A case for Operators to be in Union
biloximike 04-27-2017
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First I will be surprised if this manages to stay up on the concrete pumping website after the owners complain.  Every operator, mechanic, yard person, and dispatcher needs to read and understand our industry and why they should join a Union.  I spent most of my adult life in the concrete pumping industry.  Now in my mid 60s I have nothing to show for that time except bad health, unhealthy family relationships and broken promises.  I have been part of a union that stole the pension fund so I do not like them.  However, they are no worse than lying owners who promise you a part of the profit or ownership if you are loyal to them.  They all lie.  Some with good intentions but when it comes down to the bottom dollar they lie.

Operators by their very nature do not like taking orders.  They like being on a pump because they work alone and have the satisfaction of doing a great job every day and knowing they were responsible for it.  That is the main reason that unions have not been able to get operators to join their ranks.  The unions do not understand the mental outlook of operators.  Unions want to rule, dictate, and have thug control over the company and operators. 

For the sake of yourself and family you should talk to your fellow operators about joining a union with a contract that protects each of you and the company.  The two main reasons you need to join is PENSION and HEALTH care.  The company does not care if and when you ever retire or if you have any health care benefits when you do.  A 401K plan that you put YOUR money into is not enough. You can do that without the company.  You never really know if they will contribute when they should, and if they do any matching funds that will and can change. 

What Union should you join?  That depends on your location and a lot of homework considering the health of that unions pension fund and health care plans.  The traditional union of choice is the International Union of Operating Engineers, but they are stuck in an Archaic Thug mentality that makes them difficult to work with.  A union that can sit down with operators and management to discuss the unique aspects of the concrete pumping industry will be hard to find.  One size does not fit all.  Clearly a very experienced operator running a 63 meter pump deserves more hourly pay then a 1st year operator on a 28 Meter or grout pump.  Many overtime rules that work well with traditional union work schedules do not mesh with the pumping industry.  Weather and the pump industries diverse construction industry of union and nonunion contractors, commercial and residential contractors, as well as heavy highway and industrial projects has operators subject to working any hour of the day or night and weekends and holidays. 

Any contract should address the needs and issues of the company like not having to pay for apprenticeship programs that do not train concrete pump operators or the myriad of other programs designed to fill the coffers of union bosses and political donations. 

The bottom line is the owners of concrete pumping companies have a huge financial investment and risk.  You, the operator, are just a tool to make them money.  You deserve the right to belong to a Union that Protects you and the Employer and offers you a retirement pension and healthcare.  You will pay a price for the mental and physical toll on your body so do not delay.  Take steps now to protect your future. 

orygun 05-02-2017
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´╗┐been doing concrete for 30 years with out much to show for it but when i meet guys that are retired from the union telling me that they are pulling down $3,000- a month maybe someone will get the clue as to who not to work for.

mcratchet 05-03-2017
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Sounds like some good solid advice i have been doing it for 15 years, and your right nothing to show for it except back pain and a paycheck on friday