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Thread: No. 1 employers of day laborers? Homeowners

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    No. 1 employers of day laborers? Homeowners

    I read this article about day laborers this week. Yesterday as i mowing my grass, i'm think of all the projects in the yard that i want to do... and how much quicker it would go if i had help. I am a hard core "do it your self" kind of guy, any thing that i think is with in my skill level. But occassional you need a extra back and my buddies that i used to invite over with the offer of free beer and steak are getting more scarce.

    So do you use day laborers? Where do you find them? What is your experiences?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    Three of my immediate neighbors use them all the time; spring yard work, pulling weeds, raking leaves, etc. This is not a landscape company. I think the 2 guys work full time for a construction company that does interior renovations, basement upgrades and decks. These guys will then do day work in the late afternoon into evening and on weekends for homeowners.
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

  3. #3
         
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    I hire a lady down the street to clean my house every other week...(I don't even want to hear it!!! She does the things I just do not have time to do anymore...I still pick up the house, do the laundry, etc...she does the bathrooms, vacuums etc).
    I try to do a lot of things myself or with the help of my dad. I find guys to do things by word of mouth and often through the office.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Big Owl
    I read this article about day laborers this week. Yesterday as i mowing my grass, i'm think of all the projects in the yard that i want to do... and how much quicker it would go if i had help. I am a hard core "do it your self" kind of guy, any thing that i think is with in my skill level. But occassional you need a extra back and my buddies that i used to invite over with the offer of free beer and steak are getting more scarce.

    So do you use day laborers? Where do you find them? What is your experiences?
    Friends and co-workers will barter time based on our individual skills. For example, tomorrow I am helping a co-worker put a new roof on a house, in return, he is going to help me with some of the condo renovation.

    In the way that you’re asking about, I have never had a reason to use them, but I applaud them. At least they are out there working for a living. Having said that, I think that if it is something that requires a license such as a plumber or contractor, they should do the right thing and go the legal route.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  5. #5
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I hired a few guys to work on my roof and repair some stucco the other weekend (things that were beyond my ability). They were referred to me by a friend.

    Essentially, these guys work all week for a contractor and then take on small side jobs (things they can do in two days or less) on the weekends. When the job got more complicated than expected, they simply called more friends. I would hire them again (but you won't find them in the phone book...).

    I also live in a part of town with the highest percentage of Mexican immigrants in the city. If I am going to hire someone with specialized construction skills from the South Valley for odd jobs, there is a good chance they will be from Mexico.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Having said that, I think that if it is something that requires a license such as a plumber or contractor,
    When I helped my uncle build his house, he had us pull all the wires ourselves but we left them all hanging out of the sockets and the breaker box. All the electriction did was wire up the breaker box and then go around and attach each socket, as that's appearently the only thing you need to have a license to do.

    You can often save yourself a lot of money wrt trades people if you do all the shitty backbreaking work yourself and then just let them inspect and sign off on it. That's easy money as far as they're concerned.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    these days it seems like New Orleans is day laborer central. and a good number of them live in the apartment building next to me. because of all the demolition and rebuilding going on in the city, the day laborers are a major part of the system - a discrimnated against and horribly underpaid part of the system.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol
    these days it seems like New Orleans is day laborer central.

    I've been wondering about this - the federal government is paying billions of dollars to contractors to help repair the city and the contractors are just hiring illegals and paying them almost nothing (in addition to all the double billing and stuff they are doing)??

  9. #9
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner
    I've been wondering about this - the federal government is paying billions of dollars to contractors to help repair the city and the contractors are just hiring illegals and paying them almost nothing (in addition to all the double billing and stuff they are doing)??
    that pretty much sums it up! and in some cases they pay them nothing. i had a friend who worked at the local Chamber of Commerce and she would frequently get calls from people who worked under the table for a weekly wage and then the contractor who "hired" them would just disappear without paying the workers.

    i hope they have a special place in hell for those people.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner
    I've been wondering about this - the federal government is paying billions of dollars to contractors to help repair the city and the contractors are just hiring illegals and paying them almost nothing (in addition to all the double billing and stuff they are doing)??
    Why should they have to pay more to get the same amount of work done? What's the objective here, rebuilding the city and creating some make-work?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    Why should they have to pay more to get the same amount of work done? What's the objective here, rebuilding the city and creating some make-work?
    If the government hires people cheaply and looks the other way in determining if their legal, then there will be an uproar. However, if we pay 'contractors' 5 times as much and at times they stiff workers, well, that's just ok.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Friends and co-workers will barter time based on our individual skills. For example, tomorrow I am helping a co-worker put a new roof on a house, in return, he is going to help me with some of the condo renovation.

    In the way that you’re asking about, I have never had a reason to use them, but I applaud them. At least they are out there working for a living. Having said that, I think that if it is something that requires a license such as a plumber or contractor, they should do the right thing and go the legal route.
    It's really only important from the degree of tax evasion involved. A cash traded economy causes the government to raise taxes beyond the level it would if the grey, or black market didn't exist. Even bartering can have this effect since the revenues do need to be collected, one way or another.

    This goes way beyond day laborers, and touches many business and personal dealmakers on every level.

    If you don't do it, you are paying more than them. If you do it, you are raising everybodys taxes.
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    -Larry Wall

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    LOL, as far as I'm concerned I hope more contractors hire illegals and don't pay them. Then if you believe in trickle down economics (which I'm not a fan of, but if you do) it will be a break even for the economy maybe a slight gain, not sure. Thats my stance on it, if you are going to use illegals, don't pay them. Its the right thing to do! I personally wouldn't hire a day laborer unless I had some type of reference on them from someone who has used them and I'd want to know they are legal to work.

    JordanB, yeah you can probably do about 100% of the work if you can get an electrician to sign off on it. I did a lot of stuff when I built a house a couple of years ago. They didn't seem to have a problem with it. Still paid a bit, but wasn't as high. Shoot some of the assistance don't seem to know as much as I do about it. I was around a crew finishing up a house (have a friend who is a home builder) and I was surprised to know you don't have to know much to work under an electrician. Just listen to what he says and what wires to take where...
    Last edited by Vlaude; 05 May 2006 at 6:49 PM.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I never seem to run into day laborors or Mexicans. The guy who cuts my lawn has an all "good old boy" crew, same guys for 9 years. The contractor who repaired my house after the hurricanes sent out all good old boys, a modern miracle since everyone else around here had Mexicans on their roofs. Same with the plumber who re-piped the house last year.

    I'd love to have a maid. But I'd be nervous about letting someone in the house when I'm not here, what with all the pets.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    Why should they have to pay more to get the same amount of work done? What's the objective here, rebuilding the city and creating some make-work?

    You are missing the point entirely. It's not like we the taxpayers are getting a better deal because of this- its the contractors who are charging as though they are hiring at normal wages and then ripping everyone off.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner
    You are missing the point entirely. It's not like we the taxpayers are getting a better deal because of this- its the contractors who are charging as though they are hiring at normal wages and then ripping everyone off.

    Amen Brother, and flipping the bill for medical, etc... etc... etc... the list goes on!!!

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