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I am a recently laid-off apprentice who is only permitted to seek work through my union. My preference is to maintain membership so I can complete my apprenticeship. Plus, union benefits outweigh that of non-union work in my city & state. At the same time, I feel like I should be exploring all potential jobs even if they are non-union. I am concerned that I could otherwise be waiting awhile for work because my former employer employs the majority of the members in the union.
In the unlikely event that a union was to find a member interviewing with non-union companies, would the individual have to forfeit membership? Or, would they understand that the member is just doing their due diligence?
Have you ever been laid-off by a union? If so, how long did it take them to find you work? Was it worth the wait? Did they ever have you re-hire through other unions which have work?
I am basically curious about what I should expect as an unemployed union member and the steps I should take going forward. Thank you in advance for your insight!
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(I have no idea if that's your name, since you didn't give us one.)
You can do any work you want outside the union, provided it is outside the trade you're organized in. For example, if you're in the pipefitter's union, you can do non-union work as an ironworker with no consequence.
If you do work "IN" your membership trade but outside the union, you can be penalized and even ejected.
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It also might help if you let your prospective temp employer know your situation ahead of time.
I have more questions than answers
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