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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently work as a journeyman plumber in seattle, WA. I have 5 years of experience. I work for local 32. Me and my family are done with this state and looking to move to Tennessee. What Im wondering is as a right to work state should I consider going non-union or just transfer into a local there? We're looking around Nashville area. Also, if non-unions the way to go what are some good companies in the area. I appreciate any help.
 

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So if we were looking to move to the nashville area staying in the union is a bad idea? I know the pay is $37/hr (but taxed heavy) in the Nashville local. Does non-union pay better?
Just keep in mind, base pay isn't the whole story. You need to look at the value of the complete benefits package. The hourly wage might be a couple bucks less somewhere, but if they match your retirement contributions or have a lower insurance deductible it will more than make up for it.

You should also talk to some of the guys and see why they do or don't like where they work, if that's possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just keep in mind, base pay isn't the whole story. You need to look at the value of the complete benefits package. The hourly wage might be a couple bucks less somewhere, but if they match your retirement contributions or have a lower insurance deductible it will more than make up for it.

You should also talk to some of the guys and see why they do or don't like where they work, if that's possible.
That's very true. I guess working union I know what I get in terms of benefits. Non-union is foreign to me. Im open to working non-union if the benefits and pay balance out even/better.

Also, the last part of what you said is very important. But im having a hard time getting an opinion from plumbers in Tennessee. That's part of why I joined this forum. Do you or anyone else know a good place to start with that aspect? I dont know anyone who works out there.
 

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That's very true. I guess working union I know what I get in terms of benefits. Non-union is foreign to me. Im open to working non-union if the benefits and pay balance out even/better.

Also, the last part of what you said is very important. But im having a hard time getting an opinion from plumbers in Tennessee. That's part of why I joined this forum. Do you or anyone else know a good place to start with that aspect? I dont know anyone who works out there.
You could try cold calling some Tennessee plumbers.

Our shop is not union. That said we all have a very strong bond with eachother. There are a few well liked guys who are willing to voice their opinions. The rest of us generally follow their lead or agree with them. They will often tell our boss how it's going to be and the boss understands they might as well be speaking on behalf of the other guys. If that ain't a union leader in charge of a union than I don't know what is.
 

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I live/work in MA. There is a very strong union presence here. The best thing you could do is call the BA at the Nashville local and have a conversation with him. Also look at some other job postings on Indeed and try to get some phone interviews and see what would be the best fit for you and your family. The last time I looked into it the Boston plumbers local 12 complete package (pay and benefits) was $98/hr. The open shops are paying a licensed journeyman a wide range depending on the type of work you do and your experience level, about $35-$55/hr However the cost of living up here is significantly higher than it is down south. If you work in Boston your going to have to drive your own vehicle into the city every day, pay $30-$40/day just to park on top of your tolls and fuel. I work for an open shop and the pay is at the top end of the pay scale for the area with a great benefits package, and it operates similar to skoronesa’s company, the guys in the field don’t take any schit from management, and everyone has a company truck with a gas card and EZ pass for tolls. They also tell us to park in the most convenient spot and just pass in your parking tickets (we don’t park in handicapped spots or in front of fire hydrants). At the end of the week I feel better off here than in the union for a multitude of reasons. However, I’m sure that all the reasons you’d want to leave a crazy, liberal, socialist state like Washington and head to TN are the same things that drive me nuts about MA. Haha.
 

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There are unions in TN. I’m in Chattanooga and they Are here. Never worked for one. I don’t even know how all that works or why you need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There are unions in TN. I’m in Chattanooga and they Are here. Never worked for one. I don’t even know how all that works or why you need it.
Well over here in Seattle, or in big cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, unions are supposed to be valuable for protecting workers and giving them a way to be heard and have someone take action when they think their work is being threatened in some way. To be honest though, once Covid hit all Ive seen is our leadership cave in to the government. They've shown their true faces and unfortunately they've made it clear the dollar is the bottom line, not the worker. It's shown me another side to the union. And Im sure not all locals are like this, but Seattles just a mess in general now and I have zero interest in raising a family in this environment.
 

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Shop that I used to run work for in the Chicago area just took on a highrise job in Nashville, it's union work. The Foreman they sent down there likes it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Every plumber in TN is hiring. Come on In. Just remember why things are good here. We don’t elect America hating scumbags. Our governor Bill Lee is a master plumber.
Whats a weekly paycheck look like after taxes on average for a plumber in TN (around nashville)? Im just trying to create a budget and see how things balance out. And I wasnt sure if indeed was accurate. It looked like roughly $1000/wk?
 

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Whats a weekly paycheck look like after taxes on average for a plumber in TN (around nashville)? Im just trying to create a budget and see how things balance out. And I wasnt sure if indeed was accurate. It looked like roughly $1000/wk?
Accurate wage data and statistics are all over Google. Getting second hand info from individuals is a pretty risky way to judge a move like this.
 

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Whats a weekly paycheck look like after taxes on average for a plumber in TN (around nashville)? Im just trying to create a budget and see how things balance out. And I wasnt sure if indeed was accurate. It looked like roughly $1000/wk?
If you are running work which means you are responsible for pipes being in correct place and schedules,then you should be bringing in at a minimum at least $1500.00 per week before taxes and that includes a take home truck and tools and health insurance and retirement,Nashville has turned into a big city and with that cost of living goes up and wages go up if companies want skilled manpower.Lee company pays pretty good in and around Nashville and I know several guys that work there and say it’s a pretty good outfit to work for but they are non-union
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Heck if I know. Stop worrying about it. If you have skills and a good work ethic you will make plenty of money. Cost of living here is low. Freedom is high. Great place to raise a family. I’m not kidding about politics either.….
Lol. I appreciate it man. I definitely worry about money too much. My wife tells me everyday. And I appreciate all the feedback from everyone. I just started sending in applications and Im gonna use those interviews as a way to gather information and if everything sounds like a good fit just take one of those jobs. I spoke to a residential plumbing company this morning, boone creek plumbing, and the owner was super helpful and and just an all around good guy. Im actually thinking about taking him up on his offer. Seems like in Tennessee everyones just a little more laid back which is what I think I need in my life. Seattles too high stress in so many ways right now and lifes too short
 

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Here union is mandatory by law for every worker in any trade on new construction or any revenue generating building. Everyone has the same wages depending on their trade.

For me it was a love hate relationship with the union, sure your wages were way higher with health insurance and old age pension with 13% vacation pay than those who we non union. Non union they try to lowball you minimum wage with 0 benefits. In the union it was always a game of brown nose lickers. and working for pirate companies. It made me what I am today a one man shop.
 
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