We Need To Unionize! The reason we locators are treated like dirt is because we have no Union Protection! And, when I say treated like dirt, I am stating it mildly. The duties of a typical locator on any given day puts his/her life in danger, constantly and in many different ways. Including, nearly being run over by cars and trucks, asphyxiation from breathing gas fumes in manholes, avoiding crashes while in route to next ticket, electrical shock, dogs, etc.
All this for an average starting wage of around $12hr. While the company gets paid over 15x or more per locate.
Management Does Not Care About You! All they want is completed tickets. Period.
I have located in some of the absolute worst conditions. I have located everything from Downtown Seattle to the Las Vegas Strip. I have dodged more busses and cabs and elderly folks than I can possibly remember... I have climbed out of manholes holding my breath about to pass out more than a few times. I have had dope heads hold me at gun point in their back yard thinking I was the cops. I have been bit and chased by dogs a plenty. I could go on, but I'll come back to the point.
Management does not care that you put your life on the line every day. They do not care that you are overloaded with unrealistic production goals and are under staffed and often without even the proper tools to do the job to begin with. They do not care that you have no honest availability to affordable healthcare for you and your family. They don't care if you have a family at all because the only way to even make ends meet is to work every overtime hour you can get, or you simply will not make enough to survive on. The only way to meet the work load is to cut major corners. Every experienced locator knows this to be true. And here's the thing, management knows that too... but they cover their own butts. So if you compromise your own integrity and cut corners just to meet your work load, and you get caught...? Management will cut you like a piece of mold off the cheese! Fired! Nothing you can do. Know why? NO UNION!!
THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION! TAKE UP THE CAUSE IN ANY WAY YOU CAN MANAGE. LET US COME TOGETHER, UNITED, AND GAIN THE SUPPORT, PROTECTION, AND GOOD LIVING WAGE AND BENEFITS THAT COME WITH IT. ONLY STANDING TOGETHER, UNITED, CAN WE SUCCEED IN MAKING THE UNDERGROUND UTILITY LOCATING WORK RECOGNIZED AS A SKILLED AND VITAL TRADE.
Until then... we will continue to be treated as lowly, easily replaceable beasts of burden without a voice or power to fight back against the unjust powers that be.
Right here, right now... choose to rise up from the silent shadow and let your voice be heard! Take a stand for what is good and decent! Not only for yourself, but for the greater good of All!