Tim Stevenson: I feel lucky to work for the union

I grew up in one of eight children.

Our father was a hard-working, unionized electrician and we didn’t have much money.

If they wanted what other kids had, they had to find a way to make money to buy them. I started working for the Flysch Big Boy at the age of 14. After graduating from high school, I got a job at Clark Equipment. About a year later, I bid on Building 13, which was the final assembly of the crane. I enjoyed this job because I needed so many different things to assemble with a crane. However, the factory was closed within a few years.

At that time, factories were closed everywhere. Cities that once had high salaries and decent jobs have changed.

Finding those decent wage jobs in Lima has begun to become very difficult. I applied because it was adopted by Sheller Globe. Eventually I got a job and worked on a bus route. The job wasn’t as fun as Clark, but it was. I quickly realized how lucky I was that there wasn’t much work left in the area. However, a few years later, Scheller Grove also closed the door and went out of business.

I finally found a job as a union worker. I started from the refinery with one of the outages. I have cleaned many tanks and ships many times without the proper training and safety equipment available today. At that time, safety and training were not as implemented as they are today. I worked as a union worker for 12 years.

After working in a trade union, I joined a plumber and plumbers’ union, where I started as an apprentice. I worked at UA Local 776 for 22 years, primarily as a plumber. Most of my work was at the Lima Refinery before I retired early due to a disability.

My father was not a member, but all eight of his children were members. Trade unions do not enrich people, but they do improve the lives of those who are good at working by hand and know that college is not for them. Thanks to the union’s brothers and sisters, I have received a worker, plumber and plumber pension since I was working at Local329 and Local776. In addition to both pensions, I was also able to receive social security. I am very grateful to have received the pension and reached retirement age.

Cenovus Energy came out for many different reasons contracted by state workers to do turnarounds. After all, the bottom line is that they are all unfounded lies. The real reason is to save money. There are highly skilled workers who experience apprenticeships certified by the US Department of Labor. Currently, there are men and women doing this daily on the refinery maintenance team. These men and women are our neighbors, friends, and family. They pay taxes to our school and support our community.

Working in a refinery is very dangerous and should not be trusted by the cheapest bidders, but by the safest and most skilled ones. Who will support Ohio workers if they do not support Ohio work?

Tim Stevenson is a resident of Harrod and a retiree of UA Local 776.



Tim Stevenson: I feel lucky to work for the union

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