Comment of the Day Runner-Up: Who’s Responsible for the Workers

COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORKERS “As a contractor who does both commercial and residential projects, I can tell you that the worker pay is dictated by the buyer, as is the safety, and as is everything. I can’t advertise that I pay my subs more, that I have a safer work environment, and that I’m more fair than my competitors, so YOU should pay more for my product. Especially if it is essentially the same product. I think I do pay my guys more, and I do have a safer work site, but I still cringe at some of the things that go on and I wish 5 guys didn’t have to live together to make a living. I just make less than my competitors and sleep better at night. If people were REALLY concerned about that we would have union laws like New York and California, and we would regulate the safety aspect more heavily.” [SCD, commenting on Headlines: Financing Williams Tower Purchase; Proposing a Safe-Passing Law for Houston]

6 Comment

  • A-freaking-men

  • It is absolutely true, customers do not care and even if they care, they won’t show it with their wallet by paying more. All a GC can do is to use best judgement and best effort but has to take certain risks anyway.

  • agreed, this is the reality of TX’s laws. i suppose the justification for it is that cheaper labor means more work can be afforded thus the opportunity is provided for greater economic advancement and standards of living for all residents. i think that can clearly be seen. however, the obvious price to pay for this is that some small percentage will always get shafted, taken advantage of or injured and in greater severity than they would in states with better restrictions and that is not clearly seen. all the statistics i’ve seen back that up.

    which route ends up being the best for all in the end is probably nothing more than a subjective argument at this point, but it’s an argument that needs to be ongoing and shaped with time, facts and stats.

  • i guess further to that notion:

    “A 2006 analysis by the Texas comptroller estimated that low-skilled unauthorized workers cost the state treasury $504 million more than they paid in taxes in 2005. Without them, however, the state’s economy would have shrunk by 2.1 percent, or $17.7 billion, as the competitive edge of Texas businesses diminished.

    Likewise, a 2006 study by the Kenan Institute at the University of North Carolina found that although Hispanic immigrants imposed a net $61 million cost on the state budget, they contributed $9 billion to the gross state product.”

    not that this is a net gain for the country as a whole as naturally some of our economic benefits would have been siphoned off from the misfortunes of other failed companies in flailing states, but the data does seem to back up our assumptions on who benefits most from this landscape.

  • Your competitors aren’t losing any sleep at night…

  • bummer, stuck offshore and bored. was hoping folks with actual knowledge of the issues at play here could chime in.