Level playing field? Not in this Industry!!

Discussion in 'Managing Projects and Business Issues' started by Clifford Bryan, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Clifford Bryan

    Clifford Bryan Industry Observer

    One of the biggest obstacles in estimating in today?s wireless construction market is the fact that the majority are not playing on a level playing field. I have been in business since 99, and from day 1 have had only employees, no 1099 "independent contractors". I have competitive benefits for employees, pay all appropriate taxes, and have since day 1 carried workman's compensation insurance that is actually for the type of work we do. My single largest cost on an annual basis is LABOR. That is the right way to do it, and I sleep well at night knowing we do things by the book.

    Now here are the ways that lesser businesses (HACKS) are able to dramatically reduce labor / insurance costs to cut the throats of the legitimate businesses;

    1) 1099 employees. Clearly breaking IRS laws, employers will blatantly misclassify their staff as independent contractors, and therefore do not pay workman's compensation insurance, payroll taxes, etc. Some may chose to argue the classification, but my business does work with every major customer in our market, and I can tell you that the great majority of agreements with them ALL REQUIRE THAT EVERY INDIVIDUAL WORKING ON THEIR PROJECTS through the primary contractor MUST BE COVERED BY WORKMANS COMPENSATION INSURANCE, regardless of what level contractor, type of work, position within the company, etc.

    2) Many TOWER CONTRACTORS have workmans compensation insurance, but it is not for the type of work they are performing. They are intentionally misclassifying or misrepresenting the type of work they do to their insurance providers in order to obtain insurance in the first place and/or save BIG $$$ on the premiums.

    3) Many TOWER CONTRACTORS also will have workmans compensation listed on their certificate of insurance, so they appear to be legitimate to the prospective customer that requires a certificate of insurance illustrating workmans comp insurance. However while at first glance this appears to satisfy the requirements, take a step further and contact their insurance provider to see how many employees the company has covered on their workmans comp policy. In many cases one would find that they have 2 employees covered on their policy, but they have 12 or more employees...... how does that work? The HACK employer obviously doesn't give a rat?s ass about the well being of their staff, and is lying to their insurance provider in order to greatly reduce their insurance costs.

    Also, many contractors will misrepresent their workmans comp insurance by providing a policy that indicates "BINDER" or "IN PROCESS" or "TBD" or "ANYTHING OTHER THAN AN ACTUAL POLICY NUMBER" means they DO NOT HAVE WORKMANS COMP!!!!!!!!


    Clifford E. Bryan
    Communication Builders, Inc.
    630-774-5009 mobile
  2. John Sandford

    John Sandford Frequent Poster

    The NBC Tower Dogs special kind of spelled it out. I don't know if Ernie was a 1099, but in any case, when you're paying a top hand only $14 an hour, how can you be competitive with that when everybody else has to pay more and probably offers benefits as well.
  3. Brad Harberts

    Brad Harberts Friend of the Community

    I agree full heartedly with what it sounds like that you have good morals and business ethics, however in this industry ( in my opinion ) it is truely a free for all just like anything else, owners go into business for one thing and one thing only..PROFIT, regardless of what kind of people they have as employees, 98% of towerhands are in it for the lifestyle, 2% are actually business oriented family guys. You can try to be legit all you want in this industry if that helps you justify being BIG or a better person, but bottom line is its as corrupt as the Mexican government, the main objective in tower business is to get the work done as fast as possible, submit the closeouts and get paid, there are thousands of " tower companies " that know everything there is to know about the industry, just ask them, plus, even in the field you can ask any tower guy and they all say they know everything and have been doing it for 20 years, well if thats the case why are these 20 year veterens sleeping in a hotel every night living paycheck to paycheck? Its a big scam and he who knows how to cut corners and get the money the fastes wins :)

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