Hiring Mason Labors

 
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
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Hiring Mason Labors


Why is always so difficult finding a labor in masonry. It seems that money doesn't even get someone motivated. Most guys say it's to hard dirty etc. I was taught that before you learn how to lay bricks, you need to be a good labor first to understand the job. It's looks like young kids are not interested in learning this trade eventually. Must of the mason around here are having this issue. Nobody wants to work as a mason labor .My question is how do you guys keep a good labor motivated.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


When it comes to masonry, I go to the union guys. My neighbor is a union concrete delivery driver. He introduced me to finishers, laborers, etc. I know some people choose not to go "through" the hall, and go around it instead by hire the guys as day laborers. Just some thoughts

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Old 01-03-2012, 08:43 PM   #3
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


This is nothing personal to the OP.

Most of the reason I think is because who the hell wants to do this work for the amount of money that can be reasonably offered as wages/benefits most of the time? How many employers offer a good hourly wage with health benefits and some type of retirement plan? Add all of these things together and I would bet alot of companies are falling short of what the local Home Depot offers for full time employees. Who the hell wants to hump around block all day in the sun/cold for comparable wages to working in a temperature controlled store doing less labor? Not everyone has the passion for this trade that makes it worth while.

Like I said this is not anything personal to any one. The construction worker has fallen down alot in the eyes/usefulness of society. The market will not only dictate wages, but also the type of person working in those positions. Middle of the road wages buys middle of the road employees.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


I've tried the better than average pay to keep guys. They want to stay I don't want them. they still don't want to work, even when I tell them i want to pay them more but they need to be worth more. It's hard to pay someone half of what i make when they aren't even increasing my speed by 10%, if they only want to mix every couple hours and can't remember to do more than one thing.

Don't get me started on the cellphones and text messaging.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:03 PM   #5
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


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Originally Posted by jb4211 View Post
When it comes to masonry, I go to the union guys. My neighbor is a union concrete delivery driver. He introduced me to finishers, laborers, etc. I know some people choose not to go "through" the hall, and go around it instead by hire the guys as day laborers. Just some thoughts
I dont agree with this tactic at all. Were mostly private contractors here, and Im sure more than a few of us have been burned by people who dont go 'through' the hall, and instead pay the guys cash. It makes my blood boil, so Im going to drop it now....


Keeping a guy motivated is tough. If money doesnt do it, theres not much that will. You just need to find the right guy. There out there, but its been so ingrained in many of them that you need to go to school to make a decent living, or that you dont want to be a dirty construction worker, that finding them is like finding a needle in a haystack.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


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I dont agree with this tactic at all. Were mostly private contractors here, and Im sure more than a few of us have been burned by people who dont go 'through' the hall, and instead pay the guys cash. It makes my blood boil, so Im going to drop it now....


Keeping a guy motivated is tough. If money doesnt do it, theres not much that will. You just need to find the right guy. There out there, but its been so ingrained in many of them that you need to go to school to make a decent living, or that you dont want to be a dirty construction worker, that finding them is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Very true, every young kid want to work 9-5 behind a desk and make $100,000 a year. Good luck! We all can't be doctors and lawyer. If you have a passion for a trade you enjoy, you will make a hell of a lot more money than most of these college graduates today.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:42 PM   #7
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


Masonry labor sucks! dig, mix mud, dig, mix mud, hump block, mix mud, hump block, get yelled at, mix mud....that is tough sh!t!! Of all the trades, masonry takes sure ball nuts! I have a lot of respect for masons 'cause you have to be nuts to stick it out!
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:28 PM   #8
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


Sure it's tough just like most trades out there. But you need to start as a labor before someone gives you the opportunity to lay bricks, blocks etc. It just blows my mind with so many people not working, that it's hard to find good help
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:30 PM   #9
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


You need to love the trade or be born in to it and have it drill in your head you love it. It sucks it is a dirty job where your back will hurt your hands will be dry cracked broken and bloody your boots will always have holes in the toes and the help is never fast enough. Every mason has this problem I will never find a solution but if you do let me know.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:40 PM   #10
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


Hire a kid to run the ground in the summer, takes some pressure of the other guy. Do hardscaping, no one wants to go up on staging, it seems.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:14 AM   #11
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


We gave up on hiring labor several years ago. We now labor for ourselves. Whoever needs mud first mixes the next batch etc. etc. I should note that we work with stone so we don't go through material nearly as quickly as the brick and block guys. A couple of hours of slugging every so often will usually keep us in material for a couple of days.
I'd rather invest in equipment to make our jobs easier, than pay out wages to someone who's just not that interested in the job.
I am the best laborer I know.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:14 AM   #12
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


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Originally Posted by WNYcarpenter View Post
Masonry labor sucks! dig, mix mud, dig, mix mud, hump block, mix mud, hump block, get yelled at, mix mud....that is tough sh!t!! Of all the trades, masonry takes sure ball nuts! I have a lot of respect for masons 'cause you have to be nuts to stick it out!
LOL! Ain't that the truth......Boy, I worked for a couple of screamers in my youth, and guys like that probably drive some good kids away from it.......well, that and the above......The pool of labor that will never have a desk job is huge......just have to find the right guys....one hint-hire guys with neck tattoos........you know you will never lose them to a bank job..........
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:39 AM   #13
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


Try going through the local technical or trade schools - called vo-tech around here. That how I got my first job in the field.

You need to find people that are already interested in what you do.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:52 AM   #14
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


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We gave up on hiring labor several years ago. We now labor for ourselves. Whoever needs mud first mixes the next batch etc. etc. I should note that we work with stone so we don't go through material nearly as quickly as the brick and block guys. A couple of hours of slugging every so often will usually keep us in material for a couple of days.
I'd rather invest in equipment to make our jobs easier, than pay out wages to someone who's just not that interested in the job.
I am the best laborer I know.
Are you kidding me, ill come labor for you!
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:43 AM   #15
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


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This is nothing personal to the OP.

Most of the reason I think is because who the hell wants to do this work for the amount of money that can be reasonably offered as wages/benefits most of the time? How many employers offer a good hourly wage with health benefits and some type of retirement plan? Add all of these things together and I would bet alot of companies are falling short of what the local Home Depot offers for full time employees. Who the hell wants to hump around block all day in the sun/cold for comparable wages to working in a temperature controlled store doing less labor? Not everyone has the passion for this trade that makes it worth while.

Like I said this is not anything personal to any one. The construction worker has fallen down alot in the eyes/usefulness of society. The market will not only dictate wages, but also the type of person working in those positions. Middle of the road wages buys middle of the road employees.
I couldn't disagree with this post more. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would be more than willing to work for free just to learn a valuable trade. In my opinion, you'll learn nothing valuable working for HD, Lowes, etc. However, working for the right successful contractor you'll learn skills that are invaluable. Give a man a fish he eats today, teach a man to fish he eats for a live time.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:32 AM   #16
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


Try talking to the local high school shop teacher for leads.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:16 AM   #17
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


My father is an all around mechanic and my mother does IT with computers. Anyhow it's my opinion that a trade will keep more money than college students/graduates because they have none of the high expense. Unless your schooling is paid outright. I am a veteran and pulled security overseas. My vehicle was cutoff and hit with with an IED in May 2011, I love American made vehicles. And American weapons. I just want to share the fact I was exposed and outside 'the wire' mainly everyday.

I was working landscaping when I was 18 and as an entry level employee I had no experience. Given my attitude I was put into their landscape construction division. If you're familiar with the job you know what it entails.

I got to the crossroads wondering if I planned on being an old broke grump. And that just made me a young broke kid. I got back into landscaping somewhere else and worked hard as hell building lawns by hand and got to get in some serious mowing time. Not much hardscaping there.

Winter rolled around and I got into a year-round farm and got onto the slaughterhouse floor. Not a butcher, just something else and USDA was there.

My friend is a stone mason and got me into Masonry and it is a culmination of hard work and pride in your job and tools. A lot of traveling to different job sites. Responsibility on the road with trailers and machines or heavy loads.

Try looking for guys who have landscape construction experience.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:57 AM   #18
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


in 2.5 years I had two guys email/call me asking about apprenticeship program.

People dont like our trade: the pay(to laborer) is not the same,work is hard and your boss (like myself) is going to ride you for 5 years until he will claim that you know enough to go on your own.

People are looking for easy ways of making money,some kid with 50$ Ryobi drill does not want to be mixing mud all day,he wants that shiny truck he saw on dealership lot yesterday...
So obviously thats why lots of those kids now all of the sudden are "painters,carpenters,plumbers" etc.
Its always easier to haul bunch of 2x4 than to trowel wall all day. (Btw I barely ever shout on help)

Funny one of my past helpers who lasted 3 days and was appearantly carpenter (finished decking and fencing in high school) posted three days ago "Did some plumbing today,wonder if I should be plumber,so much easier..."

Kids are all about money this day,nobody wants to learn. And obv whenever they see $ signs it does not matter what trade it is,they are,all of the sudden,skilled in it.

P.s. I pay 15$+benefits and still can't keep help around. I buy lunches,share cigarettes and teach as much as I can...just masonry labor force market is fluctuating..a lot of people are in for wrong reasons.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:56 PM   #19
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


I think lots of kids think the same as Bart and Lisa Simpson. "work was hard so we quit". The way I see it you could go to school and pay to learn, or you can labour for someone and get paid to learn. I try to explain that to guys. They understand the concept but they also want to have a trowel in their hand after the first week and get all pissy when they can't.

I'm with Bytor, I mostly labour for myself, I'm not a real production guy. That way i get things setup the way I want and get mud the way I want it.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:19 PM   #20
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Re: Hiring Mason Labors


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Originally Posted by TheItalian204
in 2.5 years I had two guys email/call me asking about apprenticeship program.

People dont like our trade: the pay(to laborer) is not the same,work is hard and your boss (like myself) is going to ride you for 5 years until he will claim that you know enough to go on your own.

People are looking for easy ways of making money,some kid with 50$ Ryobi drill does not want to be mixing mud all day,he wants that shiny truck he saw on dealership lot yesterday...
So obviously thats why lots of those kids now all of the sudden are "painters,carpenters,plumbers" etc.
Its always easier to haul bunch of 2x4 than to trowel wall all day. (Btw I barely ever shout on help)

Funny one of my past helpers who lasted 3 days and was appearantly carpenter (finished decking and fencing in high school) posted three days ago "Did some plumbing today,wonder if I should be plumber,so much easier..."

Kids are all about money this day,nobody wants to learn. And obv whenever they see $ signs it does not matter what trade it is,they are,all of the sudden,skilled in it.

P.s. I pay 15$+benefits and still can't keep help around. I buy lunches,share cigarettes and teach as much as I can...just masonry labor force market is fluctuating..a lot of people are in for wrong reasons.
If you lived closer, I'd work for free when I'm available just to learn. I always admired masonry. I think it's more artist than skill.

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