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Thread: Have you ever worked the DuPont rotating shift schedule?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Russel Nash's Avatar
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    Have you ever worked the DuPont rotating shift schedule?

    It is usually implemented in industries which have to run continuously 24/7 like:

    Chemical plants
    Refineries
    Power plants / power houses (both nuclear and coal)

    and…

    Police departments

    The “perk” to the DuPont schedule is that whatever crew you are on, you are scheduled (key word…”scheduled” ) to have like 6/7 days off in a row.

    You can read up on the DuPont schedule here:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shift_plan

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That is one version of it.

    My spidey sense gets tingley with a name like “DuPont” behind it .

    It makes me think that somehow it short changes workers on overtime pay (anything past 40 hours in a week period).

    But I could be wrong.

    Besides, that perk of having 1 week off per month…I bet the low man on the totem pole… gets stuck with forced overtime during that week off.

    I currently work at a refinery on a modified Panama schedule.

    We voted the DuPont schedule down twice.

    What say you?

  2. #2
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    You work an overtime schedule but get no overtime pay. And companies wonder why they can't build loyalty, wonder why workers unionize, steal from the company, can't keep workers, on and on.

    I worked power plants in Virginia and it was 10 on 4 off for straight time pay. Hated it.
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    Could be worse, you could work for Burlington Northern.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    Yes, it sucked trying to plan normal things like appointments or get togethers with friends/family. The extra days off were nice though.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGuy View Post
    You work an overtime schedule but get no overtime pay. And companies wonder why they can't build loyalty, wonder why workers unionize, steal from the company, can't keep workers, on and on.

    I worked power plants in Virginia and it was 10 on 4 off for straight time pay. Hated it.
    I would be thrilled to have that many days off in a row ever without taking vacation! One man's trash is another man's treasure.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had one of the first pagers in 1973. Work all day, chase the pager all night, until laid off for summer. I still celebrate Tuesdays as pass the pager day. Last job gave me an Android for a pager, is that progress? Maybe, if you can figure out an Android.

    One job was 6pm to 6am three days, 6pm to midnight Wednesdays for three years. My wife took longer and longer vacations. If I still worked that shift today, she'd still be on permanent vacation.
    The genius of that shift is four guys cover 24/7. Someone doesn't show up, I could have a 36 hour shift.
    Only by The Grace of God am I still married.

    My dad taught me that policemen are so mean because they work rotating shifts.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    Worked a 12hr rotation for many years. The schedule began with 4 nights, 3 off, 3 days, 24hrs off, 3 nights, 3 off, 3 days, 7-8 off, repeat. Much of the 7-8 days off used to catch up on lost sleep & projects.

    The first 4 was treated as a 40hr week with 8 hrs OT @ 1.5X. Supposed to balance out? Works better on a bi-weekly pay schedule. Not as well on bi-monthly.

    Prior was an 8hr rotation. I believe the 12hr was more desirable.

    Any day/night rotation is less than ideal & has negative physical/mental health effects. Several cases of sleep apnea & worse. Divorce not uncommon.
    Last edited by ~JM~; 05-12-2022 at 01:51 PM.

  8. #8
    i work corrections i work 12 hour days 4 on 4 off that is the greatest perk. I take 4 days off equals 12 without having to go in to work.

  9. #9
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    Excellent book from 1986
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I occasionally (when nothing better was available) worked for a company that was contractually obligated to provide adequate round the clock manpower for emergency repairs. Of course every project was an emergency. To make things worse they were signatory to a Presidential Agreement that resulted in a ten percent pay cut.
    This resulted in the supervisor frequently pushing employees to work 8 on an 8 off. I had heard about this practice from others. My response to the super’s first request was I would gladly stay on the job as long as needed but my OT started after my first 8 hours.
    My fellow employees were shocked but I was told to just come back in the morning. I was the only guy on the crew the supervisor respected, to the extent that when I told him I was dragging up for an OT job he said he’d match the pay and hours the new job offered. I thanked him and left anyway.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    use to work factory and was 4-10's and a 3 banger, loved that
    then went to construction and str8, 8's loved the money
    now no work retired thank god
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  12. #12
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    The schedule itself is not designed to short you on overtime. You are still working 7 days in a 2 week pay period no matter what. The purpose is to get people to work weekends. It's an older concept, you don't see it in that exact form very often anymore. I currently work with two guys who do a version of that, except the rotation isn't much of a rotation with only two. They work 12 hour shifts. It's the 12 hour days non-stop that gets you. I opted for mon-fri 9 hour days.

    3M is a good example of what that schedule has become. They not only rotate days, they rotate shifts. So you are working 8 hour days in theory, but one week you are on 1st shift, the next on 2nd, then the next on 3rd. I don't know what order they do it in. It's straight up torture. Why anyone would subject themselves to that for a little more pay, I'll never know.

    I still maintain that 4/10 days is the greatest. Hire a 3 day weekend crew, and pay them for it if you want people to work weekends.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy super6's Avatar
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    Mine was 3 twelves on and two off then two on and three off paid overtime after eight hours, Days off rotated so off time was week ends or weekdays always moved up a day up every week, Gave me time to hang at San Diego board walk.... Any that have been there would know!
    takeo Shimizu , The father of organic chemistry

  14. #14
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    They tried to force us to do this at the casino. We balked and walked out. They decided we could stay on a fixed shift. I worked 4 to mids for years, 10 days on 4 off. When my vacation rolled around I scheduled it to coincide with my 4 days off so I ended with 15 days off when I tossed in my birthday day off. Was nice to get away that long. The casino is a very fast paced high pressure job. I repaired electronics, mainly slot machines and their data collection system.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    When I was on the Police Dept. we worked what was then called a "wheel". That was over 40 years ago and I don't remember the details but it seemed to work well. IIRC, everyone got some holiday's off and weekends seemed evenly distribute as well. Worst thing about it was when you changed shifts. If you didn't have the next day off you only had 8 hours between shifts.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master Handloader109's Avatar
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    I worked at a Milliken textile plant in the 80s. We ran a 10 hour rotation, with a real twist. There was a mini shift. They worked 24 hours a week, 6 to 10pm, with Wednesday off. Worked well for some folks not wanting FT, and students that wanted to work.

    There were three other shifts, and we worked 10 hour shifts, except on turn day (Wednesday, when it was 8 hour day)
    A shift would come in 8 to 4 on Wednesday, B 4 to midnight and C midnight to 8am. A Shift came in Thursday at 8am to 6pm, and worked 1st shift Thurs through the following Tursday, and on Wednesday, moved to 4pm to Midnight, then off till 10pm Friday night. Then worked night shift Friday through Tuesday 10pm to 8am, and on Wednesday worked midnight to 8am, which was actually Thursday. Then off till the following Wednesday when you came in at 8am again....... 40 hours per week and only a crazy person could have come up with it.

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master Russel Nash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGuy View Post
    You work an overtime schedule but get no overtime pay. And companies wonder why they can't build loyalty, wonder why workers unionize, steal from the company, can't keep workers, on and on.

    I worked power plants in Virginia and it was 10 on 4 off for straight time pay. Hated it.
    Yep!

    At my work, yesterday, they fired an alky unit control room / board operator (alky as in alkalination ).

    Our environmental operations unit/sulfur plant has had something like 5 operators within the last year quit.

    For us operators on this modified Panama schedule, we have 7 , 12 hour shifts scheduled in a 2 week period.

    Three shifts one week.

    Four shifts the other week.

    With the crew I am on, that 7 shift lands on a Saturday….the pay period… so the first 4 hours ….#40 ,#39, #38, and #37 are straight time. The last 8 hours are time and a half.

    The only other time we get OT is if a dude from another crew calls off sick or is on vacation.

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Yes! I definitely liked it better when I was a carpenter or millwright and anything over 8 was time and a half.

    Saturday was 1.5

    Sunday and holidays was double time.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Russel Nash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    The schedule itself is not designed to short you on overtime. You are still working 7 days in a 2 week pay period no matter what. The purpose is to get people to work weekends. It's an older concept, you don't see it in that exact form very often anymore. I currently work with two guys who do a version of that, except the rotation isn't much of a rotation with only two. They work 12 hour shifts. It's the 12 hour days non-stop that gets you. I opted for mon-fri 9 hour days.

    3M is a good example of what that schedule has become. They not only rotate days, they rotate shifts. So you are working 8 hour days in theory, but one week you are on 1st shift, the next on 2nd, then the next on 3rd. I don't know what order they do it in. It's straight up torture. Why anyone would subject themselves to that for a little more pay, I'll never know.

    I still maintain that 4/10 days is the greatest. Hire a 3 day weekend crew, and pay them for it if you want people to work weekends.
    Yeah, you’re right. You don’t get cheated on overtime.

    When I was a brand new Air Force 2Lt in the base command post, when we had plenty of officers, it 8 hour shifts. It was like 2 days, 2 swings, 2 mids, and then like 4 days off.

    Then we had an “El Tee” or two get deployed to the Sandbox.

    Then we worked 12’s.

    It was like 3 days on, 3 off, 3 nights on, and 3 off….repeat.

    Uggghhh… what a sucky schedule.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Russel Nash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by white eagle View Post
    use to work factory and was 4-10's and a 3 banger, loved that
    then went to construction and str8, 8's loved the money
    now no work retired thank god
    When I was a carpenter I had a solid surface certification (i.e. Corian counter tops).

    So I got sent down to Ft. Leonard Wood, MO for a “barracks” remodel. (New Corian sinks, Corian shower surrounds, new Corian window sills.

    We worked 4, 10’s. But there was a twist.

    M, Tu, Wed, Th, and then Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off.

    Then worked Tu, Wed, Th, and Fri. Off Saturday and Sunday.

    Back to work M, Tu, Wed, Th…. Of Fri, Sat, Sun, and Monday.

    So every other weekend was a 4 day weekend.

    It was awesome!

    Straight time for all 40, but still awesome.


  20. #20
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    One of my favorite shifts that I worked was at a nuclear plant. It was 4-10s but one week we would work Tuesday through Friday, the next week would be Monday through Thursday. So every other weekend we had a four day weekend. The other weekend was a normal two day weekend.
    I was a dog on a short chain.
    Now there's no chain.
    Jim Harrison

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