1. enriquehobart

    enriquehobart Plumber

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    MD
    Was laid off December 5th. Am a union plumbing apprentice.

    If I wait for the union to get something for me my bills will not get paid and my credit cards bills will grow.

    If I go non union I know they will not pay what I'm accustomed to...it will be a lot like starting over again and I am tired of doing that. As a matter of fact if a pay reduction is what is in store; I do not see many good reasons to stay in this trade.

    What are your thoughts?
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I hear there is work at GM? Sorry, don't mean to belittle your misfortune.

    It is a cold cruel world out there. Plumbers will always be needed. It is a question of what people are able or willing to pay. Just like it is a question of what people are willing and able to pay for a car. Right now, when Toyota has $500 labor in a car and GM has $2500, then it is no secret which car most of us will choose.

    I wish I could predict what will happen in the economy when Osama takes over. Right now, the government is throwing money around, and it seems that NONE of it is landing anywhere in the backyard of "Joe the Plumber". It remains to be seen whether the annointed one can pull us out of this, or if we will sink deeper into ......ssion ( you fill in the first 4 letters!).
  3. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    Due to the state of affairs in this country I expect you'll have to take whatever work you can find to keep body & soul together just like thousands of other people . I have a feeling it might be a long while before things are good again . This certainly didn't happen overnight & it won't be over quickly . Years of mismanagement & sticking another toothpick under this house of cards has finally brought us to the straw that broke the camels back . Good luck with whatever you decide to do .
  4. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Try also Craig's List for jobs. Try to look at this as a chance to regroup, keep your chin up and not worry, good luck to you.
  5. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    For at least the next year this is not the time to be moving jobs.

    So get whatever you can and hunker down. Revisit the situation in a year or two when things will start to pick up.

    2009 is going to be a tough one for us all.
  6. enriquehobart

    enriquehobart Plumber

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    MD
    Looking more and more like I will have to go (open shop) and forget about the union for a while or permanently.

    More than one job.

    Possible drastic changes to lifestyle.

    Might wait till AWS certified. The union has been teaching self to weld.

    Depression = Greed unchecked and very poor leadership.
  7. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Your best bet is to get a list of union shops within a area your willing to travel and send them all a resume. This way if they like what they see instead of taking the next guy on the union's list they can ask for you by name. Trick is to market yourself to all the shops. Lots of union plumbers are being laid off around here due to the fact they are mostly new construction plumbers which happens to them every year during winter months. One thing you need to realize a trade like ours is a feast and famine trade meaning while the going is good, you best save up as much as you can so you can survive during the bad times. Now if you do service work IE power rodding and plumbing repairs, like I said get that resume out to all the shops in your area. Good luck buddy I do hope you find a suitable job soon.
  8. Don't feel bad buddy;



    I'm a bench warmer all the way back to 1998. If I call the union hall right now, give my full name, I'm "#1 on the list, next in line to go."


    Do you know why?



    Because I'll own a piece of that union if it's any different, which will be a discrimination suit I can pursue.


    You're a name and a number in that dogpile; do yourself and your well being a favor and follow the righteous path and make it on your own. You'll be glad you enriched yourself instead of a money racketeering scheme.
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut

    You may actually surprise yourself and discover there are non-union jobs out there that your pay is based on performance and not just showing up.

    If you are good at what you do and know how to work fast, accurately, and efficiently you can find yourself putting more money in your pocket without having the portion of the profits going to show up guys and the parasitic overhead of the union.

    I have no use for unions!
    I consider them to be an anchor around the neck of a hard worker that is looking to make more than just a paycheck and bennies.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,529
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    job

    Get a non-union job, and you can forget about EVER getting back into the union if they hear about it. In fact if they find out about it you will receive a notice that you have been dealt a hefty fine and your name was sent to the UA headquarters in Washington. IF you can successfully beat the fine, and it is difficult, your local could bring the big guns to bear on you. In my case, they had to hire the best lawyers in the state.
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    But HJ truth be told...
    Do you miss the union?
    Did you ever want to go back?
  12. theplumber

    theplumber Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    CA
    While plumbing can't be outsourced to India, people are now putting off fixing things until they have no choice. There's no way around it, best to re-educate or study for your own plumbing license until things turn around.
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,529
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    union

    I NEVER needed them in the first place, but they were a necessary evil. When I was ready to go into business, they were the ones who tried to block me. I think we are both agreed that our paths won't cross again.
  14. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Here in Illinois if you can get into the Local 501, the pay is very good, benefits are even better. I am a non-union shop, mainly I can not afford the union dues at this time, and we are a small family owned and operated shop. But my best friend got in to the Union and is very happy even though he did get laid of a few months ago, He is on unemployment, and has moved from # 60 on the list and is # 3 now. In time they will have him placed, but he also sent out resumes to all the shops in his area, and goes to the unions social events and networks there.
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,529
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    union

    Here, if you sent out resumes to a union shop, they would have you before the E-board, IMMEDIATELY, for trying to hussle a job outside the hiring hall. In Chicago, you could get the job and then notify the union. When I did that here, I was PROMPLY told by that E-board that they did things differntly here and if I did not like it to go back to Chicago. THEY would place me and if I made any waves they WOULD send me back. One of their members asked them why they had this thing about Chicago plumbers and he was told, "Because they think they are the best plumbers in the country." He replied, "But they are."
  16. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    You should focus on what makes you happy and gives you satisfaction ... don't focus on the money (that will follow). Staying in the union because it pays better is silly ... instead seek the plumbing contractor with the finest reputation in the area so that you can become the best to your ability. Unlike many manufacturing jobs, a plumber will not become obsolute and have his job exported to some third world country. Don't take your eyes off the goal and that is to hold a plumbing license ... get a part-time job at Starbucks if that's what is takes.

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