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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a small general contractor and I'm bidding a city job in Philadelphia which is the replacement of about 45 doors and frames along with some small masonry and electrical work. The city has issued the prevailing wage rates for all worker on the job.

I understand that the workers need to be paid these prevailing wages, but do I need to have my sub hire union labor?

Philly is a union town, but this job is going to be under $200k, so is it possible to work under the radar of the union?

Thanks.
 

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Pompass Ass
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I'm a small general contractor and I'm bidding a city job in Philadelphia which is the replacement of about 45 doors and frames along with some small masonry and electrical work. The city has issued the prevailing wage rates for all worker on the job.

I understand that the workers need to be paid these prevailing wages, but do I need to have my sub hire union labor?

Philly is a union town, but this job is going to be under $200k, so is it possible to work under the radar of the union?

Thanks.
You are getting Prevailing wage and union confused.

You must pay prevailing wage, that is so the Union contractors can compete with non union contractors.

that kind of blows the Union workers being more efficient than non union workers theory out of the water.
 

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You are getting Prevailing wage and union confused.

You must pay prevailing wage, that is so the Union contractors can compete with non union contractors.

that kind of blows the Union workers being more efficient than non union workers theory out of the water.
No it doesn't. It evens out the effect of shady contractors who will hire illegal immigrants for dirt cheap and dispose of the bodies when convenient. Working people getting good wages needs protection while your fat cats already have all the control they need.
 

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The unions may picket you, but you normally do not have to hire union labor. You might want to look into hiring some union help, a laborer maybe. I worked for a GC in the early 80's who used union electricians all the time because they were his friends but more importantly they kept the other unions at bay. We never had a job picketed and we worked in the refineries in Hook and the factories in Chester.

Bill
 

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I think BillD has a good idea there, I also think that if jobs are scarce around there, you will likely get some union activity (pickets) at the site.

Don't worry about union radar, as long as you are legal just do your job.

Godd luck with it!:thumbsup:

Ray
 

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Being this is a city funded job, some one you are trying to hide from all ready knows about it. There are alot of guys out of work right now so that will make it more difficult for you. Philly is my local so I have some knowledge of what you will be dealing with.

Just out of curiosity why do you not want to hire union subs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not opposed to hiring union labor, but I as a new company I don't know any union guys that are willing to bid my job. Does anybody know any union door replacement contractors in the Philly area?

Can I hire a union laboror on my own or do I have to be a member of the union myself?

Sorry, I've only worked back east for about a year and a half now.

Thanks.
 

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Hi John,

I went to your website and was wondering why you or your partner were not familiar with unions and how to deal with them?

I would think one or both of you would have extensive knowledge of the union, or at least have some contacts that could point you in the right direction.

Bill
 

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Pompass Ass
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I'm not opposed to hiring union labor, but I as a new company I don't know any union guys that are willing to bid my job. Does anybody know any union door replacement contractors in the Philly area?

Can I hire a union laboror on my own or do I have to be a member of the union myself?

Sorry, I've only worked back east for about a year and a half now.

Thanks.
A prevailing wage job does not require you to hire Union labor, you have to pay prevailing wage schedule so that the unions will be able to compete.
 

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I'm not opposed to hiring union labor, but I as a new company I don't know any union guys that are willing to bid my job. Does anybody know any union door replacement contractors in the Philly area?

Can I hire a union laboror on my own or do I have to be a member of the union myself?

Sorry, I've only worked back east for about a year and a half now.

Thanks.

Yes you may hire a union laborer to work for you. All you need to do is call the hall for the area you will be working in and ask for one. If you want to PM me I can try to answer and questions you have or give you the names of some good subs
 

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You are getting Prevailing wage and union confused.

You must pay prevailing wage, that is so the Union contractors can compete with non union contractors.

that kind of blows the Union workers being more efficient than non union workers theory out of the water.
A prevailing wage job does not require you to hire Union labor, you have to pay prevailing wage schedule so that the unions will be able to compete.

We get how you feel about the Union/non union issue. Repeating your self is not necessary. You are not from this area so you can not really help the OP with what he was asking. Sure he can do the job non union. But in Philly it will not be easy for him. I highly doubt he will be able to "fly under the radar" on a city funded job. If you have some insight on how things in Philly work that might help the OP then post them. This was not a political question about union/non union issues.
 

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We get how you feel about the Union/non union issue. Repeating your self is not necessary. You are not from this area so you can not really help the OP with what he was asking. Sure he can do the job non union. But in Philly it will not be easy for him. I highly doubt he will be able to "fly under the radar" on a city funded job. If you have some insight on how things in Philly work that might help the OP then post them. This was not a political question about union/non union issues.
I never said he couldn't use union workers, I told him he is getting prevailing wage and a union job confused.

If the guy can't figure out the difference, he shouldn't be bidding the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi John,

I went to your website and was wondering why you or your partner were not familiar with unions and how to deal with them?

I would think one or both of you would have extensive knowledge of the union, or at least have some contacts that could point you in the right direction.

Bill
You are probably referring to the master's degree my partner and I have. Just for the record, we both worked in Colorado several years before I got a job back here and then was quickly discarded when the economy went bad. I was left with no contacts in an area where I'm unfamiliar with the local practices. Colorado was not a union area - We just didn't deal with them.

What we studied in grad school was far beyond prevailing wage vs. union wage and I actually focused on business practice, ethics, and organizational management.
 

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No it doesn't. It evens out the effect of shady contractors who will hire illegal immigrants for dirt cheap and dispose of the bodies when convenient. Working people getting good wages needs protection while your fat cats already have all the control they need.
Prevailing wage is set to the Union scale so that non union contractors who may be paying their workers less cannot come in and underbid a union contractor based on wages, it has nothing to do with keeping a contractor from hiring illegal aliens.

If a contractor hires illegal aliens and they get caught, they can be fined 10,000 per day per illegal alien.

Infortunately this law is not enforced very often.

I don't know of any contractors who hire illegal aliens, I sure don't.

I had one guy who was going to hire but he didn't have his required paperwork so I didn't hire him.

Sometimes a contractor will take a pervailing wage job and not pay his guys the scale as they are required, luckily it is easier for them to get caught now.
 

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You are probably referring to the master's degree my partner and I have.
Actully, I was referring to the fact that on your website it states that one of you was involved in "Lincoln Financial Football Stadium, Memorial Hospital, Arrabelle Hotel and Resort, and the Revel Casino", and the other one was involved in "international infrastructure projects near Auckland, New Zealand and educational projects for Fuita Middle School and High School".

The link was built in 2003 and I'm pretty sure it involved unions, as do most casinos, government infrastructure and school projects. I could be wrong.

Bill
 

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Prevailing wage is set to the Union scale so that non union contractors who may be paying their workers less cannot come in and underbid a union contractor based on wages, it has nothing to do with keeping a contractor from hiring illegal aliens.
Yeah I was taking the union propaganda line lol. Non-union contractors do generally take less care of their employees, so their cost is lower, is the neutral truth of the matter. I'm not saying that unions follow edicts from a loving god though either.

I don't know of any contractors who hire illegal aliens, I sure don't.
In a nearby state, Pete King recently got into some trouble with it. The SW carpenters union itself recently started taking questionable, non-english speaking apprentices and printing all the training literature and signs in union buildings in both english and spanish. Its an economic force, I don't blame anyone personally for deciding to do so.

Sometimes a contractor will take a pervailing wage job and not pay his guys the scale as they are required, luckily it is easier for them to get caught now.
More and more of that will happen as working class people have to sacrifice their dignity and principles just to take care of their family.
 
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We do are fair share of rate work as we call it here in Boston, Providence RI etc....I just took off a set of plans for a prevailing wage job at a waste water facility plant.

I have to pay my painters $36 and cahnge an hr plus another $16 in benifits so around $52 an hr.

Now on top of that add your taxes, insurance, fixed OH and profit give or take you should be at $73-85 bucks an hour.

Now dont forget your not getting 8 hrs a day out of any worker so dont forget all your loss time, safety meetings and all the other bullsh****t that goes along with state or federal work.

As for the union bothering you, so long as you are paying the rate to your workers you should have no worries.

I know of many guys who get into rate work and lose there shirt cause....Guess.....they bid way to freaking low.......

Just my 3 cts on the issue.
 

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If you are going to bid prevailing wage you might as well use union carpenters. This way you can utilize apprentices and pay them for their skill bracket. Instead of hiring guys that regardless of thier experience would have to be paid top prevailing wage.
 

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You can still use apprentices even if you are not union at least in my state you must have paper work and a apprentice program in your company but very easy to setup.

Depends on state requirements. In WA the apprentice must be enrolled in accredited program. Which requires in classroom time hours per year. Even in this case a non-union apprentice still loses out. He will probably have to pay for his schooling out of pocket.
 
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