Career Path > Outages

Backup Contracts?

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Who has them?

Who's going to get them?

Over the past 4 to 5 years, a couple of people have tried to edge their way into the Nuclear Staffing game, with little success.  In the last couple of weeks, it seems that yet another player has emerged, Lucky for US! 

I remember this little guy back in 79/80, who did the very same thing!  At the time, his company was a breath of fresh air, compared to the major players of the day!  Checks arrived on time, ( a very good thing ), and a visit from the man himself was usually on a monthly bases. His company also gave Technicians another choice of options.   I don't know what happened to that guy, rumor has it he's surfing the big waves out west and cruising the sky's in a blimps.

Future Speculation:  Just my perspective.  As far as the commercial industry goes, everybody knows that two players exist today.  I haven't felt the rumble, but I can see it coming!  I see the industry relying on a single player for their staffing needs, which is only beneficial to one player!  Nobody would benefit by one company holding all the cards, not the Technician, or the  Utilities!  At this point Technicians have a choice to call the other guy for a better deal, or more favorable wages.  Even though wages are somewhat flat across the board, losing the option to choose, will prove disasterous. 

What if one company held all the cards?   More speculation on my part.  Everybody wants to save a buck, which is the appealing concept presented to the customers at contract time.  If one company held all the contracts, they could realisticly establish a geographic profile on each Technician.  They could tell you where you are going to work, not ask where you want to work!  The benefit of that, to the customer and company, the disappearence of the added expenses of Per Diem and Travel!  Saving four to five hundred dollars, per week, per Technician, will get the attention of any bean counter and directly influence the awarding of contracts!  To take it one step further, if you live within 50 miles of a plant, they could call and offer you an assignment at that plant.  If you turn it down, a simple call could be made to the HP annuity agency, UCI, and your cash flow would be gone!  I can think of a hundred other distastefull situation on this topic!  I know, you don't think that would ever happen!  Just remember, it's all Business and only Business!  Even though a company may present the Facade of having all the contracts, they don't have all the Technicians, not yet at least!

From my viewpoint, the emerging companies, need the support of the  Technicians.  It's your choice and may require some personal sacrifices, but if you don't do it today, you wont have a choice tomorrow!  I'm sure a lot of people will be reading this thread to see how it plays out, the utilities, the Technicians and future perspective staffing companies. 

So, who am I working for?  MYSELF!  I have learned to cash their checks and that is about all!  I do not sell myself as a representative of any company, I learned that lesson on Loyalty years ago!  Nothing personal, it's only business!  I pursue the highest compensation, based on my personal preference of choice, like many of you do!  Don't lose your option of being able to choose!

In those famous words, from the Indian Jones movie:

Choose, but CHOOSE WISELY!


To the Companies who wish to venture into this market, this is what you don't want to tell Technicians on opening day!  Sorry, you aren't going to see dime for two weeks, it's your responsibility to have enough funds to get here and survive for that time period!  Cash in hand, on opening day, confirms a trust between the Company and the Technicians.  Without it, you Loose!


Looks like another one has popped up!


unless you are on a 1099 u do work for them, If u can swing a 1099 out of the contractor then u would be truely independent. there are some techs that have gotten 1099s, so its not as unusual as one would think.  legally, u do represent that company that u are getting the pay check from-you are on the payroll and legally obligated as a representative of the employer-so becareful with wayward attitudes-
with a 1099 then it becomes a different issue, it a contractual issue not a condition of employment.  perhaps "caveat emptor" is a better phrase for tech to follow when picking an employer!!

Already Gone:
Getting a 1099 does not make you independent.  There actually are a set of IRS rules used to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
If the employer does things like; set your work hours or schedule, provide you with tools, supplies or equipment to do your work, provides you with a place to work...etc. then you are an employee.

I don't think that is the point Rad Ghost is making.  I think he means that his loyalty is not given to any employer.  He seems to believe that even though he is employed by a company he is not required to uphold that company's image in the face of the public, competitors, and clients. 

He also seems to think that the companies who pay our unemployment insurance have no right to expect us to work when work is available.
He seems to fear that a contract company, given any more power than it already has, will eliminate per-diem by hiring only locals.  (never mind that there are not enough locals near any site to staff an outage)

While I totally agree that lack of competition in any market is a bad thing, I still don't think it will be the cause of all our misery.  In the unlikely event that only one company survives, and nobody steps in to compete, they are no more likely to do these things than they are right now.

What RG doesn't realize is that companies will shovel money at you if you are getting it done for them.  If any company could consistently provide a staff of professional, qualified, energetic and motivated techs, they'd make two or three times the money they can get now.

We get on this site, or in the bars after work, and bitch about lots of things without giving much thought to why things are that way.  We all want $30/hr and govt. rate perdiem, but we'd stab each other in the back to get that last spot on a job paying $20 & $75.  Why would anyone pay more?

Try to see it from their point of view for once:  "We want to hire 50 techs to work our outage.  We want them to help us accomplish our goals.  We need them to earn what we pay them and use a little initiative and intelligence.  Here's what we got instead - 50 techs committed, 2 no-showed, 2 failed the NEU twice, 18 of them are married couples who have to be on the same shift with the same days off, 8 dragged up early to go to another job, 1 is so overweight that we can't find PC's that fit, 7 are over sixty-five years old and think they are entitled to sit control points while others get dosed to the limit in the drywell, 1 is claustrophobic, 1 is on his third hip-replacement and can't climb ladders.  We turn a blind-eye to the 3-in-3-out rotation they are using, but when we asked one guy to do a 15 minute survey on his 3-out, he showed up 40 minutes late for his 3-in.  One guy has 22 years experience and still thinks that being hit by betas can make an atom radioactive.  Another won't stop telling everyone how they did things better at some other plant.  Yet another has seen better ways to do things, but won't offer a suggestion that might actually help.  Then there's the guy who's so sick of working with the others, so embarassed to be grouped in with them, so tired of seeing the lazy and incompetent get ahead, that he spends the whole outage in a foul mood and swears he'll get out as soon as he can."

Y'see?  It ain't necessarily "them" that's the problem.  If we don't straighten ourselves out pretty soon they're going to make us do unthinkable things like; work where they need us when they need us until they don't need us anymore, keep our word when we give it, do just as much work as the next person for the same pay, be at our work location almost 75% of the time, break a sweat once or twice an outage, act like adults... the list goes on.

no a 1099 does not an island make.. true enuff.. you know a good training program on "how to negociate your employment status" would help a lot of techs.  seems most are a trusting lot, and have become cynical because of mistreatment or misunderstandings etc.  you dont know how many times ive hear that B*******screwed me, the first thing i ask-did u get a "terms of employment"  confirmation letter???  and all too often i hear Nooooo, I dont need one!!! ohh welllllllll............. and you got to remember.. that if u agree to a pay rate and perks, get to the site and find out something different... you did agree.... caveat emptor....


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