical, dental, optical coverage for the family, 100% covered

    NO non-union shop offers any of this.

    The company I work for pays for all of it in my package. And of course the union takes its cut.

    They can shove their lefty polital reccomendations up their ass.
     
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    deersniper

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    Unions with help from .gov/epa/osha/welfare are why all jobs that can be done over seas. Are overseas.

    Public unions and politicians are why all the states are “broke”


    Non union working with union be like :
    6F26315D-BAA9-4E37-BA96-22C145BFA885.jpeg
     
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    rjacobs

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    In my industry unions are a "necessary evil"... The companies would(and still do) run roughshod over the employee groups. We work under the railway labor act... that NOT EVEN THE RAILWAYS WORK UNDER anymore.... It gives management all the rights. Work now, grieve later... its federal law... So the company can, at will, violate the contract, even ADMIT to violating the contract, and you have to work now, grieve later... oh and BTW your grievance hearing and settlement is in 2-3 years because the company always makes an excuse to not show up when they know they are wrong...

    The biggest issue though in my industry with the unions is the whole industry is not under 1 union. There is 1 big union that encompasses a bunch of companies, 1 medium union that has a few companies, then about 5 independents. The issue with this is we dont have 1 big national seniority list, so if you change companies you start at the bottom. I currently work at one of the independent ones and its FANTASTIC... Ive also worked under the other 2. The big one can suck a big dick as they were trying to serve to many masters. I do think they have the "best interests" of the members in mind, but their organizational structure causes issues that they cant serve everybody effectively(because at the end of the day all of their members, their corporate companies compete against each other). The medium one I felt like they had balls and support of other workers under the umbrella(they actually staged the 1st legal strike in my industry in at least a decade), but the companies still hold all the leverage. And the independent I work under now I know they only have my interests in mind. They are great overall.

    So same career, 3 different unions of 3 different types, and 3 different experiences.
     

    eicas

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 1, 2012
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    I work in the transportation industry that falls under the Railway Labor Act. I have been in my current industry for over 30 years and have worked for 5 different companies (or subsidiaries) that fall under the RLA. I am a hard core conservative and view unions in general as a “double edged sword”. They indeed protect the worker, but they also protect the lazy worker. Without getting into too many details, like some similar posts above (most likely the same industry) there are 2 “basic” National unions in my business the “main” one, the Teamsters, and then the “in house” unions that vary in size, strength and effectiveness. The “main” one often shares it’s expertise with the lessors on areas such as safety and training.

    i have served as a lower level committee member for numerous companies over the years. 4 years ago, the company I worked for became involved in a merger. Both companies were represented by the same “main” union (the big one). At that time I was approached and asked to represent my fellow workers and run for an elected position. Through this process, I have been able to see the organization I am involved with in a different light. While it is now MY job to protect that “lazy worker” the flip side is that some real good has been accomplished. I had a mentor many years back when I first started in my industry. He was a union officer and hard core in a good way. He pulled me aside once and told me this: “You find the most junior guy. The one on the VERY bottom of the seniority list. You talk to him. You get to know his concerns. Do right by him and everyone above him will be just fine.” I’ve never forgot that advice.

    I recently had the opportunity to participate in some rather intense and difficult times at my company and within our industry because of COVID. Long story short, we were able to sit down with the company and formulate rolling leaves of absence that prevented in all likelihood the furlough of over 600 fellow employees, one of them my son. It protected jobs and also protected the company. If you want my definition of what a true union is supposed to be, look no further than that. I’m not far from mandatory (for my industry) retirement and it’s taken a long time to nudge that “this is the way things have always been done” needle...but I had the opportunity to do just that along with my fellow union brothers And sisters. I’m honored to have had that chance.

    RIP Jim. Thanks for that advice. Hope I did good by you.