Builders Share Blame

You might ask which builders in South Florida are using these big subcontractors who subcontract all their labor out to smaller illegal subs? The answer is: Take your pick. From what I see, over 90% of them do. In the past five to six years, the legal subcontracting companies of South Florida have been dropping like flies. In the past couple of years, the main builders who have always shown loyalty and morality have had to fold to using these big subcontractors, in order to compete and get the contracts. There are some, that when the market fell, they smelled blood, like the sharks that they are. They started using those subcontractors with illegal labor forces from the get-go. These main builders have thrived in this economy, telling their subs that everyone is hurting, even the builders, while they are building retirement homes out of state that are paid off, mind you, and going on extravagant vacations, etc.
A lot of these builders have been asked: Why are you using these subs when you know that they are subcontracting all their labor to smaller illegal subs? Most reply that the bigger subcontracting companies, that they use, supply them with certificates of insurance. That's all that the law requires. Whatever small subcontractors that the main subcontractors use, it is their responsibility.
This is why you have to hold the main builders accountable. If there are no consequences to their using these subcontractors with illegal labor forces, you will not fix this problem.
You have to start having the main builders do something that makes them responsible. Maybe have it where they have to acquire copies of ID's of all workmen and the Workman's Comp monthly audits of these small subcontractors working under the main subcontractor. The builder can then cross reference both to see if the workmen are truly legal employees. That way, if an investigator stops by the job and finds an illegal labor force working, the main builder has no reason to play dumb. They then receive a fine (one for each infraction) and the job would then be shut down for a short period of days for the first infraction and a longer period for each additional infraction. Finally, (and this is the most important part), send a notice to the owner of the infractions, the fines assessed, and the length of time that the progress on their home being built has been delayed. With a lot of future work being acquired by word of mouth from homeowners, this will definitely weaken the future use of the same subcontractor from that builder.


A los trabajadores hispanos de estas compañías

(To the hispanic workers of these companies)

De todos los trabajadores que yo he visto en los últimos 30 años en el campo de la construcción, los trabajadores hispanos son los que más se esfuerzan y que más ética tienen haciendo su labor. De hecho, la mayoría de mis trabajadores son hispanos y ellos son mis favoritos. El problema es que las compañías para las cuales muchos hispanos trabajan están haciendo algo completamente ilegal en nuestro país. Estas compañías están quitándoles trabajos a ciudadanos norteamericanos al no pagar lo que se suponen que estén pagando. Yo he escuchado historias de cómo algunos trabajadores hispanos trabajan por tres semanas sin recibir su paga y muchas veces nunca reciben su dinero porque están aquí ilegalmente y no pueden ir a quejarse por ese atropello ante las autoridades. Nosotros no estamos tratando de quitarles su trabajo; simplemente estamos tratando de que estas compañías sigan las reglas del juego para que sea justo para todos nosotros.