A horror story from Kent, Ohio.
What would be worse than finding out your “low-bid-winning” contractor from out of state was relying on non-U.S.-citizens (in the country illegally) to maximize his profit margin on the job?
- Discovering the undocumented status of many of the workers on this project means they will not be paid properly and therefore the city will not capture the tax revenue their labor should generate.
- Worrying about the quality of the work being done, particularly since it was for student housing in this case
- Finding their foreman has a side-business to make a little cash by selling meth-amphetamine he’s making in his hotel room
- All of the above
Not a pleasant prospect either way if you’re the city administrator or an elected official. Allowing workers to be underpaid really hurts them when it comes time to collect taxes – imagine the difference if they were getting minimum wage instead of the prevailing wage, and then factor in that since they’re undocumented in this particular case they not being paid fairly for the number of hours they were actually expected to work.
For Kent, Ohio, the answer was “d”. Really.
Want to read the rest of the story? It’s at We Party Patriots, where they know that good contractor oversight and fair wages are only part of the story when it comes to getting a job done right. Relying on proud, skilled, local union members who care about the results and their reputation in the community will cause a lot less heartache, many fewer headaches, and improve the likelihood project comes in on time and under budget.
Most of us understand that you hardly ever get the best product for the lowest price, but politicians who have promised to cut spending and city administrators thinking more about the cost of getting it built can forget the long-term consequences of sub-standard construction when it comes to paying for maintenance and repairs. Good work doesn’t come cheap, and cheap work rarely turns out well.