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Old 05-13-2012, 10:14 AM   #21
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Holy! They got me! I will update as this goes along. I currently have 25 painters, goes up and down a few every month. A good 20 of them have worked for me for over 15 years. There like my family, I found out 4 of my guys signed, one last year who is no longer with us, and 3 this year, one of those 3 will be moving away in 2 weeks. My guys are all paid more then union rate, minus the benefits. We offered a benefit package a couple years ago, but they wanted the extra money instead. 90% of them are paid as sub-contractors to there own company. I spoke with me friend who is currently fighting them and the difference is, his guys are all on payroll. As it stads, I have 3 new contracts starting this summer, if this doesnt go well, I won't even bother starting them. This is really screwed up! Don't know if it will help but all of my guys are willing to sign affidavits that they do not want to join the union. I heard these reps are sneaky and lie to get people to sign.
There seems be be a difference between independent contractors and employees in terms of being able to unionize. Based on the information from this link http://quebeclabourlawblog.squarespa...nd-canada.html it appears your regular employees are at a higher risk of being unionized then the 90% independents you have.

In the US there are strict guidelines to determine an independent contractor status.

See, you don't need no stinkin lawyer. Just send me a check.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:02 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by CNQ View Post
Holy! They got me! I will update as this goes along. I currently have 25 painters, goes up and down a few every month. A good 20 of them have worked for me for over 15 years. There like my family, I found out 4 of my guys signed, one last year who is no longer with us, and 3 this year, one of those 3 will be moving away in 2 weeks. My guys are all paid more then union rate, minus the benefits. We offered a benefit package a couple years ago, but they wanted the extra money instead. 90% of them are paid as sub-contractors to there own company. I spoke with me friend who is currently fighting them and the difference is, his guys are all on payroll. As it stads, I have 3 new contracts starting this summer, if this doesnt go well, I won't even bother starting them. This is really screwed up! Don't know if it will help but all of my guys are willing to sign affidavits that they do not want to join the union. I heard these reps are sneaky and lie to get people to sign.
Anyone with the intelligence and business sense to run the operation described here has legal representation on this matter already. I'm sure of that. But the legal advice that painters give in this matter makes it worth tuning into.
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:23 PM   #23
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In the province of Québec, Canada, painters who work for commercial, NC, Condo or anything that has more than 1 owner must be a union worker. It's not the employees who decide to be in an union but thé nature of the project. The cost of an union painter with benefit is a little over 60$/hr.
The problem is that contractors are not willing to pay over 45$/hr. There's a lot of corruption. I think we are one of the less productive nation in the construction industry due to an over regulated system and very powerfull unions in place. Public projects are always over budget and take forever to get done.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:27 PM   #24
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Oden, I too am watching for the all the great legal advice from the painters!

I especially love the advice to fire people for signing union cards. Even if you're in "at-will" employment state, the NLRB says you're a protected employee once you sign a union card. And they may very well represent and help protect you for free if you're smart enough to ask (although, as another sh1t-house lawyer on here already noted, most painters are probably too stupid and/or smoking crack).

Speaking as a former local president & chief shop steward, I can tell you that if you don't want your guys unionizing, speak to them. Most people I know who sign cards name their biggest concern as, paraphrasing here, "they don't care about me, I try to get (name the problem) fixed, and they blow me off".
Maybe if you open the lines of communication you can find some middle ground and keep your company the way you want it, but I am curious- if you're willing to answer this- why are you so against your guys being unionized? Sometimes the reasons I hear are legitimate, but sometimes they are based on completely bad information, so I'm just wondering what it is that you're thinking when you decide you will pass up on bidding on jobs to avoid being unionized.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:52 PM   #25
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If I got unionized, I would make no concessions on wages period. If they went on strike, I would hire scabs, permanently.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:11 AM   #26
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If I got unionized, I would make no concessions on wages period. If they went on strike, I would hire scabs, permanently.
That brings up an important point that I don't think many people realize when they are afraid of dealing with a union. Being unionized gives an employee ONE thing: a seat at the table to talk to the boss. If you're the boss, you only have to negotiate in good faith. You don't necessarily have to actually give them anything. I've seen shops unionize and gain all kinds of stuff because they worked for companies who really treated them like dogs, and the employees were able to get their wages and working conditions closer to par with other surrounding companies. I've also seen shops unionize and do nothing but add in a middle man to share their paychecks with, because they were already getting everything their company was able to offer them.
Bottom line, the boss is still the boss, and if he doesn't make his dollar, the employee won't get his dime...
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