The blame game in education: employee or true independent installer

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by rusty baker, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. Kman

    Kman Tile Expert I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Re: Moisture readings and staying on schedule

    About five years ago, at a local, large construction site, a worker fell from a height great enough that it killed him. I believe he was hispanic, don't know if he was here legally or not.

    Within a few days, OSHA responded with several investigators, and a week or two later many of their agents (whatever they're called) came to the area and started spot-checking local companies, citing them for violations, and shutting down some crews. Most were violations like too many extension cords on one receptacle, failure to wear steel soled shoes, etc. Some of them had violations that added up to thousands of dollars in fines, which I'm sure were knocked down considerably in court at a later time.

    I never saw anyone from OSHA, and they haven't been back since that I know of. No companies were put out of business, nobody went to jail.

    So apparently that's what it takes to get the government to take interest: someone must die. And that's what happens as a result of their interest. Fines, then business as usual.
  2. stullis

    stullis Charter Member Senior Member

    Re: Moisture readings and staying on schedule

    Don't get me wrong I do like Walker for what I know of him. He does know his installation techniques. I also give him credit for attempting to change the industry, I just don't think it worked out the way he may have wanted in the beginning, which is truly sad.

    He is right about education being the key.
  3. Floorguy

    Floorguy The Living Dead Charter Member Senior Member

    Re: Moisture readings and staying on schedule

    No, No, No, your really don't understand that aspect at all!!!

    The good installer gets all the hard stuff to work with, it takes 2-3 times longer to install. They get the hardest customers to deal with, all the while the hacks and uneducated, get the slap it in easy to work with stuff. Then here comes the "one price fits all installations" that the retailers go by, and you see the good guys make less per year in profit. The good guy is on the edge of poverty, because he is good and takes his time dealing with the hard stuff, and the hack, blows and goes on the easy stuff, making 2-3 times more per week then the good guy.
  4. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    I have been following this and the threads with great interest. I fully agree a craftsman is worth his weight in gold and tried hard to compensate them with my own company. We used to figure it took a minimum of eight years for a new person to learn the trade and be able to run a job (again, bear in mind this was specified commercial) and also assumes there was the desire and mental capability to think on one's knees (small joke!).

    We mostly seem to agree on the problem but why aren't we discussing any solutions? I would love to see some concrete ideas on how to initiate change and what these changes will look like. Can we get some wish lists going and then discuss how to acheive them?

    1. fair pay based on quality of work.
    How can we ge there?

    2. Correct business relationship reporting: Sub or employee.
    One way suggested to work on this is to report (and keep reporting) any abuses we become aware of.

    Just a couple ideas to maybe get a fruitful dialog going...
  5. Mark in Tulsa

    Mark in Tulsa Pro Member

    The company that I sell for, does not sell or pay for Labor in any way or form. We have a list of customer referred installers. Customers can call on all of them and get as many bids as they want.

    The guys on our list charge what they want. They by far are the highest paid installers in town, and by far the best. There are a couple of crews out there we would like to get, but they just prefer the comfort of being a retail stores toy.

    All of our guys have to warranty their work for at least one year, no matter what kind of or where the job is, due to OK state laws.
  6. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Peter, you probably have not been reading my post here. I am not angry or po'ed and will step aside and let you start a wish list and see if we can get more participation and ideas.

    There is another thread on this site where the guy is promoting program that I think is designed to keep installers under the dealers foot. We sure don't need that crap. Lets build bridges.:)
  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator


  8. Nick Arrera

    Nick Arrera Resting In Peace

    I knew it .. You got the big box of Crayons .. :D
  9. Floorguy

    Floorguy The Living Dead Charter Member Senior Member

    Believe it or not, that little referral list ties you in, if they really wanted to sue you for referring a bad installer. It is best you just back away from that, It has bit Lumber Liquidators, here and in other location and it bit the local Prosource, with litigation. Lets just say they no longer have a real list they hand out, it is all verbal now, no paper trail of them referring.
  10. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    How does S&S mills and Blueridge mills get away with handing out a list of installers names then?

  11. Mark in Tulsa

    Mark in Tulsa Pro Member

    If done correctly, we can not be held reliable. As long as we don't suggest a certain one, dial the number, and provide at least 3 names as the federal laws demands, it can't be put on us. Also as long as the list does not mention our company name we are ok. Our list just has customer referred on it.

    Prosource and LL have both been busted up here for doing it wrong also.
  12. Jerry Thomas

    Jerry Thomas Charter Member Senior Member

    Re: Moisture readings and staying on schedule

    You hit on the problem right there. All automobile dealers employ and advertise factory trained and certified mechanics. Until floor covering manufacturers start demanding the same from their dealers this will be a never ending problem.
  13. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    But I have seen certified mechanics that were lousy. I still do not understand why i should have to pay someone hundreds of dollars to prove I know how to install. All that does is fill the pockets of people at the top who are money-hungry.
  14. Jerry Thomas

    Jerry Thomas Charter Member Senior Member

    Yeah, me too. But would you rather be on his pay scale or an installers pay scale?
  15. stullis

    stullis Charter Member Senior Member

    Re: Moisture readings and staying on schedule

    Until installers who are treated as independent businesses start acting and thinking like a business nothing will change. Problem is they don't think like a business they think like employees being paid cash.

    Until money is paid into the system to enforce the laws nothing will change.
    Whether that money comes from installers paying licencing fees or from fines paid by those breaking the laws nothing will change.

    Also there is a disincentive for government to get involved because it WILL cost the public more to have installations done and generally the politicians will not do that unless of course they are greased with money through "donations".
  16. JustWood

    JustWood Charter Member

    Re: Moisture readings and staying on schedule

    This issue is a huge beef with me. Fueled partly by my desire to stick it to one particular company I began researching the topic early this summer. However (and thankfully) work picked up so my research had to go to the backburner.

    What should outrage us all is Section 530a of the Revenue Act of 1978.
    If a business is audited for improper classification and found to have improperly classified workers, they will NOT owe employment taxes on those mis-classified workers if they meet certain "relief requirements". One such relief is "you have treated the workers as independant contractors because you knew that was how a significant segment of your industry treated similar workers". In other words, it's ok to break the rules as long as breaking the rules is standard practice in your industry. :mad: So even if a business was to get reported and audited, there would be no real repercussions for them as long as Section 530 stands un-ammended.

    States have caught on to the fact that misclassification causes them millions in lost tax revenue and are coming up with ways to address the problem. In 2007 Sen. Obama himself sponsored a bill addressing the issue, though from what I was able to last find, it hasn't gone anywhere yet.

    As time allows I am going to continue getting my ducks in a row with the ultimate goal of having an "information package" to send off to Sens, Reps, and the various organizations & committess that are supposed to be addressing the issue.
    I want Section 530 ammended and I want companies fined up to their eyeballs when found guilty. And if one particular company ends up in their cross-hairs, oh well...

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