Tips for union workers?

Hey so before the big showcase day I would like to ask forum members who have been apart of unions their experience during the first few months and some helpful tips.

I recently just graduated from my trade school for welding and got hired by a big company General Electric and start next week. But I’ve been talking to some of my seniors who also got hired there that the probationary period is really rough. Instead of doing what the company is paying them for, the foremans are making them sweep the floor, clean and grind material, arc gouge their screw ups on working material, be there rod holders between weld passes. I’m just wondering if this is really how it’s supposed to be during your first few months on a Union job? Just everyone being a hardass and being treated like a grunt (which we are). I just expected (maybe naively) something different.

And to be clear to anyone who is a welder/fabricator/structural engineer. Everyone who got hired there had to pass a weld test at the school from the company inspector just to get an interview. So we all have prequalified and know (to an extent) what we are doing. This is my first really big adult job with all the benefits of a Pension, 401K, Medical, Dental, Vision, stock options. So if anyone has some advice on how to make an impression outside of the normal like showing up early and with a good attitude, would be appreciated.


I don’t really have much experience working a union job, but I can kind of understand why they would push you hard during the probationary period because they want to make sure you’re not just there to coast under the protection of the union.

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Unions are a necessary evil. I belong to UFCW local 7. They do help the company I work for pay me decent wage and benefits. But the Union also has it political agenda and will use the union dues and even strike to help them achieve it. We did go one strike 2 years ago and we did kind of win but the Union itself got lot more out of it then we did. I happy I belong to a union but really wish I did not need one.

As for what to do is work hard and study for you test, And most of all. Believe in yourself. and if you somehow fail. try again and keep your dream alive But I bet if you just apply yourself, you will do fine


I honestly am getting to the point where I wish we had a union, though with how fractured our types of jobs we have are (maybe 150 job types or more for 1600 or so people) it would be difficult to implement. But we need a better way of arguing for better pay/raises and other things, and it seems like it’s just getting a little worse every year. Seeing the video games industry getting to make advancements toward this is encouraging for me.

I don’t have much to contribute re unions. I am part of one but in UK and very different work (public sector office based). But wanted to chip in to say congratulations - thats a great achievement graduating and getting your job. Hope you are proud of yourself. :grinning:best wishes for your first week!


well you can always contact the union that will cover the job you are doing. they can at least give you the info how to get into one.

Thank you! and I am