The Union and I

According according to Facebook the union that I’m in has turned one hundred and twenty one years old today. That’s a pretty long time. Of course, I haven’t been in that long. I’ve only been in it for 9 years, maybe 10, really kind of depends on how you count it.

Being in this union has actually been pretty great for me. The benefits are good. The wages are good. The work is good. And the union dues are minimal. I don’t have anything to complain about on any of those fronts. Communication. Information. Representation. Now those are things that need some work.

How much of that I can attribute to the union, versus how much I can contribute to the company I work for, that’s a calculaton and a distinction I don’t much bother with. It was a good job before we went union. And it’s become a great job since going union. I’m basing that on higher wages and cheaper benefits.

I have been in a few unions throughout my life, but this is the first one that seems to actually benefit me. Previously, the union seniority was a source of problems amongst the members. The benefts and wages didn’t seem particularly better than non-union jobs. And I always felt like the union dues were exorbitant. But these were mostly unions of unskilled workers; beverage distribution,  warehouse workers, grocery.

So either this is a better union, or I actually now have a skill set that has some value. I’m inclined to think it’s the latter. Either way, I’m in a good spot and things are good.  Lets hope it stays that way.

We’re having a meeting/conference call  Monday evening with our union representative to discuss the negotiations for the next contract. These things usually are a klusterfuk;  they last far too long, too many preposterous things are said and asked for, guys get dumb, and most of it is just ridiculous. So I have that to look forward to. Hopefully we can at least get to the point where we vote. I’m usually in the minority, because I think I’m reasonable, and we rarely get the things that are asked for that I didn’t agree with.

So happy birthday to the operators union that I don’t understand why I’m part of. I am not a stationary engineer. I am not an equipment operator. None of the stuff in our quarterly magazine seems to apply to me.

It just seems like there should be a different union, maybe HVAC or Plumbing, that I should be part of. But I didn’t set this thing up and I really don’t have anything to complain about. Things look pretty good from here.