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I may get to experience unemployment.

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
2,065
901
136
First time in my life I am looking at not working. I have a relatively decent job with good pay and benefits. We are so busy and behind though that our employer is "asking" people in the engineering groups etc. to go out into the plant and work on off shifts. Right now they are asking for volunteers, after that they will strongly suggest and appeal to your sense of "loyalty" and your commitment to the company.

My initial reaction is "screw you" we have a contractual agreement, hire more new people for the plant. But of course their hiring methods suck, and there is stiff competition, and it's very hard to hire right now, no on is even applying.

I can't find any answers about what qualifying events for unemployment are. I think forcing you to change work hours or reduce pay would qualify, I don't know, I'll have to call. But if I get told to start working 3rd shift next week I suppose I'll be done there after over 30 years of service, just don't know how I should handle it as my best chance of drawing unemployment so I don't have to work for a while. This what I get for working over 30 years at the same place, a dubious test of my loyalty. I need a beer.
 

deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
5,993
381
126
Are you getting paid for the work? Are they asking you to work more than 40 hours per week un-compensated?

I can't really figure out what the root cause issue is, is it just the schedule changing?

I'd simply say you're unavailable to work those hours. If they don't accept that, then let them terminate you. I assume you have an offer or something similar that set your schedule at some point in the past (whether explicit or implicit). If you don't have an offer that explicitly says 3rd shift then I can't see how they could force it.

Whatever you do, I wouldn't no-show for work. If anything, show up, do nothing, and let them figure out how to terminate you for performance and risk being sued down the line.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,647
6,727
126
I got the impression from the OP that this was a combined engineering firm, and a production plant, and they're asking some of their engineers, to fill in on the production line, because they can't get / won't pay for production people.

Is that an accurate summary, OP?

I could easily understand why someone hired and employed as an engineer, wouldn't want to work a blue-collar production job.
 

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
2,065
901
136
I got the impression from the OP that this was a combined engineering firm, and a production plant, and they're asking some of their engineers, to fill in on the production line, because they can't get / won't pay for production people.

Is that an accurate summary, OP?

I could easily understand why someone hired and employed as an engineer, wouldn't want to work a blue-collar production job.
Pretty much. I work in process engineering, so part of my job may be to run trials and work on R&D sized or production equipment. I could run any machine in the plant with my knowledge. The issue is I am salaried with a contract, and my set hours are 7-4. They are trying to get us to volunteer for 3-11 or 11-7. I have no problem telling them to get bent, I just want to do it so I can hopefully collect unemployment benefits as I think they will fight it, although Minnesota law may be on my side. I guess I will tell them no, I can't do it, and see what happens.
 

Ajay

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
9,209
3,768
136
Pretty much. I work in process engineering, so part of my job may be to run trials and work on R&D sized or production equipment. I could run any machine in the plant with my knowledge. The issue is I am salaried with a contract, and my set hours are 7-4. They are trying to get us to volunteer for 3-11 or 11-7. I have no problem telling them to get bent, I just want to do it so I can hopefully collect unemployment benefits as I think they will fight it, although Minnesota law may be on my side. I guess I will tell them no, I can't do it, and see what happens.
Having worked in engineering for manufacturing companies in a past life, I have filled in for specialized high skilled one off production runs as well as running R&D tests on production equipment. That was okay, but what they are asking of you - damn, that's rough. If I had to do those kind of jobs day in and day out for 3 months I'd lose my mind. Never understood how production workers dealt with the repetitive nature of their jobs.

Anyway, good luck to you! Oh, are you reaching out and networking (blah, blah, blah), to find a similar job at another company?
 

bbhaag

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2011
5,811
1,166
136
My father in law went through something similar when he worked for CAT. The UAW went on strike and upper management "threatened" to send engineers out to the plant to fill positions on the line.

He was in his late 50's at the time and was worried af as you are now. It didn't turn into anything bro. This is an empty threat by upper management to try an provoke the people they laid off pre covid to come back and work.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,578
618
126
In the late 90s, something similar happened to me. My company got busy at exactly the same time every year - it wasn’t a great mystery when the demand would spike and yet every year, they’d fail to plan ahead and then scramble to get caught up. One year, they decided to require us to work production on the weekends to pick up the slack. We were salaried and would get no pay, bonus, or comp time either. We would still be expected to do our regular jobs through the week as well. I told my boss it was a bunch of shit and he agreed, but it came from way above him and there was nothing he could do.

So guess what my engineering coworkers and I did? We showed up and intentionally worked as slowly as possible - and when I say slow, I mean we were producing at maybe 1/10th the speed we were “supposed” to. Management got the hint loud and clear and that nonsense never happened again.

Of course, that was a much different era than today and I was in my late 20s back then. Being 50 and not nearly as willing to put up with any crap, if something similar happened to me today, I would tell just tell them no and dare them to fire me - unless, of course, they had some additional compensation to back it up and I was interested in earning a little extra.
 
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nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
2,065
901
136
Ask them how they are going to fill the vacancies when all the current engineers walk.
We have around 30 engineers, so I guess they feel comfortable losing what I would guess to be 5 or 6. We have been busy for the last year, currently we could only meet 1/3 of our orders last month. Some of that was raw materials, now it's people to run machines. The production workers have been working every other weekend in what seems like forever to them. I am in my early 50's and trying to hammer away money for retirement. I have savings and can ride out a good amount of time off as the wife has an excellent job, it would just set my goals back quite a bit. Starting over at my age would suck, but it is what it is I guess.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
85,225
9,513
126
We have around 30 engineers, so I guess they feel comfortable losing what I would guess to be 5 or 6. We have been busy for the last year, currently we could only meet 1/3 of our orders last month. Some of that was raw materials, now it's people to run machines. The production workers have been working every other weekend in what seems like forever to them. I am in my early 50's and trying to hammer away money for retirement. I have savings and can ride out a good amount of time off as the wife has an excellent job, it would just set my goals back quite a bit. Starting over at my age would suck, but it is what it is I guess.
Start looking, they decided to risk losing more engineers and well that is what is going to happen. Not necessarily great for you, but you never know.
I haave zero patience for scums.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
41,959
4,555
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AT&T did/does this with their management. Guess it depends on how badly peeps need to keep their jerbs and income.

About 100 years ago, I worked at a paper mill during the summers. Talk of a union/strike was going around. One of the crew leaders told them to have at it but he was coming to work...bills to pay and kids to feed. To this day, no strike or union.
 
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K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
37,278
11,719
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They will offer higher salaries....duh.
If they are short labor in production and using engineers to cover because they likely won't raise pay to attract more workers I'm not real confident this will occur to management.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
41,959
4,555
136
If they are short labor in production and using engineers to cover because they likely won't raise pay to attract more workers I'm not real confident this will occur to management.
I'm confident that HR can fuck it up. ;)
 
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nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
2,065
901
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If they are short labor in production and using engineers to cover because they likely won't raise pay to attract more workers I'm not real confident this will occur to management.
You are correct. The company is privately owned, and the family will not feel the pinch in their pocketbooks, they'll just pass it along to those below them. I think they are afraid of getting into a bidding war with the various other manufacturing plants around town. If everyone raises their pay to attract new employees, then that is a permanent hit on their end of the wage disparity gap. There is even talk afoot that their is a local wage agreement between some of the businesses to keep their wages lower as to not have to lock in higher wages. It's classic big business versus the employees.

Having said all that, it has been a decent company to work for these past years. It is just being taken over by the owner's son, who has newer ideas of how to treat employees than his ailing father. He always talks in terms of sales and money lost, not internal and external customer satisfaction. Probably a good time to exit anyway.

I am going to take some time off. I have 3 week long vacations planned through September. Hell I'd rather go work in the yard at our local home improvement store rather than chase the corporate BS again. I just need health insurance, my wife is self-employed and I provide insurance.
 
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deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
5,993
381
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You are correct. The company is privately owned, and the family will not feel the pinch in their pocketbooks, they'll just pass it along to those below them. I think they are afraid of getting into a bidding war with the various other manufacturing plants around town. If everyone raises their pay to attract new employees, then that is a permanent hit on their end of the wage disparity gap. There is even talk afoot that their is a local wage agreement between some of the businesses to keep their wages lower as to not have to lock in higher wages. It's classic big business versus the employees.

Having said all that, it has been a decent company to work for these past years. It is just being taken over by the owner's son, who has newer ideas of how to treat employees than his ailing father. He always talks in terms of sales and money lost, not internal and external customer satisfaction. Probably a good time to exit anyway.

I am going to take some time off. I have 3 week long vacations planned through September. Hell I'd rather go work in the yard at our local home improvement store rather than chase the corporate BS again. I just need health insurance, my wife is self-employed and I provide insurance.
The bolding is considered classic non-competitiveness and is absolutely illegal. If that is happening, I'd definitely anonymously report it to the state and have them investigate.

Either way, in your case, I'd simply hold fast and tell them you won't modify your schedule according to your contract. Document everything, and if necessary threaten them / HR with legal action if they intend to separate you from the company for this.

In the meantime, I'd start looking for another job.
 

Fritzo

Lifer
Jan 3, 2001
41,415
1,563
126
First time in my life I am looking at not working. I have a relatively decent job with good pay and benefits. We are so busy and behind though that our employer is "asking" people in the engineering groups etc. to go out into the plant and work on off shifts. Right now they are asking for volunteers, after that they will strongly suggest and appeal to your sense of "loyalty" and your commitment to the company.

My initial reaction is "screw you" we have a contractual agreement, hire more new people for the plant. But of course their hiring methods suck, and there is stiff competition, and it's very hard to hire right now, no on is even applying.

I can't find any answers about what qualifying events for unemployment are. I think forcing you to change work hours or reduce pay would qualify, I don't know, I'll have to call. But if I get told to start working 3rd shift next week I suppose I'll be done there after over 30 years of service, just don't know how I should handle it as my best chance of drawing unemployment so I don't have to work for a while. This what I get for working over 30 years at the same place, a dubious test of my loyalty. I need a beer.
There is a SEVERE employee shortage right now...maybe they legitimately can't find employees.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
22,972
1,227
126
I would probably put that term in "quotes". As it's not literally true. "socialist".
Your term is also not literally true. Socialism is government ownership of business. So, if he resigns, suddenly the government owns his old company?
 
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HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
27,545
13,289
136
You are correct. The company is privately owned, and the family will not feel the pinch in their pocketbooks, they'll just pass it along to those below them. I think they are afraid of getting into a bidding war with the various other manufacturing plants around town. If everyone raises their pay to attract new employees, then that is a permanent hit on their end of the wage disparity gap. There is even talk afoot that their is a local wage agreement between some of the businesses to keep their wages lower as to not have to lock in higher wages. It's classic big business versus the employees.

Having said all that, it has been a decent company to work for these past years. It is just being taken over by the owner's son, who has newer ideas of how to treat employees than his ailing father. He always talks in terms of sales and money lost, not internal and external customer satisfaction. Probably a good time to exit anyway.

I am going to take some time off. I have 3 week long vacations planned through September. Hell I'd rather go work in the yard at our local home improvement store rather than chase the corporate BS again. I just need health insurance, my wife is self-employed and I provide insurance.
Don't forget if you quit no unemployment. I got laid off during the economic collapse of 2007-08. After a few years of no steady work it wasn't fun
 
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IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,578
618
126
You are correct. The company is privately owned, and the family
Those are the only words I needed to see. I'm sure I'll catch flack for this, many people will tell me I'm wrong, and there are probably exceptions, but NEVER work for a family-owned company if you can avoid it because stuff like this happens all the time. Time to move on - find a new job first and then give notice.
 

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