My personal experience with the Michigan unions | TigerDroppings.com

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carbola
Michigan Fan
Middle East
Member since Aug 2010
3819 posts

My personal experience with the Michigan unions


With all of the RTW stuff being posted in the past few days I wanted to share my personal story (and some of my friends) about dealing with the Michigan unions. I don't really care if this is a day late and a buck short I'm gonna post it any way.


My story:
So a little bit of my personal background and University of Michigan background. I graduated from Rose-Hulman in 2010 and decided to go to grad school at University of Michigan the following fall to get my MEng degree. Now Michigan is divided into about 5 campus: North Campus (Engineering and Architecture), Central Campus (Liberal Studies and the Arts), South Campus (Sports), Medical Campus and East Medical Campus. The biggest divide is terms of thought and procedure is between Engineering and Central Campus. You see on North Campus we mainly have Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRAs) who help out in the labs to do research. On Central Campus you mainly have Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs). The GSIs are unionized and the GSRAs are not.

In the Winter Semester of 2011, I was able to get a GSI position teaching an intro physics lab. As I started to sign all the paperwork I noticed that I had to pay at least 1.5% - 2% of my salary to a union (1.5% being the non-representative fee and the 2% being the representative fee). I also got free health insurance (thanks to the union) despite the fact that I had free health care by just going to Health Services on campus. At the time I didn't really care because the biggest thing was I got free tuition for teaching. GSRAs can get this once they pass their qualification exams usually.

Notice that I said at the time, because during my second semester teaching (this time in the Astronomy department) the GSIs decided they wanted more bargaining power. They said that the GSRAs should unionize. Why do you ask? Look at this poor girl who was fired from her research position because she wasn't doing her work (they didn't say the last part obviously). We can't have people being forced to pay their way through school because they don't want to work. What were the benefits? You couldn't negotiate your salary without a union rep there to moderate. You also couldn't be let go for being lazy. Blah blah blah.

Here is where I started getting pissed off. 1st off all of these liberal studies kids knew nothing of how the engineering side of things work and the at contracts can fall through. Teachers can't afford to pay whatever if they don't have grants. To top it off, the 1.5% of my salary was now going to pay union lackies to come by to the GSRA offices and try to talk them into voting themselves into a union. The vote came and the GSRAs were not unionized.

The GSIs were ticked about this, so they ended up taking the GSRAs to court saying they had to be part of their union. The GSRAs were able to get a pro bono lawyer and won the case due to the fact that in the 1950s (I think) the Michigan legislature said the GSRAs didn't have to. Lucky for the GSIs this bill was coming up for renewal.

I have never seen such a concentrated effort to screw people over. They were campaigning all over the place to call representatives and were going to bus people over to the state capital to protest this bill. They wanted these GSRAs, not to protect them but just so they had more bargaining power. The Michigan Legislature thankfully passed the bill and the GSRAs still aren't unionized. I was happy about this since I was forced to pay the fight I didn't agree with.


Other Stories:
This one is my personal favorite. When I first got to Michigan I needed my computer keyboard fixed. I called up Dell and they sent the tech over to fix it. We got to talking and he started bitching about this one union he had to deal with. He had just finished fixing their servers and was going to plug it back in:

Company Rep (CR): Wait you can't do that!
Computer Guy (CG): What? I'm just plugging it in.
CR: Yeah, but that's a union job.
CG: Whatever, go grab somebody.
CR: I can't.
CG: Why not?
CR: It's 11:45. It's 15 minutes before their lunch break so no one will work.
CG: How long is their lunch break?
CR: It's an hour long.
CG: So you want me to wait an hour and fifteen minutes to plug this in?
CR: Yes.
CG: I'm not doing that.

The company rep then stuck his head out into the hallway and looked around. Came back in

CR: Go ahead and plug it in.




This next one happened to two of my friends who shared an office with two other people. They all worked for the same professor doing some "water on Mars" research. They had a little bit of money left over in their budget and decided to redecorate the office. They started by getting some new furniture and then were going to paint and change the carpet.

The furniture came in just fine and they went to painting their office. Right about the time they finished, the building secretary came in in tears. You see, painting was a union job and they could have just screwed the entire department. So despite having already purchased carpet to install themselves, they now had to buy carpet through the union approved vendor and have the union install it all for roughly 3x-4x as much as they were going to spend doing it themselves. The carpet they ended up choosing was crappier and more expensive then the one they already had, but it was the cheapest offered by the preferred vendor. They then set up an appointment with the union to come and change it. This was in the spring of 2011. Last I heard (this past summer), the carpet is still sitting there waiting to be installed.




Anyway, I know this was long but I really wanted to post it. if you read it.


TLDR: Unions suck.







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brgfather129
Texas Tech Fan
Austin, TX
Member since Jul 2009
8307 posts

re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


quote:

if you read it.


Well, I did...this is my current expression:







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LSURussian
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2005
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re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


quote:

TLDR: Unions suck.

I read every word and couldn't agree with you more.

My personal experience with unions came when I was 16 years old. I was working in construction as a pipefitter helper during the summer between my sophomore and junior years in high school. I had to join the union temporarily to get the job.

My first week on the job the union steward called me aside and told me to stop working so hard. I was making the journeymen (who were making 6X my hourly rate) look bad.

And what was I doing which was considered "working too hard"? During a typical summer thunderstorm rain delay in the work when all the journeymen were sitting in the lunch shack smoking and lying to each other about their sexual conquests and how drunk they got last night, I was in the tool shack straightening out and organizing the tools and supplies so I could more efficiently find the items I was sent to get for the 'fitters. I was inside the shack out of the rain, but since it was raining, I was not supposed to be doing anything productive.

I knew then that unions were going to be in trouble one day.

If hard work is frowned upon, the end is near....

That summer was also the first time I ever got into a fist fight with an adult when I caught an iron worker stealing some items I was responsible for, but that's another story.






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CITWTT
LSU Fan
baton rouge
Member since Sep 2005
31765 posts

re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


Did the fitters send you for some in(s)ane shite like say a bucket of steam?





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LSURussian
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2005
81249 posts
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re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions




Almost but not quite.

We were using a lot of welding rods, of course, and I was constantly making trips to the "hot box" where the new rods were kept. One day the welder I was helping told me he needed a box of "used welding rods" to make a certain weld. Of course, when rods are used they are consumed by the process so there is no such thing as a "used rod."

I looked at him like he was crazy and he couldn't hold it in and started laughing. But I almost fell for it....






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theOG
Oklahoma Fan
Member since Feb 2010
4353 posts

re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


or a sky hook?

union construction workers are fricking ridiculous. it is preposterous to me that someone would get mad at me for picking up a broom and sweeping some shite up because that is some other union a-hole's job.






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lsuroadie
LSU Fan
South LA
Member since Oct 2007
5455 posts

re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


Unions are like VCR's.

They were really cool 25 yrs ago and helped US homes...


But we really don't need them anymore.






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LSULEFTY
LSU Fan
Youngsville, LA
Member since Dec 2007
9353 posts
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re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


I'm buying a Tundra.





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hawkster
Member since Aug 2010
5021 posts

re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


quote:

I'm buying a Tundra.








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Mohican
LSU Fan
On a lake in MS
Member since Nov 2012
2310 posts
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re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


Cool story. Being in the South we don't get a whole lot of perspective on the issue unless it's in construction unions. I have seen on a job site where the unions had the general contractor build about 200 picnic tables so that the workers had a place to eat lunch. These were some damn nice picnic tables too.

It's just so far ingrained in the culture up there. You can tell those people have no idea how detrimental the unions have been to their economies and their abilities to get jobs, they are just fighting for what their fathers and grandfathers taught them to fight for.






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tigeraddict
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2007
4739 posts

re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


quote:

I was working in construction as a pipefitter helper during the summer


Sounds like you were on the industrial side. I worked commercial side Plumber/pipefitter while going through college. Stories like you just told are the reason there are so few industrial union pipefitters working today out of that local as there was in the 60's/70's

Commercial side wasn't as bad, but some of the older guys told me some horror stories from the 60s/70s/and early 80s.

Back then if you light broke in your drop light you had to get an electrician to come change it out. One of the older guys didn't know that and when he was an apprentice he changed it. The electricians walked off the job for a few hours and he got his arse reamed

back then you had to have a teamster or operator for each piece of equipment onsite. You had to hire an operator to start your welding machines and another one to run the backhoe. usually you just paid the same guy 16 hrs for doing both in an 8 hr day.







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dr smartass phd
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Valerie Jarrett's School Picture
Member since Sep 2004
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re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


quote:

You can tell those people have no idea how detrimental the unions have been to their economies and their abilities to get jobs, they are just fighting for what their fathers and grandfathers taught them to fight for.


^^^^^ This, I'm constantly doing this when talking to them






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RCDfan1950
LSU Fan
United States
Member since Feb 2007
10929 posts

re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


Unions are little more than pack hunters, using violence to extort from investors instead of *bargain*.

Back in '90, I worked the Construction circuit for a few years...went to Maine for a 'big job', arrived, and the Company informed us that we were in effect, 'breaking a Union' hold on the project. Half of us rednecks didn't even realized what that meant...and didn't care as long as we pulled in that $1500 a week plus per deim.

First day on the job I was assigned to help a Union welder - nice family guy - who proceeded to BRAG that he had only done THREE WELDS in the whole month. Like he was proud, and glad that the job would "last longer". Didn't want to work over 8 hrs./day or on weekends. Nws that the Company was six months behind schedule and waayy over budget. The Union was choking them to death.

He saw the look of disgust on my face, when I told him I was proud of being a hard worker who gave my employer MORE than a fair day's work. Looked like he saw a ghost at first...and then began to get riled. Said that his family depended on that job lasting.

Needless to say, they (Unions thugs) burned some of the guys cars and caused some crap until the law finally stepped in and established order before somebody got killed. We had some really badass rednecks who came up with us. Called in a no-nonsense Project Manager from Tennessee who walked the job assesing for a week, and then FIRED THE SLACKERS, up the money for the good ones and we worked 7-12's for a year and built their co-gen boilers and lit em up. Very satisfying.

Bottom line. Unions are a form of manifest Marxist ideology. It's in their genes, and they'll get as violent as the society allows to promote their 'worker's rights' (to extort). That politico up there is right..."there will be blood"; the Unions will go full Commie in short order, madder than ever in the street.

I still wonder what that welder is doing today.







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LSURussian
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2005
81249 posts
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re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


quote:

Back then if you light broke in your drop light you had to get an electrician to come change it out. One of the older guys didn't know that and when he was an apprentice he changed it. The electricians walked off the job for a few hours and he got his arse reamed


Sounds familiar. One day a teamster parked his truck too close to the door of the tool shack I was constantly going into and out of. He left the keys in it so I just got in the truck and started it to back it up about two feet so I could fully open the shack's door. Before I could put the truck in reverse, you would have thought I was about to shoot someone. Every worker in the area started yelling at me and started running towards me. When I told them I was only moving the truck a couple of feet so I could get into the shack, they told me if I had moved the truck the teamsters would have walked out and the job would have been shut down.

I lost my cool a bit and told them their rules were frickin' stupid. But I waited for the teamster to come back from taking a dump in the port-o-let and move the truck.






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dr smartass phd
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re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


quote:

Bottom line. Unions are a form of manifest Marxist ideology


The NLRA, is a communist manifesto.






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accnodefense
Kennesaw St. Fan
Member since Dec 2010
2104 posts

re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


I worked a non union job at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas and pretty much every other job on the strip was unionized.

All the unions were told to hate us because we were non union, so they gave us a hard time every day. Even the damn bathroom attendents were unionized, making $15 an hour to be a damn bathroom attendent with full health and pension benefits. And people wonder why Las Vegas has the highest unemployment in the country?

Anyway, one day I accidentially parked in a union spot. I had no idea, its not like there was a sign that said "union parking only". So a union stooge boss went to my boss and chewed my boss out, so my boss pulled me over and explained to me what I did so I told the union stooge he can go stick it where the sun don't shine and go frick himself, since he had no power over me.

I didn't park in the union spots again for fear of my car getting damage, but the union tried to make my life hell after that, so I left the city shortly thereafter.






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Jbird
Iowa Fan
In Odramaville with EthanL
Member since Oct 2012
16563 posts

re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


I worked a warehouse job out of high school, I was stupid enough to join the union. One day a water line broke and nearly all of the product was getting housed down. I thought I was doing the right thing and grabbed a forklift and started moving pallets outside. Farking union steward went ape shite about how I hadn't bid nor had "job rights" for a forklift operator. So out on the dock everyone goes to smoke and ridicule the supervisor trying to move all the pallets worth thousands of dollars out on his own. I got my assed ripped after the fact, we are a right to work state, that day I told them to stick the union in their asses, needless to say lunch breaks for that summer were quiet cold times!





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Meauxjeaux
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I have 89,275 posts with my alters
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re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


quote:

usually you just paid the same guy 16 hrs for doing both in an 8 hr day.


That's what the whole scam is designed around. either do diddly poo for 8 hours or get paid double for a regular man's work.






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accnodefense
Kennesaw St. Fan
Member since Dec 2010
2104 posts

re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


All of your personal union stories are pissing me off. Not at you all, but at the unions.

You don't truly understand how pathetic unions are until you have to work with them or for them and experience their thuggery intimidation bull shite and stupid rules first hand.

I miss Las Vegas, citywise, but I could never live in a unionized hellhole like that again.






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accnodefense
Kennesaw St. Fan
Member since Dec 2010
2104 posts

re: My personal experience with the Michigan unions


quote:

I worked a warehouse job out of high school, I was stupid enough to join the union. One day a water line broke and nearly all of the product was getting housed down. I thought I was doing the right thing and grabbed a forklift and started moving pallets outside. Farking union steward went ape shite about how I hadn't bid nor had "job rights" for a forklift operator. So out on the dock everyone goes to smoke and ridicule the supervisor trying to move all the pallets worth thousands of dollars out on his own. I got my assed ripped after the fact, we are a right to work state, that day I told them to stick the union in their asses, needless to say lunch breaks for that summer were quiet cold times!


Reminds me of how at Planet Hollywood we borrrowed a bell cart to move some boxes, damn was that a bad idea, the bell hops at PH are all unionized so their union thug boss came screaming over to us from across the hall just because we touched a bellcart and had no right to because we weren't unionized bell men. We gave him the finger and kept going but finally our own boss came over to us and said not to do it again unless we want to start World War 3.






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