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Unions.

October 15, 2007

This is all my opinion of unions, this in no way reflects my opinion of people that work in the field as individuals.

That being said, I had a talk with my boss, Jeff, on the way home the other night. He was telling me stories about union gigs that he has done in the past. Some pretty interesting stories. I recently was involved in a conversation with a union worker, he was telling me that unions are better, I disagreed with him. His arguments were something of the following:

  • You wont loose your job to illegals
  • The union will keep you safe
  • You get health insurance

These are all valid, but in audio the unions mandate breaks every ‘x’ period of time, and they are mandatory. That will screw you up when you are trying to load in your gear. You have someone to do everything, there are the truck loaders, the pushers, the utility crew, etc. Now that you know the different ‘classes’ here is what happens. The truck unloaders arrive at, oh lets sa, 8AM to load in, but the truck is late for some reason. The truck shows up at noon. Now the unloaders are on break, when they get back from break the pushers go on break so all the cases are sitting out side while you wait for the pushers to get back from break. The pushers get back from break and load in all your gear, but the utility guys are on break now because of all the delays. So after the truck showing up a few hours late, a job that should be done in 2 hours has now taken 6+ hours.

This is why freelance work is the best.

  • You wont loose your job to illegals if you work hard
  • You get the jobs done faster
  • Union leaders seem to think that the workers are better off when they work less and get paid more, but in reality the customer wants to avoid over time and double time. My personal opinion is get your work done as fast as possible and avoid going into over/double time.

The way I have been influenced by Goodman is “work fast, hard, and accurate.” This directly translates to the client “these guys do the work fast and correct, and they are avoiding over/double time.” If you work hard and fast, you don’t get paid as much, which is granted, but you will get more gigs from the people because you are doing such a great job.

In freelance work you are only as good as your last gig, that being said, you work hard and fast and correct and you will get more gigs because your work ethic is good.

They simply don’t make sense in this day and age. They worked a long time ago when there were not rights for people working for large companies, where they would work for almost nothing. The unions were needed to let the companies know that the people need to be paid correctly for their jobs. In this age now, if you are not paying your employees well, they simply wont work and go find a job that will pay them the correct wage.

In conclusion, I will avoid working for a union as best as possible.

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