General chatter - A Rant--Remember this when you pay your electric bill

04-18-2012, 09:38 AM
So, my DH has worked for this electric company for 26 years now. In 97, we had to move due to the 'take a lay-off or take a transfer' plan when a merger happened, then, in 05, got the 'opportunity' to transfer to a brand new plant in an area closer to the family, so thought it would be the answer to prayers, you know.

Anyway, we were sooooooooo wrong! This plant's management is the worst in history! Even though it's now a union plant, there are certain employees who get 'perks' that aren't given to others, such as gift cards to local businesses, extra long lunch hours -supposed to be 1/2 hour, but allowed to sit and schmooze with the managers for the entire afternoon, usually after doing the same thing all morning. The guy who is the maintenance man got the job because he plowed the managers' driveways for free during the winter, but he doesn't have a clue how to actually do the job, so my DH is doing this idiot's work all the time, but rarely gets compensated at the higher rate. And, this is the guy who pushed hardest for unionizing and somehow got 'appointed' as union steward WITHOUT any of the members being allowed to vote, as is standard practice. He's constantly just sitting around doing nothing and he's not the only one! There are 2 employees (out of the 12 at the plant) who regularly come in early, sit and drink coffee for 2 hours on overtime, walk around when they see on the camera that the manager is coming in the gate, then sit and 'plan' until 3:00, when they say "It's time to get some work done" and put in 3 or 4 hours of overtime at the end of the day. NO WORK gets done on regular time and these managers let these idiots get away with it! But, these guys are also the ones bragging about their new Harleys and their home remodeling!

Meanwhile, my DH got passed over for the job he'd been trained and waiting for, we live in a piece of crap house, and he works his butt off while these jokers with no 'work ethic' sit around and collect huge paychecks! And, DH is not the only person complaining about the situation. There have been several complaints filed with HR about the graft, unethical behavior (according to the company's ethics guidelines), preferential treatment of certain employees, and other stuff (some of which is actually illegal), but when HR 'investigates' they find that the management isn't doing anything 'wrong'. In fact, DH was nearly run over one day in the parking lot by one of the schmoozers, because he passed him on the road-it was this idiots 3rd 'act against a fellow employee', but he was just given a talk! At any other of the company's plants, he would have been escorted out the door permanently on the 2nd act!

Is this really what the industry standard is now? You only get ahead if you're willing to drive the knife in someone else's back? Management lives by the 'hands-off' management philosophy, which means that they simply don't do their job, and allow whoever 'sucks up' the most to get by with whatever they want, including not working ANY hours for 8, 10, 12 hours pay, taking graft from potential contractors, so their friends can get the contracts at higher bids, and so much other unethical behavior, it's impossible to list!!????

Anyway, I just really needed to get some of this off my chest, as I really don't know how to help my DH. When he asks for advice, he argues with whatever potential solution I come up with, so I know I don't have any answers. We know HR isn't going to help, as they have no clue what the union contracts say and just ask the managers here what their 'interpretation' is. What NEEDS to happen is for the 2 managers and the 2 problem employees to be fired, but people are getting scared to file complaints anymore. So, if anyone's still reading this and you're of a praying mind, pray for these guys to all get canned somehow, please. Or, that upper management (this is a really big company and upper management's offices are in a couple different cities) will finally start putting 2 and 2 together and make some needed changes.

It's unbelievable to me that any industry has gotten to the point that they refuse to listen to the long-term employees who have the experience to do the job, but I suppose if they can get the older guys to quit, then they save money on pensions, insurance, etc. Fortunately, DH is vested in the pension, so can't lose than unless the company pulls an Enron, even if he decides to quit and find another job at some point. He sure hates to do that after 26 years, though, and at 53 years of age:(

Thanks for listening and letting me go on and on......but, do remember this when you pay your electric bills each month-it REALLY burns my butt to send the payment:mad:

04-18-2012, 09:53 AM
wow - now i know where those idiots went who got fired from bombardier (members of the autoworkers union). same union that royally screwed my mother over after years of service building aircraft with tools that were not suited to her and landing her with carpal tunnel and permanent neck injury. they were calibrated for an average man of above-average strength and she's a petite woman of above-average strength which, no matter how you slice and dice it, is NOT equal to a man's. after nearly a decade of her complaining about the pain by the end of the shift, they sent an ergonomics "expert" who said there was nothing wrong. kid looked like he'd just graduated high school and had clearly already made his mind up when he showed up at her work station; his job was to prove the company's point, not to uncover problems with the work process. so the union advised her to take a lateral transfer without telling her she would lose all her seniority and when the next round of layoffs came up, guess who was first on the block.

04-18-2012, 10:03 AM
My electricity was disconnected last week b/c I couldn't afford the stupid bill. :(

04-18-2012, 10:19 AM
I have no answer for you but I have discovered that the "work ethic" of today falls way below what my generation and generations before me were used to. I was raised to believe you do 8 hours of work for 8 hours of pay.On another thread in these forums a poster said her employer had denied her the privelege of receiving personal emails and she wondered why. I had responded that maybe the employer thought she should be spending her time doing the work she was hired for.WOW ! I got responses to my post that pretty much said I was some kind of idiot for not taking the opportunity to do just as she said. One person even listed the things that are OK . Extra long lunch hours, extra long breaks, personal telephone calls and personal emails plenty of time shmoozing with other employees about what we are going to do after work. These are just a few things that are accepted by employers these days. I would have expected to be at least written up for some of these.

04-18-2012, 10:20 AM
threenorns- Yeah, the union management here is as bad as the company management-no union meetings or votes, which is against their own constitution-and no help in trying to deal with the situation as the motto is "less work for more pay" which they are achieving, I guess. Unfortunately, someone has to keep the plant fixed and running or we won't be having lights or computers working. I had a class in ergonomics in college, but industry has not embraced the idea that not all workers are the same and there might need to be accommodations made for some, including the handicapped. My mom worked in the jet engine manufacture field and had lots of problems due to her height of only 5'. Very sorry that happened to your mom:hug: Unions suck, management sucks, and everyone's only looking out for themselves and their own greed.

Amy-I'm very sorry that has happened to you. I'll be praying that your situation can be resolved. Do you qualify for the electric assistance plans that should be available in every state? I'd recommend calling and asking your electric provider what is available.:hug:

04-18-2012, 10:26 AM
Bargoo-I know exactly what you mean. Now that computers are everywhere and ALL employees have access, they do things on company time that we wouldn't even have considered. One thing that people need to know though is that MOST employers who allow internet access at work are MONITORING what you are doing! We just found out by accident that all management and most of the employees at DH's company can access anyone else's 'company account' and see their e-mails and work they have on the system. DS has had some of his ideas stolen from the system and then had other employees (the suck-ups mentioned before) present them to management as their own, receiving monetary reward for ideas they didn't even think of on their own.

ETA-we also believe that phone conversations are being recorded, as there's a lot of strange clicking whenever calls are made or received from certain phones at DH's plant. So, people might just want to be aware.....

04-18-2012, 10:42 AM
Sounds like big brother. :(

I do some personal stuff at work but so long as I get in 40 hours my boss doesn't really care. I take time off to go to class several hours a week but make it up with shorter lunches and coming in early. It is very much an honor system as no one is here that early. IT can access your email, included deleted emails and listen to phone conversations (I think) because it's VoIP. But with 6500 employees across multiple campuses, they feel they need to have a reason first. Basically, if you're browsing personal websites but still getting your stuff done, you should be fine. Everyone knows if I'm not getting my stuff done because I am a department of one. If I don't do it no one will.

To the OP, if he's part of a Union, isn't there another union leader outside the facility? Like a regional leader? If so, maybe he could document some incidents for their review. Sorry, I don't know how unions operate as I'm in a mostly union-free state. The other option is to have solid proof of what's going on and turn it in to local or state authorities and or news stations. This could have huge ramifications though. Not really one good solution. :(

04-18-2012, 05:49 PM
RONNIE ~ I worked for a company once that pulled a lot of the same things. The company actually hired the union stewards; essentially, we had NO representation at all. If you asked about anything, their only answer was this -- do you want to keep your job? If you actually responded to that (as the answer is in the question really) -- the "regional" rep would say -- then just be quiet and do your job.

BTW, go ahead 15+ years, and that place is now gone (sold, closed down, knocked down; and houses are there now) -- maybe, divine providence?

Sometimes going to a "regional" rep helps, but as we saw, they may be of no use either. You could try it and pray they are more honest & helpful than the locals, but there's no guarantees.

Have you considered quietly talking to politicians: local, regional, or state? They may be very interested in what is going on there. Is this a state or locally-owned hydro company? Or privately owned? That could make a big difference. Remember though, that this could cause a big shake down, but that may be better than what is going on; and hopefully, seniority will matter in the long run.

And Ronnie, it may have already started. Tell your DH that we will contiinue to pray about this situation, and he must give GOD time to work through people & circumstance.

AMY ~ sorry, you are having this problem; it is difficult when you are a student. I agree about applying for help from the company; or even better -- some churches & charities have utility missions help available; check in your area.