My Factory, Union, High School Job 1951

Discussion in 'Jobs I Have Had' started by Lon Tanner, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Lon Tanner

    Lon Tanner Veteran Member
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    I lied about my age to get this job and was asked to join the union the night I started. I worked inserting sheets of cardboard into a machine that applied wax for the making of milk cartons. The machine next to me banded the sheets together and was operated by an older guy named Kevin. Years later 1959 after I had been to Korea and finished college I met Kevin in a department store and he told me he was still working at the box and container factory. That blew me away because I didn't think anyone would do that kind of work for other than a short time. When I got back from Korea I received a modest check for a retroactive pay raise that the union had negotiated. That was my only experience with a union and later in my career I was not a fan or supporter of unions.
     
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  2. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    I am a supporter of unions and I believe the demise of unions signaled the death of the middle class in the USA.
     
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  3. Lon Tanner

    Lon Tanner Veteran Member
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    What demise of unions? There are any.
     
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Beth Gallagher

    Wrong! There is a whole 'nuther side to unions........For example, our contract at Dana Corp, signed by Management, was so accepted without adequate fore-thought. Allowed untrained, inexperienced employees to "bid into" the highest paying category: Electrician. I was horrified! That no one was killed.

    My Dad, a Tool & Die Maker, was proud to admit he had always achieved higher than union scale because of his ABILITIES. Never joined a union throughout his entire working lifetime.

    Frank
     
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  5. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Unions are smaller and much weaker than in the past.
     
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  6. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Very Well-Known Member
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    I was union my entire working life. I know both sides. Frank, you are throwing out nothing more than the stock anti union propaganda. Unions are what brought what little employment protections that we have. Is there any doubt in anyones mind that without unions the capitalists would be running sweatshops on every corner.
    My great grandfather worked for the Lehigh & Lackawanna. There was an accident in the shop, he lost an eye. He was also lost his job at the same instant. Do you really think that those antics would not be continuing if not for unions
    I worked at a vacuum tube plant. We were Steelworkers,"I have no idea why,when we worked with glass", they were sticklers about holding managements feet to the fire. Sylvania management figured that they should be able to do whatever was convenient at the time,seemingly unaware that the contract was binding on both parties. Union worked its ass of to keep thing honest. On the other hand they also seemed to love the guy that would go get hammered at lunch return late or not at all. Used to piss me off having to double up my work load while the union was backing up a drunk
     
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  7. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    I worked in the oil/gas industry my entire career. Big unions negotiated worker benefits and rights that benefited all workers whether represented or not. I enjoyed the negotiated holidays and wage bumps, along with a nice retirement package, and I was not in a represented position.

    Unions are not perfect but without them, the workplace would be vastly different as far as hours, wages, safety, etc. One thing that unions didn't get right was the basis of seniority. Just because someone has done a job the longest does not mean he's the best qualified.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Unions have their place and as long as they stay in place, they are a good thing. I didn't vote for the union when they voted to unionize while I was working for Champion Paper, largely because my only other experience in a union job was very bad, but I think the union did more good than harm. The international union people never pressured us to fight for things that we didn't feel we needed, and our Local never even passed on the Democrat propaganda that came from the international offices from time to time. Both the president and vice president (me) of our UPIU Local were Republicans.

    Rather than repeat myself, here is my description of my only other experience with a union. Rather than acting as an advocate for employees, the union acted as an adversary.

     
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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
  9. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Peter Renfro
    My Dad waged argument with my uncle every time they met, concerning union vs non-union. My Uncle Frank was in Printers and Engravers. After all those years of paying in, upon retirement he received most unexpected news regarding his pension. Still hated my Dad, though.

    The most unique situation I encountered was the Union/Management situation at Dana Corp. when I returned after 6 years absence as Facilities Engineer (a manufacturing plant), previously under Teamsters, then Aerospace. 350 union employees wholly committed to despising both their union and their company management. Upon going out on strike, their prime gripe was the Plant Manager: their carried placards read "Joe's gotta go".

    Frank
     
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