Pass on the "Foreman" or "Crew Member" positions.
Pros: motels, gas, company truck.
Cons: no "nonproductive" pay for foremen, lack of benefits for crew members, heavy extended travel.
Have you seen these adds posted all over the place from this employer who always seems to be hiring? I worked for Osmose as a Foreman for just over one year. I was told by a veteran employee that new hires generally leave within 6 months, so I suppose I actually beat the odds.
The biggest issue with this company is that they don't pay their employees for "nonproductive" hours worked without prior approval from middle management. This includes truck, tool, and equipment maintenance; loading and unloading supplies; processing payroll; etc. Basically, if you're not digging or slinging pesticides you're not getting paid. Middle managers are salaried plus bonuses, so definitely jump on anything above the Foreman position.
Also, the administrative burden of the business is placed on the Foreman, i.e. new hire applications, W-4's, e-Verifies, and all supporting documentation. This is on top of daily payroll processing and pesticide treatment reports which is all deemed "nonproductive," and hence, unpaid. You have to be good at paperwork too, because Crew Members generally earn $10 an hour with no medical, dental, or eye care benefits, which means you will always be hiring.
You should like to travel. While motels and gas are paid, meals are generally not reimbursed. Getting bonus money is technically possible if you can exceed their lofty production quotas. Keep in mind that utility poles are often in swamps, inside fences, on private property, or in the middle of nowhere. As you and your crew are digging them up to smear on the pesticides, watch out for vicious dogs and angry yard – more... loving homeowners. Homeowners are angry for good reason. If you read the pesticide warnings, some of the stuff on the truck is "highly toxic."
Technically, the company is employee owned. However direct profit sharing/ownership was largely eliminated during the Enron fiasco. Basically, the owners are middle management and above now. During my year there, I never met a female or non-white middle manager. However I was told, by that same veteran employee, that a rich guy from India owns most of the private shares.
Although most utility crews across the country are unionized, Osmose is a nonunion company.
Conclusion: Stay away unless you've exhausted all other potential sources of employment and your unemployment benefits are running out or expired. – less