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Member since: Tue May 12, 2009, 09:13 AM
Number of posts: 5,610

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MSN homepage "19 fastest growing temp. jobs"

This caption was over a man wearing a carpenters belt...What a sick joke.
I spent 35 years as a carpenter. We didn't hire temps, this is a vocation that requires training and practice, or people get hurt.
The first image that popped into my mind was the airport tragedy in which a newly attached airport sign fell and killed a young boy and injured his family. I wonder how much training ( you have to learn what anchors and what gauge of wire will support the weight of that sign) the sign hanger had. In most airport, hospital or school remodels or additions, commercial carpenters hang those signs.
Thankfully the last 18 years of my career, I was a highly trained and skilled, Union Carpenter. Even after all of the years I had spent being a hammer banger, the Union insisted that I took tests (4 hrs. long) to determine what area's I needed more training in. They sent me to classes to learn the proper way to use my skills that minimized any chance of people (including myself) getting hurt.
I began my career as a 15 y.o. (who knew nothing about carpentry) joining a residential framing crew during summer break. I was hooked. By the end of my first summer, I was earning $12 an hour. Probably more money than those temps. will ever earn because a good portion of "their" pay goes to the temp. agency that hired them. It is an incestuous relationship between temp. agencies and (usually) sub-contractors. They're not used for residential work. Residential "carpenters" are paid very low wages (these days) and usually are illegal immigrants who are afraid to demand over-time, etc..
We have become a nation of temps. That way, more middleman can profit off of our work. How else are you gonna support a capitalist nation whose "productive" citizens are "businessmen/women? More leeches on the backs of working people and no or very little training required, most of it is OTJ (on the job training). Hey, the temp agencies are making a killing (literally and figuratively) while ensuring low wages for actual workers.
As a Union carpenter, I was required to regularly attend skill training and OSHA classes, even though I tested out and joined the Union as a journeyman (highest skill-set). I was required to get special licenses which required training, working and "testing out" on that skill-set. If there was an accident after I had signed off on a task, my journeyman license was at stake. That is a great way to make sure the job is done right.
Yes, I earned a living wage and good (especially at first) benefits. If I couldn't perform my duties correctly or in a timely manner, there were usually 200 Union carpenters on the "out of work list" who could replace me with very short notice. All of them trained and certified.
Now, there are record journeyman carpenters on that list. The money goes to the temp agencies to provide un-skilled workers with little compensation and even less training.
Get ready for more "accidents" like the one in the airport where people die. Unions and the skilled workers they produce ( 7-8 years ago journeymen which includes women) carpenters earned an Associates Degree when they completed the required 4 year training (and paid working) apprenticeships to acquire their journeyman cards. They are being replaced with un-skilled, underpaid, "temps."
Electricians were high on that "19 fastest growing temp. jobs" list also. Anything to pad the pockets of the elite and deny skilled jobs to the populace.
Maybe the temp. electricians can help install showers in "war" zones so the contractors can make more big bucks...
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