Reply – Re: UNION - CHANGE OR DIE
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Re: UNION - CHANGE OR DIE
— by Levi Levi
  I have posted this before todays article came out but I hope it gets a fresh look. I'm on about this subject all the time and today I was ranting after reading this shit in the papers. I think this is relevant today so here it is.
    So the Building Trades Employers Association made public their agenda for lowering costs. As  usual the burden is on the tradespeople. They talk about lowering wages and benefits and many jobsite and shop concessions. But contractors must look in the mirror if they truly want to lower costs.
   How many times have we seen architects who draw ridiculous impossible details, or changes after something is built, or discrepancies between the prints and the field dimensions? How many times have we done things twice because of bad information? Or been held up due to poor coordination by a G.C., or because the job super is really just a job watcher without the knowledge or confidence to make a decision? How much wasted material have we seen due to estimator errors?
  How about architects, estimators and supers doing their jobs or bearing the burden of the high cost of construction? Take a field measurement once in a while, because when I work, I work and so do all the other tradespeople around me. If not, I'm gone.
    G.C.'s should consider going back to hiring carpenters as their job supers. Nobody is better suited for this position. The most knowledgeable and confident supers I know are carpenters and their jobs run smooth because they can catch a mistake before it costs a fortune to fix it. And then, the carpenter foreman can concentrate on his job without having to lay out everybody's work.
    And yes, union labor costs more. That's because we require fair wages and benefits, our skill and expertise is unmatched,as is our training and safety culture, and most importantly we are not part of the underground economy that can be exploited like so many undocumented workers in this city. We  pay  taxes.
   And don't imagine that when the cost of construction goes down developers will pass that savings on. They won't.