This is the second in the series about the Construction Bandits and how they do business in a way that cheats many workers and ultimately you, the taxpayer.
An article by Karl Kiefer appeared in September of 2009 in NumbersUSA under Charles Breiterman’s blog which was entitled, Mixing the Mud: A Working Man’s Views on Illegal Immigration, Tricks of The Trade. Immigration is not part of our discussion here, rather we wanted to illustrate how the Bandits in our industry get around the existing laws. We want you to be aware of those illegal practices and we want you to join our efforts to create a more sustainable workforce for the industry.
Kiefer points out one way that the Bandits get around the insurance costs is to lie about the number of workers they have on their crews or to buy coverage for only one or two of their crew. Conveniently, the “covered” workers are the only ones ever injured on the jobsite even though that is far from the truth.
Another way that they cheat is to misclassify the workers as independent contractors and to pay the workers’ wages with cash without paying taxes and unemployment (FUTA and SUTA). When they don’t pay Federal or State income taxes, they are cheating us out of tax funds that the country desperately needs today.
He also points out, as we have noted in other blogs, that some builders us “sub-subs” who work through labor brokers to funnel cash through, to distance themselves from any illegal workers, and to create a semblance of respectability.
Kiefer points out that the owners and users of the buildings suffer as well when the quality of the work is not up to standard due to untrained or undertrained workers doing the work. That work then has to be redone by someone else at additional cost, which is often the source of cost overruns and delays in the construction process.
Kiefer has a set of solutions to this issue that include:
- Nationwide implementation of E-Verify
- Harsh ‘first offense’ penalties for dishonest employers of illegal aliens
- Legislation aimed at ending chain migration
- An honest revamping of the current legal immigration standards with an eye towards lowering overall numbers
- Clearly worded laws to punish those who exploit the legal immigration system
- Resounding defeat of any mass amnesty legislation.
You can read the entire article to hear more from this tradesman whose livleihood has suffered due to these illegal and unethical practices.