Twelve SFNE workers strike

Friday, February 4, 2005 3:17 PM
Just read in Amusement Business that 12 SFNE workers are striking for "The workers are upset about being required to use their own vehicles for work, having their schedule changed without notice and getting less time off, mechanic Robert Farris said. The workers also want the park to provide them with proper equipment." I've often thought it was strange SF Mechanics drive their own cars and the same mechanics seem to be in the park all day long. This explains alot.
Friday, February 4, 2005 3:24 PM

It's not weird they drive themselves to work but it's weird they have to drive their own personal cars around the park from ride to ride to fix problems with various rides. I don't know about SFNE, but the roads leading to various parts of the park are all dirt roads. You get dirt in your engine parts, hard on your suspension, hard on gas and the mechanics I've seen don't drive the nicest vehicles around the park. *** Edited 2/4/2005 8:25:21 PM UTC by coasterguts***

Friday, February 4, 2005 4:05 PM
Yeah, but if part of the job description was "you will have to use your person vehicle for work purposes", then they have no right to complain.

You can't accept the terms of a job, then try to change it.

However, if they were told specifically that they wouldn't have to use them, then good for the strikers.

Friday, February 4, 2005 4:13 PM
I was reading about this as well. What interested me was its not only driving around from ride to ride fixing things but one of the mechanics claimed that he had to use his vehicle moving 3000 pound superman cars, which Im sure we can all see why you wouldnt want to do that. Heres a link with more info
Friday, February 4, 2005 4:20 PM
I can totally relate to some of the complaints, such as changing schedules and use of their own vehicles. *** Edited 2/4/2005 9:21:24 PM UTC by Snap43***
Friday, February 4, 2005 4:28 PM

Instead of two days off, the workers now have 1½ days. And instead of working 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m., the park recently changed the mechanics' schedule to 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Farris said.

You're kidding me right? Six day work weeks are the norm in this bussiness for full time employees. Matter of fact we switch to that in a few weeks and will stay at that till August.

Not to mention that they're complaining about their hours? Try 6am till 4:30. (and that's the off season).

Talk about a bunch of cry-babies....

Friday, February 4, 2005 4:59 PM
1. Seldomridge agreed with Farris, noting, "Six Flags has a long-term capital spending plan for every park, yet they don't buy the necessary equipment for us to do our jobs, and we end up using our own personal trucks to move 3,000 pound Superman cars."

The way this is written makes it seem like the workers choose to use their own trucks. There is a big difference between choosing to use your own truck and being forced to use your own truck. I wish I knew which it was.

2. The workers also want a raise. Mechanics at the park earn about $13 to $15 per hour, Seldomridge said.

Is this a fair wage? It seems that there might be ample people with a mechanical background that would be willing to work for this wage. It is well above minimum. What is the education requirement for this job?

3. The workers then picketed outside the amusement park on Main Street near a 12-foot-high inflatable bulldog while wearing signs around their neck stating, "Six Flags on strike for recognition."

I'm sure the inflatable dog has management shaking in their boots...

4. The striking workers received support from U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry, both D-Mass., and U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield.

This is a real shocker. Have these guys EVER been against any strike, anywhere, at any time? If they have, please enlighten me...

I'm sure the ringing endorsement from this bunch will really put the pressure on the corporation to end this madness. Especially given the recent successes shown by the likes of this group of politicians...

5. None of the workers at Six Flags New England currently belong to a union, Pinkerton said. She added that yesterday's walkout came as a shock.

Nothing like a strike by a bunch of non-union workers... This hints a little at the collective IQ of the bunch...

I suppose it is too much that they understand the underlying fundamentals of the company they work for. With the recent company stock prices, I might suggest that anyone who still has a job might want to look elsewhere, or at the very least fight any urges to stage non-union walkouts with inflatable dog backgrounds.

But what do I know?

*** Edited 2/4/2005 10:04:29 PM UTC by Jeffrey R Smith***

Friday, February 4, 2005 6:19 PM
With the park being non-union and these guys striking a) without being in union jobs and b) not having a union represent them.

It's as simple as the park saying "You are fired for not showing up to work when scheduled."

Pretty cut and dry. Not to mention if the state has "at will" laws. They should probably try and get the rental fee back for the dog and use it on gas to go to new job interviews.

Friday, February 4, 2005 6:45 PM

Red Garter Rob said:
They should probably try and get the rental fee back for the dog and use it on gas to go to new job interviews.

Ha! Nice. :)

Friday, February 4, 2005 8:07 PM
This is not the first time we've heard about complaints from SFNE Employees. Remember the international workers from last summer that's suing the park?
Friday, February 4, 2005 8:58 PM
Clearly a case of doing things bass ackwards. Should have unionized first THEN go on strike. Clearly, ads will be put into the local papers, and in AB, and that will be it. Heck I'm available ('cept I won't work for SF, nor do I want to live in MASS).
Friday, February 4, 2005 9:55 PM
For enough money I will work for Six Flags and move to Mess,er Mass. Oh sorry I forgot I already work for Six Flags, never mind! ;)

Friday, February 4, 2005 11:30 PM
my guess is that Six Flags doesnt want to upset any of these ride mechanics. Their kind of knowledge is fairly valuable, and reasonably hard to find. Mechanical aptitude is becoming more and more difficult to come by in the job market.

I also would assume from a simple liability standpoint, that SFNE would'nt want mechanics driving around in random vehicles on thier property.

Saturday, February 5, 2005 12:52 AM
Know that saying, "watch what you wish for, because you might get it?" These guys might end up joining a union, only to find that whatever (if any) raise the union wins for them ends up being paid out in "union dues."

Of course, the ultimate irony will be that a good part of those union dues will become political contributions to people like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and Richard Neal. Well, maybe not irony, more like a fact of life.

RGB, whose parents worked a combined 40-some years in union jobs for a combined 80-some dollars a month in union pensions.

Saturday, February 5, 2005 11:00 AM
Enough money? Maybe, but they sure aren't paying it at $13-15/hr.
Saturday, February 5, 2005 11:34 AM
forty bucks a month doesnt sound so bad really.

These guys right now are earning prolly close to 40k (including overtime). I dont know about you, but that doesnt seem very substantial -considering the level of knowledge, skill and relative importance that is invested in thier jobs. (especially when you consider that they are living in Mass- with very high cost of living.)

Obviously there is considerable debate in this country about the benefits of Unions- Cant debate that here.

However, if they were to unionize, then you can count on a big shake-up in management at SFNE. Ive never been there so I dont know if a change in management would be beneficial (to me as a coaster enthusiast), -

Saturday, February 5, 2005 1:58 PM for a shake-up in management there.. don't hold your breath ..
Saturday, February 5, 2005 2:13 PM
I do not know if this is truthful or not... However, the year I lived in Kansas City (1997-1998 I think) I was a WoF regular. I lived within five miles and would go 1-7 times per week to get my Timberwolf fix.

Every time I went to the park at opening, the Timberwolf was not ready to operate. Anywhere from 30 minutes until 2 hours later the ride would finally open.

After about 15 times I decided to ask a manager why they consistently could not get Timberwolf ready for opening. He told me that it was because the maintenance crew was unionized and they refused to shift the standard hours available to them prior to the coaster being built. Therefore, they could not perform the required walkthrough and safety checks in a time frame that would allow them to open the ride on time.

Again, I do not know if I was lied to or not. I just think that this may serve as a fine example of how a unionized maintenance crew could/may affect your experience at the park as an enthusiast.

P.S. Night rides were always much better anyhow… *** Edited 2/5/2005 7:15:00 PM UTC by Jeffrey R Smith***

Saturday, February 5, 2005 4:28 PM
Jeffrey, the switch from 6am start to 7am start already makes it seem likely that will happen at SFNE already.

I thought I read somewhere on here before that CP employs union carpenters year round and they don't seem to have problems opening rides on time.

The whole union thing is a touchy subject. It kind of sounded like they have the carpenters ready to represent them. If the workers want that and SFNE said no then that could be a problem. The article really didn't give much information. I thought it just made the mechanics look kind of silly.

Frank, thinking he would like more info

Saturday, February 5, 2005 4:48 PM
I think most of the CP maintenance workers are union. The big difference might be that CP employs three shifts of maintenance workers, including an overnight (3rd) shift. Someone could probably tell you the exact hours they work, but the point is, many parks don't even have night maintenance like CP does. This is why you'll see those parks doing "routine" or "preventative" maintenance during the day. At CP, if something is down during the day, it is usually because there really is something that needs to be fixed. The other stuff is done between park closing and park opening.

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