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Ironworkers are a special breed...

Cray Paper

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Been working with and around them since 1991 and appreciate them for what they do and who they are. They are all alike in how they view the world, how to get shit done and stubbornness. I've told my kids and ex's, ironworkers are born, not created. They think differently than most people and once they have found the trade they were made for they excel.

This little story from this week should shed some light on how they think differently, even though this ironworker foreman was a legit female.

I was talking to one of our ironworker Supt's earlier in the week, he has been tasked with managing a sub-tier raising gang led by a gal in her mid 30's with an ironworker mentality through and through. He didn't say how they got to this point in the conversation, but she told him "look, you don't suck a mans dick with your mouth, you suck it with your heart, if it's not in your heart you just cant do it".
 

Wave Hi

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Well i definitely would like to have it done with the mouth first, then maybe throw the heart into it on the second go round...!
 

Cray Paper

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I've worked for union commercial GC's as a union carpenter since 1991 and have worked with every trade imaginable. In my early years I would get so frustrated by ironworkers, such a free spirit with no filter and so capable with no regard for anything except getting it done. Rules didn't mean shit, only an obstruction to production. The same mentality is there today, but they are really trying to comply, but that spirit is still there, just comes out in a different way.

I still remember when Big Kevin with APEX Erectors was pissed when he saw me and a couple of buddies with wire wheels on our bags while looking at parking garage column raps tied up and knowing APEX didn't tie the bar back in the late 90's. Big Kevin said " if the cocksuckers had a union you fuckers would be scabbing on them too".

I worked around him and his crew on several jobs the following decade and would tell story's from work to my wife at the time and my sons. My sons met Kevin 10 years later on one of my projects on a Saturday erection, he was just as I described, super funny, respectful to my sons and wife, and stubborn and dismissive about safety.
 
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Rayson1971

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When I was an apprentice I was working on a new building and watched an Iron worker walk /shimmy an I beam to get to the second floor. Never seen that before.
 

rrrr

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Bunch of fiberglass hatted hooligans.

😁
 

TimeBandit

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I had an iron worker buddy back in the '80s and he had figured out that ornamental iron work was his thing... like putting a handrail on a balcony in a high rise apartment he had no desire to do that I beam walking stuff.

I wonder what happened to him.
 

Cray Paper

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Rod busters are much more relatable to me (carpenter) than the structural steel raising gang ironworkers. They are in the same union, but erectors are a different breed. As far as managing them goes, once you understand how they think and see things, it is pretty straight forward.

I had a great mentor, he taught me how to get the rectors attention, waste their time showing them their own fall protection plans, how to use their harnesses and lanyards, how to set cable saddles etc. Ironworkers are just stubborn, but if you use their time to instruct them on what they know what to do they will comply.

They are very transparent and honest to a fault, doesn't matter race, creed, sexual orientation etc you just need tyo understand them and it makes it much easier to communicate with them.

This should shed some light...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3yYN5N8wkM
 

Nordie

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Rod busters are much more relatable to me (carpenter) than the structural steel raising gang ironworkers. They are in the same union, but erectors are a different breed. As far as managing them goes, once you understand how they think and see things, it is pretty straight forward.

I had a great mentor, he taught me how to get the rectors attention, waste their time showing them their own fall protection plans, how to use their harnesses and lanyards, how to set cable saddles etc. Ironworkers are just stubborn, but if you use their time to instruct them on what they know what to do they will comply.

They are very transparent and honest to a fault, doesn't matter race, creed, sexual orientation etc you just need tyo understand them and it makes it much easier to communicate with them.

This should shed some light...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3yYN5N8wkM

The ironworkers command respect on the job, and honestly they deserve it.
 

Cray Paper

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They don't deserve anymore attention or respect than most other trades, but if your managing them you need to understand how they operate and think in order to keep the sight safe and get the production contracts dictate. In my career I have encountered numerous ironworkers I did not respect and or would have loved to meet in the parking lot after work to square up with. They are rational, they just require a much different approach then other tradesmen.
 

HBCraig

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I've worked for union commercial GC's as a union carpenter since 1991 and have worked with every trade imaginable. In my early years I would get so frustrated by ironworkers, such a free spirit with no filter and so capable with no regard for anything except getting it done. Rules didn't mean shit, only an obstruction to production. The same mentality is there today, but they are really trying to comply, but that spirit is still there, just comes out in a different way.

I still remember when Big Kevin with APEX Erectors was pissed when he saw me and a couple of buddies with wire wheels on our bags while looking at parking garage column raps tied up and knowing APEX didn't tie the bar back in the late 90's. Big Kevin said " if the cocksuckers had a union you fuckers would be scabbing on them too".

I worked around him and his crew on several jobs the following decade and would tell story's from work to my wife at the time and my sons. My sons met Kevin 10 years later on one of my projects on a Saturday erection, he was just as I described, super funny, respectful to my sons and wife, and stubborn and dismissive about safety.
My brother just retired from socal carpenters local
We was a superintendent for McCarthy. Ran their concrete division.
 

Nordie

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They don't deserve anymore attention or respect than most other trades, but if your managing them you need to understand how they operate and think in order to keep the sight safe and get the production contracts dictate. In my career I have encountered numerous ironworkers I did not respect and or would have loved to meet in the parking lot after work to square up with. They are rational, they just require a much different approach then other tradesmen.

Lol, same guy that's been married like 6 times on RDP wants to talk bad about ironworkers.
 

Javajoe

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Prima donna’s just like concrete and elevator guys. It’s a Union thing. Just need to manage them a little differently 😉
They say they are the safest. I have yet to see that. Not bad, but not the safest
 

CarolynandBob

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Prima donna’s just like concrete and elevator guys. It’s a Union thing. Just need to manage them a little differently 😉
They say they are the safest. I have yet to see that. Not bad, but not the safest

You aren't kidding about the elevator guys. LOL We got along with the concrete guys for the most part.
 

rivrrts429

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My brother just retired from socal carpenters local
We was a superintendent for McCarthy. Ran their concrete division.


I’m confident I know/knew him. I’m very involved with McCarthy nationally but especially in SoCal as their rep and a vendor for the last 25 years.
 

Cray Paper

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Lol, same guy that's been married like 6 times on RDP wants to talk bad about ironworkers.
Just to set the record straight, I've been married 3 times in 54 years. 1st lasted almost 23 years together and 19 being married, 2nd marriage was admittedly a mess but understandable if you have any heart / soul / willingness to take a previous relationship to what you thought it could have been. My wife is an amazing women, smart, loving, responsible, great communicator, understanding and a true partner in life.

Your ironworker listening and understanding skills are up front and present, just as I described in my previous posts. I appreciate ironworkers for being so fucking stubborn and single minded on completing a task they can ignore every ounce of safety training, common sense and respect for others around them with the soul purpose of "getting her done". Feel better now?


I've been a job for a couple years with a mix of superintendents from the operating engineers, ironworkers, labors, carpenters (I am one of 2 and outnumbered) and cement masons. I was just talking to one of our erector ironworker supts today and when I said " you guys" he said WTF do you mean? I said the rodbusters you brought in from your company to tie bar...he didnt have much nice to say about the rod busters. I asked them why erectors despise tying bar from my experience and he said rod busters are at the bottom of the ironworkers union and are like gorillas. I don't think as I've worked with a lot of hardworking, good people that are rod busters.

Why doe erectors shit on rod busters? That doesn't happen in the carpenters union across the board like the ironworkers union.

Biggest union primidone's are the elevator guys followed closely now by the plumbers, then pipe fitters. Electricians use to be 2nd but are really slackin!
 
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v6toy4x

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Prima donna’s just like concrete and elevator guys. It’s a Union thing. Just need to manage them a little differently 😉
They say they are the safest. I have yet to see that. Not bad, but not the safest
As Cray I spent 35 years in carpenters union, from the pitz to the ritz.

Hands down elevator boys are the worst. Followed by our utility PG&E crews.
 

v6toy4x

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Our age old saying is “who’s the worse elevator contractor? The one you chose.”
And its not like there is a huge selection. I always had the hardest time getting the alarm guy and elevator jockeys to play nice.
No pass no occupancy
 

Nordie

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Just to set the record straight, I've been married 3 times in 54 years. 1st lasted almost 23 years together and 19 being married, 2nd marriage was admittedly a mess but understandable if you have any heart / soul / willingness to take a previous relationship to what you thought it could have been. My wife is an amazing women, smart, loving, responsible, great communicator, understanding and a true partner in life.

Your ironworker listening and understanding skills are up front and present, just as I described in my previous posts. I appreciate ironworkers for being so fucking stubborn and single minded on completing a task they can ignore every ounce of safety training, common sense and respect for others around them with the soul purpose of "getting her done". Feel better now?


I've been a job for a couple years with a mix of superintendents from the operating engineers, ironworkers, labors, carpenters (I am one of 2 and outnumbered) and cement masons. I was just talking to one of our erector ironworker supts today and when I said " you guys" he said WTF do you mean? I said the rodbusters you brought in from your company to tie bar...he didnt have much nice to say about the rod busters. I asked them why erectors despise tying bar from my experience and he said rod busters are at the bottom of the ironworkers union and are like gorillas. I don't think as I've worked with a lot of hardworking, good people that are rod busters.

Why doe erectors shit on rod busters? That doesn't happen in the carpenters union across the board like the ironworkers union.

Biggest union primidone's are the elevator guys followed closely now by the plumbers, then pipe fitters. Electricians use to be 2nd but are really slackin!

I've never understood the structural ironworkers vs rodbusters tension. It's always been there. The only thing I'll say about the structural guys is they'll sit in the hall before taking a rebar job, where the rebar guys will do anything. We all goto the same school.

Being I have an only rebar background I can respect the structural guys doing the decking and the connectors. Those guys get after it.

I'd say with my experience just in my industry, those foundation guys can be pretty over the top for some reason.
 

racektm

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I've never understood the structural ironworkers vs rodbusters tension. It's always been there. The only thing I'll say about the structural guys is they'll sit in the hall before taking a rebar job, where the rebar guys will do anything. We all goto the same school.

Being I have an only rebar background I can respect the structural guys doing the decking and the connectors. Those guys get after it.

I'd say with my experience just in my industry, those foundation guys can be pretty over the top for some reason.
Most of the "Older" structural guys I have worked with over the last 45+ years love the rod Busters, for nothing more than their shear numbers of workers to keep their pensions benefits funded and alive!!

There are a lot more rod busters than structural guys apparently.
 

jesco

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Was doing an Oscar Mayer storage building in the early 90s. One of the iron workers and a pipe fitter got into it. The pipe fitter cut off the iron worker racing to the Carls Jr down the street for lunch in his MG. They argued back and forth the rest of the day over it, almost going to blows. End of the day, the iron worker picked up the dudes MG with a pettibone and put it on top of their container and left with the key. FOR THE WEEKEND!!! Hahaha.
 

TBulger

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Iron workers in upstate N Y mostly Native Americans, fearless.
 

Bobby V

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Iron workers in upstate N Y mostly Native Americans, fearless.
Yep. Back in the 80’s when I was an apprentice setting sleeves in the Robinson decking on a new 16 story the job site was next to a bar. At lunch the iron workers would storm the bar doing shots. Sometimes the foreman would have to go drag some of them out of the bar. 🍺🍺😛
 

Cray Paper

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Intent for this thread wasn't to disrespect ironworkers, just an observation of the commonality of their mind set from working with and around them for over 3 decades from a carpenters perspective. I appreciate how they all seem to think, they just think differently from just about all of the other tradesman. Goal oriented in work and play and usually very direct with no filter in all aspects of life.
 

Cray Paper

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I've never understood the structural ironworkers vs rodbusters tension. It's always been there. The only thing I'll say about the structural guys is they'll sit in the hall before taking a rebar job, where the rebar guys will do anything. We all goto the same school.

Being I have an only rebar background I can respect the structural guys doing the decking and the connectors. Those guys get after it.

I'd say with my experience just in my industry, those foundation guys can be pretty over the top for some reason.
I've had run ins with erectors when I was a carpenter foreman. One encounter involved tying embed trim rebar off Nelson studs that the rod buster Supt asked me to take care of for good reason as they didn't want to stay late to do it by the Central Steel Supt Tony Gurdy. An Apex erector dipshit walked by me and called me a scab. I stood up and said "WTF did you call me?" He kept walking and mumbled under his breath SCAB and I took my rats nest of ductaped tire wire and through it at him, hit him right between the shoulder blades and almost knocked him over face first. He didnt flip around as fast as I thought he would, I was verbally going off on him before he almost face planted. Made it perfectly fucking clear he could come tie the trim steel up if he wanted. He didn't say shit to me other than he doesn't tie bar.

Some of the best people I have worked along side in the trades were rod busters and erectors. I just don't understand why erectors wont do a part of their trade that was part of their apprenticeship?
 
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