by Scott Braddock on Tue, 06/05/2012 - 9:48am
“It is not just the academic types who devalue blue collar labor but corporate number crunchers who assume one set of hands is as good as another when it comes to these sorts of jobs and work to literally devalue the job by paying less, ignoring safety and job conditions and assuming there will always be fresh bodies to fill the position. Problem is that when management develops that level of disdain for workers,
the workers stop lining up to learn the skills to fill those jobs. So companies that employ blue collar skills end up in the position of decrying the shortage of workers they can screw over to make a profit.”
I’ve been looking into whether those feelings are justified. What I’ve found is there are many players in the construction industry who, as the reader suggests, mistreat and undervalue their people. But, there are also many very ethical operators who would rather sacrifice profits than cheat the system and cheat their workers.
I traveled to Dallas/Fort Worth to meet one of those particularly outspoken ethical players: Andy Anderson.
Anderson, President of Linden Steel, was featured on WFAA Channel 8 after he blew the whistle on contractors that get away with not paying payroll taxes. Those contractors are able to undercut Anderson’s company because they’re not paying taxes, as he does, on labor. Check out the earlier posts on Construction Citizen about this story including the three WFAA video reports.
In a letter to a former Labor Department official, Anderson said “the actions of a few are destroying the lives and dreams of many and tearing at the very fabric of our nation.” He also said he’s received death threats.
I sat down with Anderson at the offices of Linden Steel. Watch excerpts from that interview below, or visit my website to see the complete version.