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Unions
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89 posts in this topic

Thoughts on the NLRB???? Union Contracts???

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Have you had trouble with them? or the NLRB?

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We have been fortunate and have done some work inside of the GM Orion Plant without being a union shop, but I get really irritated when we have to have a union guy sit on his fat arse and watch us while getting paid waaaay more money than any sign people I know. Unions had their place decades ago, but now they are part of the demise of this country. I am Detroit born and raised, so I am surrounded by union folk. It is ludicrous that someone on the line can be in the six figures while screwing in a bolt without needing a brain while people who work their butts off barely get by. But, just my opinion :) And don't even get me started on the whole UL, et al fiasco - one of the biggest ripoffs in the sign industry since ADA signage.

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I hate the thought of having to work with the union in any capacity. I will not take on any work that requires working with union people. We set up for a show in New York a few years past and was told that if we even plugged in a drop cord they would not set up our display. CRAZY!

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Bad enough to have to play by such unequal rules, but it's their superior 'holier than thou' attitude that makes it all that much worse.

There is no basis for stuff like what you mentioned. Unions were for equalities, back in the day, and to prevent employers from taking advantage of people and having poor work conditions. Now it just creates expensive everything and is the reason that China, India and other countires have all of our work!

Companies don't give a hoot about the working conditions + poor wages of those people, which are horrible.

Same for the UL fiasco. No one truly cares about quality or safety of signs. Inspectors (mostly contractors here now) look at the little stickers as if it denotes quality and fire protection. Most don't ever look inside of a sign - just for that sticker. It's always about the money - nothing more.

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It's always about the money....Unions, UL, OSHA, inspections , permits, fines. None of these things accomplish what they were designed to do anymore. Which was to create and insure some sort of quality level and while also making sure working conditions were safe for the actual workers. Unions have become similar to a mafia run organization. It's members are protected by the power of the organization. While they are taught to hate and try to strong arm and intimidate any one who isn't in their organization.

Unions also destroy hard work and creativity by advancing members based solely on seniority.

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I used to live in IL which is highly unionized. Most trade jobs required a incoming worker to join a union in order to work. When I was eighteen years old, I had to join the Teamsters Union in order to work for a home builder. My job - building forms and laying concrete.

If you did not have a union worker performing whatever trade you needed done, you could not have it done.

Moved to TX which is a right-to-work state. State law prohibits being forced to join any union in order to work.

Unions were probably helpful in times past when there was little or no regulation, or when there were few laws protecting workers, but today I think there are so many laws and regulations on the books that offer protection those in the market workplace.

OSHA, EPA, FEDERAL GOVT., STATE GOVT., LOCAL GOVT., UL!

Do we really need another organization deciding if we will / can work because we did not get a ten percent pay increase.

Not me!

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I also am Detroit born and raised....and for about two years in the early eighties I was a union steward in a union plant. When I won the position the first thing I was told was that I didn't have to work anymore. I just walked around listening to complaints while someone else did my previous job.

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Whos ready to defend ??? Class action lawsuite??? :crazy::crazy::crazy:

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The NLRB. Shame shame on them

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Sure!! Oh wait... BTW, they will be digging looking for Hoffa again a few miles from my house, so maybe not! LoL

And here's an example of what a wonderful UL label gets you: http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/topic/6079-ugly-led-work/

And what UL charges is a crime in and of itself. A joke. I had gotten a quote from MetLab for a site inspection - UL was double and when I told them that, they immediaely dropped their price. Wonder how many companies they ripoff on a daily basis??

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As many as they can!

I think Id rather hunt for Bigfoot than Hoffa!

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lol

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Be careful they now monitor what you say on the internet....Next suite "NLRB sues media"

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People, lets get a realtity check on things. Everyone has the right to work and everyone has the right to choose who works for them. In the construction industry there isn't to many trades that still offer training and exsposure to the job and materials used, other than in a Union enviroment. There isn't one company that I know of, from accross the country, that offers a training program for their new installers / technicians other than in a Union enviroment. Most of the time it all about weather you have a license and can show up to work on time without still being all jacked up from the night before, and then they go from there. YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET. It all comes down to the mighty dollar and I've landed more work from supposedly Union shops that offered the same amount of quality as mine but fall way short because there putting non-union, unqualifed, untrained personnel out in the position of a qualified man and charging for it. THAT'S A DISCRACE TO ALL UNION SHOPS AS WELL AS TO THE INDUSTRY ITSELF. Don't claim what you can't back up, but keep trying to make it happen, I'll keep taking the work. I have aquatences from both sides of the industry and the quality can go eitherway but if a company puts a Union stamp on there name then there isn't any reason that you should stand for anything less then top notch. If they don't do that for you then move on. You don't have to stay with the same people if they aren't giving you what you want, but a price for that type of service does come with it. Certain areas of the county almost require Union representation for all there work, recognizing the quality and standards that do come with it, and not settling for less. The US goverment and most state and local agencies, in this region of the country, require or request Union representation for there work. So if that's what the governing bodies considier a quality of standard for there work then they must have a reason why. It's not all about how much a company makes on a job but also about the standard of living a person is guarenteed for doing a job. Most non-union shops don't offer paid leave or vacation with the amount of years you put into them. Most non-union shops don't cover there personnel and ALL of there family with medical, dental, and insurance programs at no cost to the employee. What makes one man any less or more than the other ??? Qualifications, dependablity, certifications, proper licensing....These are the THINGS and I'd love to know of a non-Union company that does all that for their employess. If you're going to be working within a Union area then suck it up and find you a good shop that will represent you and your customer with those standards. There is good shops from both ends of the industry but if you know that you have to have Union representation when you go into an area then plan accordingly. Put the money into the job and tell your customer that this is the way is has to be for things to go off without any hitches. Yes, it's a game, but you don't have to be a sucker you just have to be professional and know what you're looking for. I'm sorry for all of you who have gotten a bad deal with a Union job but shame on you for trying to go into a Union area and get away with it. "Proper planning produces a quality outcome but Piss poor planning produces Piss poor results".

YES, I am a union employee as well as an owner. I feel very strong when it comes to standing behind the quaility of work my shop produces and conditions for my employees. I've worked both sides of the street and know what it's like to keep a business going or just keep a pay check coming in so don't tell me that you can't get things done appropriately wether it's in a union or non-union enviroment. Your people are the exstention of you and your standards so if they aren't getting the job done the way you want it then find someone else. Life is all about choices so make yours and live with it but that doesn't always mean that your stuck with it forever.

Edited by kennjsignguy
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Well thanks for your opinion Ken, but I disagree. You certainly do have the union mentality though, thinking you know waaaay more than you act actually do.

Most of your statements are simply opinions that you feel you're qualified to give....I guess because you're a union member? That must make your opinion carry more weight than everyone else's, in your opinion.

And that last paragraph does about three 360degree turns. Are you saying you can "get things done appropriately whether its in a union or non union environment"?

So after your big long diatribe of explaining to everyone how you can only get quality work with union people, in the end you say you can do it either way? WTF?

I will agree with one of your many conclusions. And that is that your people, and your product are an extension of you. If your work sucks, it's because you either allow it to suck, or you think it's good quality and don't know any better.

And don't tell people to not make statements they can't back up when you do this exact thing about six times in your big long self full filling comment.

First you say that "there isn't to many companies that offer training", then right after that you say that "there isn't even one company that you know of across the country". Well Ken, you are either a very smart man and have done a ton of research on companies that offer training across the entire country, or you are making statements that you can not back up. I'm guessing the ladder.

Because I would be willing to say that I could find hundreds of companies, non union companies that offer training.

Then here again " The US government and most state and local agencies require or request Union representation for their work".

Would you like me to tell you why that is Ken? Ok I will. It's because all unions donate tons of money to government officials in return for them requiring or requesting Union representation for their work!

Like we've been saying from the start....it's all about the money!

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Who will be the first to put their money where their mouth is???? How much do you pay your non union installers vs their union counterparts in your area?

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You are making my point, Ken. Union wages are SO far out of wack and for no reason in particular, other than the power of unions.

There is NO WAY that someone on the line deserves to be in the six figures for putting screw in a hole or whatever they do. Prices of so many things are ridiculously high because of the union pay scale. Numbskulls keep their jobs because the unions back them up - if these same numbskulls worked at a non-union business, they'd be out on their butts. I watch people that work in hospitals works at a snail pace with the union mentality - they know they don't HAVE to perform because the union has their sorry backs. And what is the excuse for a union guy sitty on his butt watching us work our off? These guys wouldn't know how to wire neon if they had to, so what is the point of them getting paid $40+/hr. plus benefits while watching us work??

I can't comment on what goes on all across the country - you get around a lot more than I do, I guess. Being a union worker doesn't mean they have any better skills. It means the unions have power and have bully lobbiests with a ton of money to throw around - that's it.

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There are some good union shops and some god awful ones. Some of the biggest piece of crap signs come from union shops, I've seen first hand, and example is browsing through our Hall of Shame forum. IMO like others have said, union were once needed but that time has passed. Union workers these days seem to think their "entitled" to certain benefits of employment.

I have to chuckle at the idea of the union worker who thinks their "entitled" to a "Paid Leave", or "Paid Vacation". How nice that must be!!! But plenty of good companies do it out of the goodness of their heart because they believe in happy employees. They shouldn't be forced to do it. If the worker is not happy with work conditions or benefits it's a free country to go work somewhere else.

But very few "demand" for a Union work because they think it's a higher quality craftsmanship, Like Ron stated, Unions pay to play and have their industry practically "Spec'd" in, sort of like affirmative action, where others who are more qualified are denied.

I'm of the opinion that quality has fallen short from most (not all) union shops because of the "Entitlement" mentality that comes with it causes a decline in quality of the production and installation side of things because of no accountability.

Unions have done nothing but drive prices up for the consumers and cause profits to drop for companies. Why should a grocery clerk be paid $30 an hour to take produce out of a box and put them on a shelf? That's why produce is so expensive to buy at a typical union run grocery store like "Safeway" or Ralphs", but the reason why a consumer like myself will buy produce from a non-union grocery store like "Henry's" and pay 1/4 to 1/2 the cost.

Oh, and maybe someone will chime in and talk about the "Intimidation" tactics some "Locals" use to "get" shops who aren't unionized to be unionized and try to chase them out of some of the biggest cities in America.

You know how hard it is to fire a teacher these days because of the teachers unions? Don't get my wife started!!!

Anyway, we like opinions here whether we agree or disagree, so welcome the SS.

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While I am sure there might be differences across the country I got the privilidge of interviewing installers and servicemen. I was appalled at their basic lack of understanding of sign electrical standards, and amazed at their preferred wage scales. At those rates, heck, I'd go back and work the trucks!

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Entitlement has become a disease....

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I think the cueent administration calls it....executive order.

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

My point is like everything else times have changed but politics have not but for us individuals we have to choose which way we want to play. You and I can not change the way industry works within the major cities or within the goverment without enough people standing up and taking a firm stand. I am a proud Union member but I'm also a business man who has to look at things more than one way. We have non-union shops in our area that charge the same, if not more than our rates, and we still battle on the bidding grounds everyday. Not every job requires a Union shop and if I were to operate with only all Union work then I wouldn't be able to stay in business. What would you say to those owners who don't pay benefits to their employees but just pocket all that extra profit even knowing that they beat out both non and Union shops who do pay the benefits to there employees. A Union contractor is obligated to pay the benefits for there employees at the same level as any other member but a non-Union shop can just simply choose too or not too. I can go on an on about the differences but it isn't going to change the simple fact that everyone makes there own choices and if you don't like yours then do something about it or keep it to yourself. I'm not any sort of a bully but I'm not to be brow beat because of stereotypes of an old age long gone. I'm not in the mafia, we don't need to threaten violence to get our point accross, we just stand together. Simple as that. I've choosen to stay a Union shop because it only opens up the opportunites for company to gain more work opportunities with no restirictions and a trained and qualified workforce to back me if I need it. Take away my Union card and I'm still a businessman who feels it's only right to give my employees the same benifits as anyone else. But as a Union member it's all spelled out for you. I'll fire a guy if he sucks regardless of his Union or non-Union affiliation, PERIOD. You all have the same options in your busniness's and how you run them. Before this turns into a you said I said game I'd like to end on this note.

"I'm an old navy man, set in my old school ways. I come from a time when a persons word and the way they handle themselves is a true reflection of who they are and the quality of work they put out. I don't really care if your a Union or non-Union shop, that's your choice, but if your work sucks then your work sucks and I don't have a problem saying to either. We all should agree that there's bad apples on both sides of the river but the true fisherman is the one who catches enough each day then always trying to catch that easy score at a price they're not really willing to pay. The choice is always yours"

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