Thursday, October 16, 2008

For My Connecticut Readers

By way of email from my friend Sarah:
I learned today that voting "NO" on Number 1 (against the Constitutional Convention) is crucial for Labor in CT. If the Convention passes, it will be possible for CT to repeal its Davis-Bacon law, which calls for prevailing wage on Government-funded construction jobs. Without prevailing wage, all tradesmen and tradeswomen in CT will suffer.

The more information we have, the better we lead our government.

Thanks again,

I can attest from experience that non-prevailing wage constructions jobs, at least in the private sector, are just rotten. Back in New Mexico I worked for a private contractor who paid me $7 an hour. I'm not ashamed to admit it. However, I am ashamed for my former employer. If he can't pay his workers a living wage, he has no business in business.

Sure, I took the job, so you could say it's my free will, but perhaps you don't understand that I'm not complaining. I was inexperienced and wanted to learn about construction. The problem is, my veteran co-workers didn't make much more than me. One guy had been roofing for 20 years. His wage? $10 an hour.

On top of that, we were treated more like liabilities than the invaluable asset we were. Getting any respect from our boss was out of the question. He wasn't a bad man; his method is par for the course. We're talking about a systemic trend that rewards less sweat with more money, and more sweat with a smack in the face.

No wonder people are lazy. No wonder the economy is "in trouble". Those at the root of society--the ones who grow your food and build your shelters--are among the lower castes. Yet without them, we would all be without our most basic human needs.

Thank a broke homeless person today for keeping your ass alive. It's okay, you can feel a little guilty.