Carpenters Union

 
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:30 AM   #41
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Re: Carpenters Union


exactly griz, when i was finishing up my apprenticeship i was starting to get apprentices under me where i was working.

i would hear two different things from these youngsters. the guys who clearly stated they wanted to go into residential was because "i want to learn to build and do it well" the kids who wanted to go union would say " i want to make money: a few of these guys were terrible couldnt even read a tape, when id have to send a peice back to em to get recut correctly off by up to 6" they would say their measurement was right and mine was wrong..... lazy brats with attitude..

learn to build before you learn to make money

im saying its this way everywhere, but it is here in my neck of the woods
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:10 AM   #42
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Re: Carpenters Union


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Originally Posted by ApgarNJ View Post
my neighbor the iron worker works on bridges and other big stadiums etc as they get built. he gets 70-80 bucks an hour as a union employee
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:24 AM   #43
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Re: Carpenters Union


It seems evenly divided in here...both have supporting arguments for their cases. I'm not a carpenter (always enjoyed it, but I'm a sparky) I have worked non-union and currently union. I simply did it to have a change of atmosphere and experience the difference for myself.
I never got into the trade for money, I wanted to learn as much as I could, and still do. When I started out non-union I had a couple great foreman and a few hacks. I made peanuts and could barely pay my bills (no Internet, no cable, groceries were basically pasta etc, in other words no perks). As I gained more experience I still never saw a raise making things difficult. I eventually moved on to another non-union when I moved to Toronto and the same thing. Only then, all the journeyman were complete hacks and the laziest apprentices I had ever seen. They didn't want to teach a single thing or pay a decent wage. So then I discovered the union offered courses and joined for that reason. Overnight my pay went up three times, but more importantly I had a myriad of courses at my disposal. Our union has a separate company that assigns a councillor to each apprentice which monitors their grades at school and ensures they complete the required courses from the hall. If not, you're out of the union no question. I've seen guys miss one Saturday class and they kicked out because it was more important to get hammered the night before. Neither side is perfect, but if union and non union alike both set the standard high I think the quality of apprentices would start to come back. For instance, you can't get in the IBEW here if you haven't finished highschool with math /physics/english. That's the minimum. I have said in the past that trades are often looked as lower class, but that's only because of a few clowns. All trades should start setting the bar high and continue to push for more education, in return this helps to justify the increased wages.
As a side note to my novel here, I have never been laid-off - in fact I've had more work union than non, but it's only my experience.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:25 PM   #44
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Re: Carpenters Union


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Originally Posted by joasis View Post
Tell you a little union story:

I was out of work in 1994....and although I hold an Airframe and Powerplant License, I was unable to be hired to work at the local air base....because they were union. You had to apply, get a job mowing or mopping, flipping burgers or whatever, and then as you gained "seniority", you could "bid" up to better paying jobs....like doing aircraft maintenance. Fully qualified people were not considered because of the union's rules...and the local base nearly closed because of the quality reviews of aircraft maintenance. However....the union did have something going I guess....take a kid off the street...let him work in the bowling alley or push a lawnmower for a year or so for $6 an hour (at that time) and before you could guess, he could be turning wrenches on a 10 million dollar trainer jet, like a T 38.

Now granted....the thinking was that in the military, anyone could be trained to do anything and do it well, but in real life, in the civilian workforce, it just doesn't work that way.

Now...after a few crashes and things getting out of hand, the union allowed Northrop Grumman to "go to the street": and hire qualified mechanics. I was hired in and until I left to teach aviation technology, the union took 2 hours of my pay every 2 weeks to "protect" me and negotiate for me. $64 a month. And the fact is this: After Northrop lost the contract and other contractors took over, Oklahoma became a RTW state...wages went up. No more lawn boys got to the flight line, and quality reviews got better.
Unions had their time and place in America....many Americans owe their livelihoods to unions....but this is a different time. All one has to do is take a serious look at the true costs of the modern unions in America. Take a look at the thriving steel industry and auto makers.....the legacy costs of the negotiated benefits that the union wants others to pay for now.....well, we are the "others" who are now expected to pay the costs, and I have my own family to pay for.
I always enjoy a good debate and I understand your experience. I know I have said on this site before that unions are not all roses and are not with out fault. Like any large organization with alot of money involved, you will have corruption and boneheads. Look at Wall St. or any government around the world. I have said before that unions are a necessary evil. Your experience was not a good one. And often times organizations are not run well. But to say unions are bad because of poorly ran ones is not IMO a correct statement. Most fast food joints are independently owned. If you have bad service at one McDonald's or even 10, does not mean all 10 thousand in the country are that way.

Addressing your last paragraph. You are right this is a different time. We are in a time when the gap between the rich and the poor is growing. The middle class is disappearing. This is the reason why unions need to be increasing their number of members. Unions gave birth to a large, strong middleclass. When there was a larger percentage of unionized workers in the US the gap between the rich and the poor was much smaller. The growing gap there is in direct relation to the decline of unions. I have a question for you about legacy costs. If a person does not have health insurance after they retire or no pension/retirement plan to live off of, what happens then? Taxpayer assistance? FWIW I have a pension but my health insurance stops after retirement.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:41 PM   #45
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Re: Carpenters Union


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Originally Posted by ApgarNJ View Post
pocket the other 20?? it's called TAXES, SS and other things that cost the company money for having an employee. you think if I pay my guy 20 bucks an hour and charge 40-45 to the customer that I'm pocketing 25 free and clear? I also offer healthcare. I pay 50% of the healthcare for any employee that works for me. I am a small contractor, so I only employee 1-2 guys plus myself at any given time. I don't go after union or commercial work.

I think the majority of the active members of this site are OWNERS not employees. If the union is that great then I'm happy for you. I just know I'd rather stick to what I'm doing now. If the union said, we'll pay you 80 bucks an hour and give you all the benefits and healthcare until you die, and a pension, and give you work most of the year, that would be good. But I don't hear that from most guys. Last union carpenter (employee) I talked to was making 27/hr and got benefits. He used to work for himself and got tired of chasing jobs and decided to go union. His best years salary was the same salary I had when I first started. I'm not sure he's making that much more than if he was working for a private company as a lead carpenter/foreman etc I bet he could make more than 27.

my neighbor the iron worker works on bridges and other big stadiums etc as they get built. he gets 70-80 bucks an hour as a union employee. that's pretty good. he usually has work now that stimulus money is being spent on bridges etc.

also has a long drive to NYC or that area every single morning.

I think you proved the point here. If you pay 20/hr and offer 50% paid healthcare, that is not affordable healthcare for your employee. Do you pay 50% for just the employee or does that include his family? Good health insurance will run in the neighborhood of $1500 a month for a family of 4, but let's say it is decent insurance at $1000. Take home on 20/hr will be around $640/week. If you are paying the 50% for the entire family he will be left with $140 out of his first paycheck of the month to cover that months benefits. So the cost is very close to 1/4 of is total yearly take home pay.

This is not a personal stab at you. I know that this is a cut throat business and everyone needs to land jobs. I was just using your figures to prove a point.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:43 PM   #46
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Re: Carpenters Union


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Unions. Allot like the Mafia. They take a percentage of your pay check and in return promise to "protect you" against the evil "Management". Sorry. I was forced to belong to one since it was a "Union Shop" and they did absolutely nothing for me except take 1% of my paycheck every pay period and get me discount tickets to Disneyland or Universal Studio's.

If you think unions have done nothing for you, you need to pull your head out of the sand.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:28 PM   #47
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Re: Carpenters Union


I have seen alot of former union guys from up north who have moved down here....none of them have been worth a crap, no skills and a complete refusal to do any more than the minimum amount of required work. They also all say "i wouldnt even get out of bed for this amount of money in Jersey"......well, go back to jersey with you lazy union attitude and hack work.

Union workers feel they are entitled to higher wages, for less work, without competition or fear of firing. It relies on intimidation, backdoor political deals with the democrat party, and have little consideration to the health of the companies they work for, only the benefits and rediculous pay they demand. I have no sympathy for unions because of the damage they are doing to the future of this country.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:40 PM   #48
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Re: Carpenters Union


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Originally Posted by detroit687 View Post
Exactly what I'm talking about
a union carpenter gets 46 per hour! They get 29 on there check the rest goes to there retirement health care anuity. I pay out 46 per man hour I then pay all my bills unemployment , taxes, comp , utilities. So to profit I have to charge at least 200 per man hour to profit but that's easy because I install commercial doors and hardware.
200/hr per man, for just a carpenter? no wonder why union companies are so high priced and why it costs the gov so much to do jobs that could be a lot less.

If I charged 200/hr for a carpenter working for me, I wouldn't have residential work very long. not sure what type of work you are doing for that much/hr.

46/hr is not what ever union carpenter is getting, might be what you are paying but not across the board for all of them.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:43 PM   #49
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Re: Carpenters Union


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Originally Posted by ApgarNJ View Post
200/hr per man, for just a carpenter? no wonder why union companies are so high priced and why it costs the gov so much to do jobs that could be a lot less.

If I charged 200/hr for a carpenter working for me, I wouldn't have residential work very long. not sure what type of work you are doing for that much/hr.

46/hr is not what ever union carpenter is getting, might be what you are paying but not across the board for all of them.
The cost to the company, all taxes, benefits and wages, around Chicago is $80.00/hr
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:03 PM   #50
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Re: Carpenters Union


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rediculous pay they demand.
Do you know what a union carpinter gets paid! I think not! I don't think you would work for less.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:28 AM   #51
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Re: Carpenters Union


Debunking the poor are getting poorer.

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Old 03-02-2011, 08:01 AM   #52
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Re: Carpenters Union


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Originally Posted by NJ Brickie View Post
I always enjoy a good debate and I understand your experience. I know I have said on this site before that unions are not all roses and are not with out fault.
The only, and I mean only example of a positive union deal I have personally witnessed is what the sheet metal workers (hvac) advertised in the paper for apprentices to spend a few years in training, and the wage during training would allow a guy to survive, as opposed to going to a technical school.


I haven't seen any of those adds since Oklahoma became a RTW state......now, all that aside, we have great technical training skills system (vocational education)...... teaching everything from construction trades to diesel mechanics. Trained, qualified, ready to go to work. In 2 years, you can acquire the skills to become an aircraft mechanic.....with a license. And to this day, unions in this state oppose hiring qualified people, because they feel "threatened"? I understand the union wants to bring people up the traditional way....that is, traditional for them, but not practical for a family feeding his kids. Kind of like a military mentality.


In high school, while I was doing construction after school, weekends, and framing in the summers, I went to vo-tech to learn to be a machinist....and in my senior year, they had a program to send you half days to the George E Failing Company.....a closed shop, and get in the door...a place to go to work upon graduation, if they liked you and you liked the union. In April, before I graduated, they went on strike. Not for better wages.....not for more and more benefits.....but over restrooms.....the female employees had demands over the restrooms....number of stalls, the fact that it was not convenient like the men's room was to the break area (the shops had been all male until women got in the door in the early seventies) and heaven forbid.......since the women took over one of the washrooms, and there were urinals on one wall. The strike lasted 4 weeks.....for "better conditions"....like building them...all 6 of them, a new restroom opposite the large men's wash room close to the break area. I showed up for my job and told no can do...we are on strike. never went back. The scale for an apprentice machinist at that plant was maybe $8 an hour then.....starting pay at an oil field machine shop repairing pumps at that time was $10 to $12....no "apprentice" or "journeyman" about it...and no union. Small shop....pay based on ability, and better benefits then the union offered.


BTW, a few years later, the union pulled another strike, the Failing Family said enough, and the company was split and sold. No one missed the union, and they never had any support....because in this area...which at the time was strongly Democrat, just did not support the extortionist practices of unions.


As I have said, unions had their time and place, and solved a lot of workplace issues.......but when in fact they promoted the safety today, and some other positives, they did not create the middle class in America.....that is a myth. Free enterprise and capitalism, plus social mobility is why we have the nation we have today.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:52 AM   #53
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Re: Carpenters Union


You also forgot income mobility. Joasis.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:08 PM   #54
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Re: Carpenters Union


If you look at history and how unsafe job condition were and poor wages, we owe allot to the unions. That $200 an hour is nothing buddy, I have a commercial building a receptionist. And there's a big pay difference in residential than commercial. My office supplys cost more than some people make. And I am a small company. Look at company like skanska just there liability insurance is more than a whole bunch of companys put together make. Residential overhead us lower pay scale for union wages is lower. I do some residential finish work on the side but I still don't charge peanuts. Union scale is not what every union carpenter makes eaither it's just the minnimum wage.
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:38 PM   #55
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Re: Carpenters Union


Though there are many questions about the need for labour unions, I don't see them going away any time soon.

Fact of the matter is there are model employees and slackers in both open and closed shops.

Thing that bothers me is when you call the hall for a carpenter and all they can do is scaffold.

When we're looking for a forming carpenter, it gets a little frustrating. These guys are getting a journeyman rate and their productivity is at an apprentice level.

Something needs to be done in this regard.

Just cause you own a hammer and skill saw don't make you a carpenter....
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:04 PM   #56
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Re: Carpenters Union


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Originally Posted by NJ Brickie View Post
If you think unions have done nothing for you, you need to pull your head out of the sand.
Please enlighten me. What has my union done for me personally that I am not aware of?
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:22 PM   #57
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Re: Carpenters Union


Never call the hall rats. The good guys never work for more than 2-3 companys there entire career. But the guys that hang out at the hall work for about a hundred. Usually they work for two days a week and there happy with that. They don't care about getting on steady. And it's usually for generals that want to do a little self perform to put up gaurd rails or some other remedial task they make union carpenters look bad.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:58 PM   #58
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Re: Carpenters Union


The unions in northwest indiana suck , i have a couple buddies that have been in the carpenters union since the late 1990s do you think they are working the answer is no . I have tried to get in myself thinking that it would be a good thing . So i had to go to the local WORKONE OFFICE and take a series of test nothing to do with what i was going to do . After the test the office didnt bother to send in my results i said why not ? They said i scored 1 point to low on 2 of the test , in which they did not count . I think the whole procces of trying to get in is total crap , iam more then qualified and i have learned alot more by not being in one . If your happy and your in one then more power to you
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:30 PM   #59
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Re: Carpenters Union


I think all carpenters should be licensed by a exam, back ground check, credit check. Journeymans card you should have to take a exam graduate from a trade school or show documented hours of at least 4 years of full time work. And I wish we had a master program like the electricians.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:52 PM   #60
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Re: Carpenters Union


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I think all carpenters should be licensed by a exam, back ground check, credit check. Journeymans card you should have to take a exam graduate from a trade school or show documented hours of at least 4 years of full time work. And I wish we had a master program like the electricians.

Talk around here is that to get a scheduled raise in the next round of contracts is continual trade education.


Last edited by JustaFramer; 03-02-2011 at 06:34 PM.
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