Unions In The Trucking Industry!!

Topic 5785 | Page 3

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Justin N.'s Comment
member avatar

Unions Bad.

I hate their rules and regulations they create for a job. They are as bad as our federal government.

Union members do not think for themselves, "whatever the union decides on I will do".

Worked over a year in a union environment, just was not a member myself. Thank God I live in Texas.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

When I first started running doubles for ABF I had my reservations. I had heard the stories. Heck I don't want to take work from anyone even if I don't agree with their politics.

The loads we carry are 37k to 39k for a set of double. Single screw tractors can't handle the weight and still be legal. Whether ABF does this by design or its by chance I have no way of knowing.

Sure I understand where you say about passing other terminals and then perhaps that might take a load from someone else but as I said the weight we haul would not allow anyone but a dual screw or OTR tractor to take the load even if we were to stop and drop off the load on a shorter run. If I was healing the lighter loads then I would agree that I might be in the way and perhaps taking a load from a union driver.

While I will fully admit I do not know what takes place behind the scenes at ABF I can only say what I have been told by the friendlier drivers and yard personal. What I said and the voting and contracts came directly from more than a few unit people that I have talked to on the yards.

Whether it's ABF or whomever it maybe all I know is I am there to do a job and only that job. Whatever politics that are going on behind the scenes with ABF, the unions and my company has nothing to do with my job.

The only issues I have had is in the northeast area. The closer to Union territory, new York and new Jersey, the worst the attitudes. Albuquerque, Dallas, Sauk Village il(Chicago) and the like they are the friendliest group of people. But the NE yards it's a constant battle everytime.

Lately I have mellowed my reaction to them. Now when they say stuff I simply tell them to call their Rep. And file a grievous with their rep. I don't want to hear about it. Funny thing is even though that is the correct and appropriate response to a bad attitude that seems to make some really mad... Go figure.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Woody's Comment
member avatar

Lately I have mellowed my reaction to them. Now when they say stuff I simply tell them to call their Rep. And file a grievous with their rep. I don't want to hear about it. Funny thing is even though that is the correct and appropriate response to a bad attitude that seems to make some really mad... Go figure.

Now that seriously made me laugh, speak the truth to them and they REALLY get upset confused.gif

Its funny how different regions give different attitudes, not just in unions but in life. I've only been in the rail yards in Chicago once but I swear everyone I had to speak to had nails and razor blades for breakfast.

Karl A.'s Comment
member avatar

Unions Bad.

I hate their rules and regulations they create for a job. They are as bad as our federal government.

Union members do not think for themselves, "whatever the union decides on I will do".

Worked over a year in a union environment, just was not a member myself. Thank God I live in Texas.

What made you feel that unions are bad? I can think of a ton of people whom are not union members and have an inability to think for themselves hahaha... Sooo yeah not defending unions just pointing that out.. What were the issues you had being around a union environment for a year?

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I try not to be union biased on these boards. But i also know that I'm 45 and have the best job of my life because of a union. Our middle class is taking it up the keister and people need to stand together even if they are not in a union. We are in an industry that is vital to our country, extremely dangerous, and workers give up time with family and friends to do this job. Yet the pay is way to low for most considering what they do and what it costs to live on the road. I wish i had a simple answer but there isn't one.

That sums it up pretty well. When I started driving in '93 I made about $40k my first full year. Nowadays you won't even make that your first year most of the time. If you adjust for inflation you would have to make $64k today in order to have the same spending power that $40k had back in '93. So truck drivers, when adjusted for inflation, make 50% less today than they did 20 years ago. Sure would have been nice to have someone standing up for the drivers to make sure that didn't happen, eh?

I think one of things people don't understand about "big money people" is how ruthless and savage many of them are. When you start doing business at higher levels you'll come across more and more people that are absolutely incapable of showing mercy or consideration. They care about money and money only. Did you guys read the book about Steve Jobs that came out right after he passed? When Apple went public Steve Jobs was instantly worth $270 million dollars and he wasn't even 30 years old. Even though his parents took out a second mortgage to put him through college (which he dropped out from ultimately) he did nothing more than pay off their mortgage - $700,000 - and that was it. He gave them .2% of what he had made. That's right - less than 1% of everything he had went to his own parents.

Just about as bad was a situation he created when he set rules for who would get stock and who wouldn't. One of his very best friends that had been with the company from day one got nothing - not a single share. Others in the company rallied around the guy and begged Jobs to give him some shares for all he had done. Nothing. Finally they said they would each donate a share to this guy for each share Jobs donated. Jobs agreed to the deal and said, "I give him nothing. Now get out of here." - and kicked everyone out of his office. Ultimately those employees did indeed donate a bunch of shares to this guy. Steve Jobs never gave him a thing. $270 million dollars and he wouldn't even give his parents or his best friends a nickel more than they could pry from his wicked, maniacal hands.

Those are the type of people that often run these large corporations. They are not like the average worker in any way. They are viciously competitive and often times they're borderline Sociopaths. Your health, your finances, and your family mean absolutely nothing to them. The only reason you're getting paid at all is because they (eventually) outlawed slavery and the law requires them to pay you something. Of course they're literally making thousands of times what they're paying any of their workers, but at least it's something.

People who don't think unions were historically necessary don't understand the history of the industrial revolution. They also don't understand the nature of the people running governments and large corporations. They also didn't lose their father at 47 years old to a type of lung cancer caused by the pollutants in the air at the factory he worked at, a danger (it was later revealed in a class action lawsuit) that the corporation was fully aware of but hid from their employees. That's right - they made the conscious decision to go into work each day and literally watch their own workers slowly die in front of their eyes because it would cut into their profits if they cleaned up the air.

Fast forward to today and people also don't seem to notice that it's nearly impossible for a blue collar worker to make a living wage in today's economy even though corporations are making their largest profits and have the largest hordes of cash they have had in the history of this country.

The gap between the rich and the rest of us is growing wider by the day and now 39% of all Americans are living in full or in part off the Government. Unemployment is far higher than the government will ever admit to, our household incomes are dropping, and yet our corporations and the executives who run them are far wealthier than ever before. Do you think that's by accident or do you think maybe the rich will bleed everyone dry if nobody prevents that from happening?

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Colleen W.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett you are so right. Carnegie, the great philanthropist, decided that his profits would be better if he cut wages and extend the work week to seven days. When the miners at Homestead stood up to him and struck the governor of Pennsylvania call in the National Guard to squelch the uprising. Because of unions we have safety protocols and child labor laws. We wouldn't have a wage scale if it weren't for unions. I'm a firm believer that in order to be successful in business you have to be relentless. I'm not talking about scratching out a living with a small business, I'm talking big business, Walton family type business. Walmart is the giant it is because of profit is more important than it's employees. Unions aren't always bad, sometimes they really do represent the workers. However today's unions are looking more like big business than workers representatives. My husband has been a member of the IBEW (electrical workers union) for about 30 years. I love him dearly but it he votes for whoever the union tells him to and he's an pretty smart man. I haven't seen much representation going on, when he was fired over a political move by a local councilman (he was the little guy who was caught in between industry and "civic leaders") the union turned the back on him when he asked them to help him. When construction tanked because of the recession instead of working with industry the union voted for a pay raise, not good timing. It seems it's difficult to tell unions from big business, they seem to be both self serving.

Jimbo's Comment
member avatar

I've had my share of dealing with unions. More as a project manager on construction jobs. My company was non union but we worked specialty installations that union contractors would not do. You'd think they'd work with us considering they couldn't do the work themselves? NOT a chance. Nothing but headaches and roadblocks. Forced to use their laborers, one of their men for every one of ours. Didn't matter if they knew what they were doing. We had to pay them. Their biggest concern was getting their breaks and lunch time in. The union projects that we were asked to bid priced out at twice the cost if we had done non union.

My cousin drives for Conway, and apparently they've begun moving towards joining Teamsters. His feeling...Conway hadn't given them a raise in quite awhile so he's open to it if it happens. In the end, its money that drives all decisions in business. For good or for bad.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Karl A.'s Comment
member avatar

I am starting to feel like unions are needed right now to help fight against income inequality.. Even though there are possible negatives that might effect me in a negative light at least IM finding an organization that can fight for seekers rights.. Look at the fast food industry or the people protesting outside the Walton family members flat.. If they had representation it would slow the growth of these godlike corporations until one of these super pacs can limit money in politics..

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar
Walmart is the giant it is because of profit is more important than it's employees.

Ya know, once upon a time, that was the furthest thing from the truth. Sam Walton had a sign in his store that read "Closed on Sundays-people are more important than money."

I'm sure he's just thrilled with what his children and grandchildren have done to his legacy.

Attila's Comment
member avatar

Hey, lurker here for awhile. Currently in my cab on my 10 and decided to chime in on this conversation. First off I was a trained IBEW industrial electrician through the 90's. I had a amazing experience with that union when it was still being run by the older WWII crowds. From what I know it is still going strong and most my old buddies like it. I have also seen terrible unions. The grocery unions in California comes to mind. Working in and with several unions I have noticed one common denominator. You have to be one of the "good ole boys" to truly thrive. That was no problem for me, I loved being a electrician and grew up with many of the members at my local. If you are not of that type of mentality you will probably hate it. I found Guyks description of union works ironic, since over half the OTR non union company drivers I encounter daily also fit that description. Brett, history does not repeat itself but it sure does rhyme. Roaring 20's = .com 90's and realestate boom 00's. Great depression = great recession. Yep looks awfully familiar to me.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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