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union advice

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  • union advice

    I am a student of the Tulsa Welding School due to graduate in January. I am looking to get into a union by the time i start my career. Thing is I have been searching and dont know where to look. Maybe I could use a list of welders unions or something. Im in Oklahoma for now but really would not like to stay here. Any recomendation on where to look or go to talk to someone would be great. I want to work manufacturing or construction with minimal traveling. My first choice is TIG welding but am open to other processes. I have about 7 weeks till i graduate I hope i can get the advice and research done by then. Thanks in advance for any help you provide.

  • #2
    Look for a Pipe fitter/welder union in the area or an Ironworkers union. Those are usually the best choice for steady work with minimal travel. Also there is Boilermakers but they usually do a lot of travelling.

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    • #3
      Don't just try to go through the union hall for a job. Check with any place the does welding. You may be able to get a job and they will help you get into the union they use.

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      • #4
        ok that may help now i know to look for pipe fitters or ironworkers union. my searches for welders unions were not bringing up any just other people asking the same question i had. i dont plan to let the union get me a job im gonna try through the school but so far havent been able to get any straight answeres from them about any of their job opportunities being union. they may not even know. is that something that i should ask in an interview? and if they are not a union shop would it make them mad if i ask and want to be in one?

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        • #5
          I don't know the referral procedures for the boilermakers, fitters, or ironworkers but I have been an IBEW electrician for 23 years. Generally speaking, you get your jobs through the union hall. Unless the shop is going to sponsor you and get you into the apprenticeship program, if you hire out as a mechanic it will be through the hall.

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          • #6
            Unions are a great thing.

            I would call your local unions halls, pipe fitter and plumbers are part of the UA.org you can get local phone numbers from there. Most unions teach more then welding. Most people will tell you welding is only part of what your doing don't get me wrong there is a high a skill involved. But a person can only weld and not fit pipe or read plans has a big disadvantage over someone that can do all 3. But starting your apprenticeship knowing how to welding and building on that put you ahead of most. Remember one the thing welding in school and welding in the field are to different animals. There nothing like laying on your back in the snow in a trench welding a hot water main. Good times lol

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            • #7
              hi, try CHICAGO ILLINOIS Pipefitters LOCAL 597. They did have a welding hybred program from what i was told. Not sure on how it is set up but could be a start. I think if you enter the program you get a jump on the apprenticeship. I believe its credit toward the apprentice program .
              as far as travel, that could be a problem. If you want to work you may have to travel or move where the work is. Good luck, bob


              http://www.pf597.org/

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              • #8
                what type of work are you most interested in?

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                • #9
                  I just started as an apprentice with the sheet metal workers. There is quite a bit of welding. But like you i started looking for a welding union and found nothing. The plumbers and pipe fitters does alot of welding, but like said there is alot of other things to know. They do more than just welded pipe. Same with the iron workers. There is alot of welding but its not all welding. Boilermakers probably do the most welding but you travel alot. As for the traveling it depends on where you want to live. If you want to live in a rural area your going to travel with a union. If you live in a city or suburbs not so much.

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                  • #10
                    Why Union?

                    I graduated with an associate in applied science – welding technology in 2008. And I have been working in non union shops since then making decent money working as much as I want; I do mostly TIG on SS. I am very happy with my job, and wondering what would a union do for me or why I would even want to be a part of one? Maybe the OP should consider non union also? Granted I did find a very honest shop with high morals and ethics, and they treat us excellent and with respect. The reason for Union is to protect the workers. The workers pay a fee to be protected. If you don’t Need to be protected, then why pay the fee? If we had a union in our shop I would be paying them money and they wouldn’t have to do anything, because we are Happy!
                    Last edited by jessehornberger; 12-03-2011, 06:13 PM. Reason: add more...

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                    • #11
                      Times are a chagin'

                      Originally posted by jessehornberger View Post
                      I graduated with an associate in applied science – welding technology in 2008. And I have been working in non union shops since then making decent money working as much as I want; I do mostly TIG on SS. I am very happy with my job, and wondering what would a union do for me or why I would even want to be a part of one? Maybe the OP should consider non union also? Granted I did find a very honest shop with high morals and ethics, and they treat us excellent and with respect. The reason for Union is to protect the workers. The workers pay a fee to be protected. If you don’t Need to be protected, then why pay the fee? If we had a union in our shop I would be paying them money and they wouldn’t have to do anything, because we are Happy!
                      I have worked in a company that had former union workers working for them. Other companies in the same trade (aluminum die casting) that were union were either loosing business to NON UNION businesses or closing up becuase the union choked life out of the company. Like Jesse said, if you are union, you pay the union dues from your hard earned money. You are then held hostage by the union if someone gets bent out of shape and says "Lets Strike!"

                      Non Union Shops in Right to Work states pay competive wages or higher. If you ever decided to become a business owner yourself someday, then you become a target by said unions. Why limit your oportunities by being tied down by a union.

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                      • #12
                        I know Texas is and Ok may be "Right to Work" states so if you stay in the area you may not need your Union. As stated above - why if nothing gained.

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                        • #13
                          I know both union and non-union shops and workers. A LOT of the union guys say that the union takes a chunk of their wages as "dues" and then the folks that take the dues usually do NOTHING about anything except live high on the hog and often take and support political positions that ARE COMPLETELTY CONTRARY to the rank and file workers' feeling on the subject. The rank and file folks are ignored and have NO IINPUT into what THEIR union does or says. WTF???

                          I will say that unions did (and may still, in some situations) have a value to the workers when it came to dealing with unfair treatment by the company management or owners for whom they worked. On the other hand, I could never see anyone going out and killing some other worker bee (and this has happened and may stil be happening) just because that person needed to feed his family..... Maybe the killing and other threatening activities were carried out by union management hired goons, but that makes it even MORE wrong in my mind. I just can not justify going out and hurting or killing MY BROTHERS.

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                          • #14
                            I am in a different position but if I had to toss it all and start over, had to pick up my lunch box tomorrow skating in to a couple union halls would be near the top of my list and maybe even more so if I had some real education. If I didn't already have a solid plan and was still looking this would be a consideration especially if a guy wants to work in the construction industry, shop type jobs,,,, maybe not so much.
                            There is something to be said for knowing your way around a union hall.

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                            • #15
                              Pro union

                              Have been in Local 100 Dallas, TX for 40 yrs. Made me a good living all those years, always good stuff to weld from HVAC to cleanrooms

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