For around 15 years I working in various welding shops in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. There were a lot of reasons why I left the welding field – lack of benefits, lack of decent pay and being treated like a second class citizen.
One time my wife called the I was working at and asked to speak to me. Welding shops do not like for employees to take phone calls unless its an emergency. Some dumbass engineer told my wife the shop employees were not allowed to receive phone calls and hung up.
My wife called back again and this time asked to speak to my supervisor. My boss called me to the office and let me take the call.
When my told me what had happened on the fist call, I was so pissed I was ready to whip that engineers ass. How dare he tell me wife should could not talk to me. My supervisor said he will talk to the engineer about personal phone calls.
That is a good example of how people who work in the fab shops across southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana are treated like second class citizens.
Then there was the mandatory night-shifts and weekends. When my second son was born, taking off for his birth was the first day I had off in maybe 6 weeks. And that was working 10 and 12 hour shifts.
I felt like my life was one step above slave labor. The companies paid their employees barely enough that the employees would literally beg for overtime.
One bastard supervisor I worked for once told me, if you play an employee good he will not want to work overtime. If you pay an employee a low wage, the employee will have to work overtime.
In other words, employers should not treat their employees like first class citizen, or even people that deserve a decent wage. That bastard supervisor died around 12 years ago, and the world is a better place without him.
Welding shops treat their employees with a double standard. Treat the employees like crap, pay a low wage, offer few benefits, and then the owners complain they can not find qualified workers. Why would anyone want to work in a welding shop and be treated like crap and be treated like a second class citizen?
Not “all” of the fab shops in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana treat their employees like crap, but a good bit of them do.
Related Article – Favorite fab shops in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas
The mentally of a of the fab shops seem to be, “treat the employees like crap, and they are just going to take it.” Uh no, some of us will not take it. We will find new careers and move on.
I like working in the welding shops. I do not like being paid low wages, few benefits, mandatory weekends, no flexible hours, no flex time,,, nothing but a slave driver driving the employees to work harder.
One of the last welding shops I worked at, when I was hired, I explained to the person doing the hiring that I was taking college classes at night and I had to leave work by say 5:00 or 5:30. We were scheduled to get off at 3:30 anyway. The person that hired me assured me that there would not be a problem with my school and work schedule. Four weeks later my supervisor fired me because of my college schedule. I was told the company could not have me taking off to go to college.
What was I supposed to do? Live in a life of poverty, or try to improve my wage earning ability? According to the supervisor, working for a sub-par wage was more important then going to college.