I worked at RLA Utilities full-time (More than 5 years)
RLA--if you're a member of the union--has great medical benefits. Some of the intangibles include a casual dress code, a family-owned company that lacks corporate stuffiness, and many company policies are not 'written in stone', they are negotiable. Since it is a construction company, operational tempo tends to slow down in the Winter months. This is the best time for professional development, family vacation, etc.
RLA is your typical family-run cigar box business. It lacks depth of management, and general advancement opportunity. There are many family members working here, and if you cannot co-exist with them, you will be run out the door--god forbid sharing any ideas that are 'outside the box'. Despite what is said, management is only concerned with the bottom-line. In addition to complete absence of any unity of command, upper management is against continuing education, and professional improvement. I had to hide the fact that I wanted to improve/better myself. That is unacceptable, and one of the many reasons I chose to leave.
Advice to Management
Consider more promotions from within. There are many individuals in 'labor' billets that have 4-year or advanced degrees but management would never know it. Corporate structure has remained the same for about 15 years, and new life needs to be brought in to the organization. I'm reminded of the adage, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."
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