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originally posted by: kyleisboss
other countries are illegally dumping cheaper steel onto the US market, and most companies want to save some extra $$$. Well as long as its at the expense of my family, sure why not?
There was a time when being an American worker meant something. We took pride in the our work and the companies we worked for. They invested in us and we provided them best workmanship we could. We can no longer compete with foreign slave labor.
originally posted by: kyleisboss
I currently work in the steel industry in Northeast Ohio, which used to be the promised land as far as I can tell some 30 years ago. I have worked for two different companies in the past 5 years (US Steel & TimkenSteel/The Timken Company). These were entry level jobs that put me in the door starting off at $60K a year. I had no experience in heavy manufacturing like this, and basically got in with the whole "you have to know someone to be hired". I was very fortunate to have an in-law working for The Timken Company (which is now TimkenSteel). I worked there for 16 months, and was unceremoniously laid off. Apparently, this is the norm in the industry.
It wasn't very easy to go from making over $21 an hour to practically nothing, but my wife and I made it work. At the time we only had one child, who was 3. Our fantastic health insurance was discontinued after one month and we were left out in the cold. When I tried to reenter the job market, I was basically told I was overqualified for basic $10 an hour jobs, so no one would hire me. I was also told I was considered a "flight risk" (I'm a terrorist?), for when my layoff ended I would run right back to my job. Well of course! You mean my job that pays me fairly well, gives me a pension, and a very affordable/excellent health insurance? It never stopped me from trying, and I was actually fortunate enough to be hired by US Steel in pretty much the same entry level position. Better pay, and even better benefits. This was nearly a year and half after my initial layoff, after we lost our apartment and had to move in with other family members. Also after another child, but hey my daughter needed a sibling right?
So here I am, thinking that we somehow were able to weather the storm; the storm being behind on practically every bill we had ever had over the course of 18 months. I was back to working 6/7 days a week on rotating shifts, and loved every minute of it. We got all caught up on what we were behind on in 2 weeks. 8 weeks into my employment with US Steel, I was laid off. On Christmas Eve no less. So to sum things up: after being laid off from one mill I was able to find another job at a different mill; only to be laid off again. Back to square one. Fortunately I was able to put away enough money to tread water for however long this layoff would be.
I kept asking myself "Why does this keep happening?" With all the fracking going on, rigs drilling in various areas of the world, how is it I keep getting laid off? After doing a little bit of research, I found out the reason this is happening is because other countries are illegally dumping cheaper steel onto the US market, and most companies want to save some extra $$$. Well as long as its at the expense of my family, sure why not? I was laid off for 6 months from US Steel when TimkenSteel called me back to work. This is after a 2 year layoff. So once again, my number was called and I took advantage of my opportunity. I started back in September of last year, and was quickly able to make up ground from once again, bills that mounted faster than we could pay them. We were on SNAP at the time, only after my wife begged and pleaded for me to swallow my pride and apply, which I did. We had no electricity the first two weeks of my job because it had been shut off, but we made it work. We got off SNAP and slowly started to get ahead.
March 1st of this year, I was laid off, AGAIN. Which is why I sit at home right now, in month 5 of my new layoff watching my 2 year old son do his best Evel Knievel impersonation with his Hot Wheels tracks. Things are so bad at my job, the people that didn't get laid off are only working 3 weeks a month, 4 days a week. They are laid off 1 whole week out of the month. Basically we went from working 24-26 days out of the month, to 10-12 at the most. I was fortunate to get unemployment this time around, but that runs out in exactly two weeks. No callback date in site.
Basically I've been in this industry for about 5 years now; laid off for about 3 and half. The "mighty" steel industry in the US, and I keep getting laid off because of illegal dumping that is STILL going on. I read article after article about Congress looking into these illegal "practices", but never see anything getting done about it. Apparently its out of my hands, but what am I to tell my family? Here we are stuck in the same boat again, no one willing to hire me because I'm "overqualified". Forget about the adjustment required to go from making $24 an hour to a little over $10 if I'm lucky. Which, by the way, I would take.
Yet here I will wait, again, for my number to be called. In a very demanding, very DANGEROUS job that does not take excuses. You will be at work, but only if we need you. I'm not blaming anyone, and I'm not even mad anymore, I'm just disappointed. Here I am in the prime of my life just waiting for my chance to contribute, unlike other people in my generation. If i was called back to work tonight, I would run back smiling and do the best job I could possibly do.
Where is my job?
Where is my chance?
originally posted by: Sparkymedic
a reply to: boohoo
Have you considered leaving the manufacturing field all together?
originally posted by: openminded2011
Most working class kids never have a chance of making it through college because their paycheck to paycheck parents cant afford the level of support they need to complete it. All if not most of the "respectable professional jobs" go to the affluent and their children.
originally posted by: MrNeo
I'm beating feet to Honolulu this week.
Biggest construction boom in decades.
This is, I'm from Hawaii but been in Portland, Oregon for a while.
I watch as people demand $15 an hour to work at McDonald, etc. when even in Portland they can get a construction apprenticeship that starts at over $17 an hour.
Going rate for journeyman union drywall trades is $44.15 X 2000 in a year is $88k plus $8 an hour vacation pay equals $104, 300 a year.