Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just a tad bit worried....


Contrary to my stoic persona, for the first time in a long, long time I'm just a tad bit worried right now.

In five days my labor union's contract with the company and railroad I work for will expire. No news yet from the Union on how the negotiations are proceeding... No news at all, good, bad or indifferent.

Now there's a real possibility of a strike...

I've been a member of several labor unions in the past, and while I've never been on strike, I've never crossed a picket line either.

I'm trying to keep a strong front of being a "No Worries" kind of guy at work, this does have me worried.

Those of you who've followed me for a time know how hard I've worked to get where I'm at, what I've sacrificed... My boyhood dream coming true after all these years...

I'm living my boyhood dream of being a railroad locomotive engineer. I make really good money doing it. But I'm also in an area where the local unemployment rate is almost 40% I'm damn lucky to have a job at all.

Like I said, I'm trying really hard to be positive about this, but today attached to my pay check was a little note from the management requesting the return of all our issued company equipment, parking passes and ID cards at the end of our shift on the 22nd of this month.

I don't want to strike.

There are a few concessions I'd like to see in the next contract, but I really don't want to lose my job.

The company is already training contractors (scabs) to do my job...

I've got about six months' salary saved in the bank...

I want to work though...

Ranger Tom is one nervous puppy right now.

We'll see in five days.

But I'll never, ever scab out like some with whom I work with will...

Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

13 comments:

FishEagle said...

I really, really, really (!) hope things go in your favour. Will be thinking of you during this time. Man, you deserve to have a job.

Ranger Tom said...

FishEagle: I've worked so damn hard... I'm truly scared at this point though. I just want to do my job... One that I love...

cmk said...

I'm thinking good thoughts for you. The Husband's union has its contract expire the last day in April and everything we're hearing from the negotiations doesn't make me very happy. Not only will the union have to give up some benefits--AGAIN--but we just might be seeing the salaries roll back, also. Now, granted, he is lucky to actually HAVE a job--especially one that pays what his does--but it won't be fun to try to back off on what we spend after learning to live with what we have. Time will tell for us, too. I'm keeping fingers AND toes crossed for a good outcome for both you and The Husband.

Ranger Tom said...

Cmk: And good thoughts for your husband also from this end... There's some issues that are being contested right now but I really can't get into them here for right now. I know our healthcare premiums are going up, but our salaries aren't in contention and I'm not even sure they're negotiating a COLA. The ONE thing I have a HUGE bone of contention about is the seniority roster and again I'll explain a little more next week. I'll know by midnight Monday if we're on strike.

Thanks for the warm wishes and keep those fingers and toes crossed!

The Ramblin Hillbilly said...

There was a reason that I was worried Tom. I know I'm not as affected right now but there is always Murphys law. Hopefully It wont come to a strike and as soon as I am back on my feet I can join you back at work.

JLee said...

*fingers crossed*

Ranger Tom said...

Bill: I really don't think they'll be a strike, but right now I'm still nervous. And remember what I told you last Saturday... And let all the information sink in deep and digest. Don't piss me off again. I love you like a brother, but like I said, you've had one free ride, there won't be another one. Get your shit together and start acting like a railroader.

JLee: Thanks! And keep the toes crossed too!

FishEagle said...

So today is D-day then? Let us know if you have any good news.

Ranger Tom said...

FishEagle: Good news indeed! I'm not on strike, and have what I deem a really good contract for the next three years at least... I'll write about it tomorrow.... I'm just drained from the last few days and want some sleep!

FishEagle said...

Oh the suspense! Thank goodness it's over.

FishEagle said...

P.S. That's great news!!

leazwell said...

whew!

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

We need an update. How are negotiations going? I have my fingers crossed for you.