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Would You Join The Union?


Pwnd2Pwnr
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Hey-row Hak5,

As some of you may know; I recently acquired a job. It is a 60 day trial hire. Assuming I am doing what is needed (no complaints yet) and am an asset to the company, I would need to Unionize.

The Union has received a lot of flak as of late; especially in Lansing, MI, when the Fox reporter got attacked. I do not care about the Political aspect... I just want to know if you were offered an Union position, would you take it?

I have quite a few associates that are Unionized via UAW. They all seem to be doing well enough, but what would be the reason NOT TO JOIN? From what I can tell, the 'Collective Bargaining' aspect in Michigan is FUBAR.

What are your opinions?

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Need money to pay bills? Union going to pay those bills? Union going to fight for your benefits and better pay? Sounds like a win to me. People who get down on unions think all people in unions are lazy free loaders who expect everything for nothing, and while there are those types in unions, there are PLENTY of those types in non union jobs everywhere else. So for me, if being part of the union meant a steady paycheck, people I can count on to have my back, and can pay my bills without worrying about how to put food on the table, I myself would take it. But thats just me.

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It's a pretty complicated topic. Some unions are good at fighting for their members and negotiating fair compensation, working conditions, and benefits for their members. However in some cases unions have been criticized for being ineffective or for being corrupt and looking out for the interests of the union leaders rather than the members.

I don't think you can definitively say that unions are always good or always bad. Like all social institutions, they are only as good as the people who comprise them. The best advice I can give is to talk to existing members of the union and find out from them if they are satisfied or not with the leadership of the union.

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I'd also ask them if they are satisfied with the food they put on the table and keeping the lights on in their house. Lots of jobs suck, union and non union, and plenty of people dislike where they are at all places, unionized or otherwise, but hes been looking for work for a long time, and with a criminal record following him, finally getting the chance to be back to work and making a living, I can't foresee a reason not to other than maybe if there is major corruption in the ranks, leaders of the union, etc. Money is money, and its just a job, but in todays economy, not many people with clean records can get a decent paying job to begin with. Not trying to say yes, join that union because they say you must, but until they give you reason to break ranks or go against your own code of ethics, its a job that pays for you to be on your feet and provide for yourself. Don't kick a gift horse in the mouth...

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I've been employed for this company for more than 5 years, during these 5 years I never received a decent salary. Mind you, I have a degree in IT and a few certifications and at least 5 year experience. Other co-workers who have been employed for less years in the company, does the same job as I do and get paid more than I do. They don't have half of the qualifications or experience that I have.

Now this have frustrated me a lot, and I have many times tried to negotiate for a better salary with my boss, even tried to convince him but didn't work out too well. I have spoken to a few other colleges who advised to join the UNION.

So I then decided to join the UNION to fight for my rights, they have provided me with information and recommendations but none have worked so far. I have opened a case with them, but it has been ongoing for quite sometime now, I haven't heard back from them, and neither my pay has changed.

So to answer your question, it will depend on the UNION in question. I think some unions are just there, to take the money from the people. I am thinking on calling my union and cancelling my membership, I've been paying now $50.00 dollars a month for nothing.

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I've been employed for this company for more than 5 years, during these 5 years I never received a decent salary. Mind you, I have a degree in IT and a few certifications and at least 5 year experience. Other co-workers who have been employed for less years in the company, does the same job as I do and get paid more than I do. They don't have half of the qualifications or experience that I have.

Now this have frustrated me a lot, and I have many times tried to negotiate for a better salary with my boss, even tried to convince him but didn't work out too well. I have spoken to a few other colleges who advised to join the UNION.

So I then decided to join the UNION to fight for my rights, they have provided me with information and recommendations but none have worked so far. I have opened a case with them, but it has been ongoing for quite sometime now, I haven't heard back from them, and neither my pay has changed.

So to answer your question, it will depend on the UNION in question. I think some unions are just there, to take the money from the people. I am thinking on calling my union and cancelling my membership, I've been paying now $50.00 dollars a month for nothing.

And thats a good reason in your case to leave the union if it doesn't fight for its workers. In his case, its a matter of "Have job with union > No job without union || find new job"

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And thats a good reason in your case to leave the union if it doesn't fight for its workers. In his case, its a matter of "Have job with union > No job without union || find new job"

Yeah, I'm still looking for another job, until then I'm gonna have to sit tight. Because where I live can be quite difficult to find one.

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Same here, Infil... jobs are scarce... unless ya like McJobs...

Lol, that's funny, I would never work at those the places. Doing shift work, it's not something for me.

I used to wake up at 05:00am to get to work by 06:00am and sometimes I would finish my shift late at night.

I did this for 2 years, at a supermarket job near where I live. The conditions weren't that great, not to mention the pay.

But i had no choice, I had to make money somehow.

Edited by Infiltrator
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Shit is bad all over. I am in a factory now and I run three different machines. My area is primarily manufacturing. We have well over 40 different manufacturers; ranging from Toyota to Stryker... oh yeah... and something to do with Kelloggs. :)

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Prior to running my own business, which I do now, i worked 8pm, to 8am. 12 hour shift. I workd Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and 1 Saturday a month, and I got paid, once a month. The hours sucked, the work sucked,and the pay, while it was half decent for a family of four, sucked to have to wait to get paid and make the money stretch. BUT, I went from making close to 90k/yr my last year there before they laid off our whole department and shipped all the work to Canada to being on unemployment, which paid me a fraction of what I was making. So what did I do? I started my own business, and eventually, just stopped refiling for unemployment. Today, I make about $15k/yr. My wife,makes a little bit more than me. Last year, we took in combined, 34k total. I'm married, with 2 kids, living in an apartment where rent is $900/mo. We have 1 vehicle, which is on its last leg, no health insurance, my wife is a diabetic with thyroid disease, and I have a child whose needed a kidney operation, who is now 6 and was diagnosed with kidney reflux 4 years ago, a birth defect shes had her whole life they only discovered around the time I got laid off from work and lost my benefits.

So here is my question for you. Union dues aside, do they pay well? Does it sustain your bills? Provide medical benefits? Put food on the table, roof over your head, and is the work something you can tolerate, because now that I have my own business, I work 24/7, 7 days a week. I don't get a day off. My wife, works 6 days a week and we have 1 day that she gets off, and that is Sunday. We've asked her work to switch her to only mon-fri, and now, her asshole boss just said, well, if you can't do the 6 days a week, I am going to have to cut you to 3 days a week and hire someone else to cover the other days, for which he might just end up firring her because hes a complete asshole.

We don't have medical benefits, and only this year, qualified to get our kids state medical, but my wife and I don't qualify, because we make about $2000 too much, at $34k/yr, which based on nation statistics in the US for a family of 4, is considered poverty in most states. I live in NJ, where we have the highest car insurance prices, and the highest real estate prices of ANY other state in the country. We're actually lucky we still live in the apartment, because the only think saving us at this point, is the fact we don't have a water bill, and our heat and gas is included in our rent. If we had to pay for heat and water, we'd probably have no heat and just pay the water bill. Not to mention, we have to washer or dryer, not allowed in our apartment building, so we have to go to a laundry mat to do all our wash.

Life is hard, but if you have a job, that pays well, and gives you benefits, its WAY better than what many people have. I'd even take a job where the boss yelled at me all day, because I've had those kinds of jobs in the past, and its just a job. Life outside of work is what matters, work is just a means to an end. When you work for yourself, there is no life outside of work. Every day is a struggle to find your next job or client, and every day is an issue to find money to meet your deadlines for rent, electric, internet, groceries, car repairs, clothes for growing kids, etc, etc, etc.

I'd be all up in that union job in a heart beat. Jobs, are rare these days. Stay as long as you can, until you find something better, because I can tell you, there aren't much better jobs out there anywhere, not just in the USA, but in just about every country right now. Sure, some parts of the world have decent job markets, but realistically, do you have the money, or means to move your whole family to some other country to look for work at this point, when the world economy as a whole, is faltering and even the world banks are on the verge of bankruptcy?

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Damn, Digip... you have no clue on how similar our situations are. I am making 10.00 hr at 40 hours a week. We have been struggling our asses off. Our 98 Escort has it's front left side quarter panel falling off... after sinking 1200 $ into a new rack n pinion, our struts fail.

I must say, Digip, I put the ASS in assumption. For how talented you are; it would seem to me you'd be doing really well off. That just solidifies my respect for ya Digip... given you went from 90 to 15k (I've never made more than 23k annually). I have two kids also; one lives with his mother and my daughter lives under my roof. They got state assisted health insurance. My girlfriend and I... well... we got to stay healthy ;). We only spend 750 month (not including utilities :( )

To answer your question; I never had a doubt in my mind about joining the UAW. I will start at 16.04 for the initial 60 days; then a 2 dollar increase after the next 90 days. Full benefits (I don't know the details). I bust my ass at work, though ( I have a quarter sized blister on the bottom of foot; near the big toe ). My foreman has already told me to "Plan on sticking around." Injection molding is not what I WANT to do... but rather HAS to be done.

Digip, go ahead and move to Michigan; Kellogg's was/is hiring IT people. Not sure if ya want to make the move; but they are one of the best to get hired into around my area (You too, Infiltrator)

Keep your head up, Digip... and if you want to try and apply, http://www.kelloggscareers.com/en_US/home.html... also, try these companies, too! http://www.densocorp-na.com/careers/applynow , http://www.stryker.com/ , http://www.postfoods.com/ .

I hope all works out for ya... and try not to deduce where I am located :D

Edited by Pwnd2Pwnr
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I hope all works out for ya... and try not to deduce where I am located :D

Oh, I had your IP a long time ago..lol.

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You're from Michigan, aren't you? Didn't the State Government overrule that collective bargaining that the voters shot down, or something? Either way, my 2 cents worth, coming from a former Michiganer, is to take the money, job, and experience. While you may not agree with paying the Union dues and such, the thing I see is that while you are at this job, you will be able to demonstrate your skills and abilities, make new fiends and acquaintances, develop your skills and yourself, network to hopefully get a better job, and hopefully learn some new things from someone who knows more than you. At the very least, if you do well at this job and make those connections, you may be able to get some good recommendations and such from people you worked with. Sometimes, it's not who you know, it's who knows you. Hope this helps.

Also, the job outlook in Michigan scares me, that's why I got out.

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