Jerry Smith was going in for heart surgery and asked his doctor who he would recommend as a surgeon. His doctor felt Dr. Krane was the best in the field but because he was a specialist he was more expensive. Jerry also heard of Dr. Dean who was a pretty good surgeon but hadn’t had as much experience as Dr. Krane. Who did Jerry’s surgery? It doesn’t matter, what matters is “who would have done your surgery?”

Know what you’re getting

Choosing a surgeon who is a specialist is like choosing a union trained craftsman because they are specialists in the construction field. You are guaranteed of a craftsman who has had years of training which helps to get the job done right the first time. No one wants to reconstruct any portion of a building project, and with union craftsman working for you that can be virtually eliminated.

I asked general contractor Al Lysne of A.J. Lysne Construction why he preferred using union craftsman. He said, “Wherever we have a project going up I know that by hiring union help I’ll have a crew that knows the job and will finish the project as quickly as my regular crew.

Can you afford not to use union labor?

High quality skilled union labor is sometimes perceived as expensive. This is when you really need to look at the facts because this is far from the truth. An independent study done by the University of Minnesota shows that the union craftsman is 45% more efficient on the job compared to unskilled labor. That means it only takes 2 union craftsman to do the work of 3.5 unskilled workers, and with union workers you still maintain the higher quality.

Are you paying for the training of unskilled labor?

When you hire union craftsman you’re guaranteed of their training. If you’ve used unskilled labor before you may ask yourself, “Have I ever had the guarantee of any employees training?” Probably not, and that’s because there is no formal training. Their training probably consisted of what they learn on your time and at your expense. Hopefully they learn from that first mistake!

Proper training means showing correct procedures in classes before they get to the work site and that training is done in the apprenticeship programs. Union apprentices have to take job and safety training classes along with their supervised training.

Hidden expenses

One important factor that can’t be overlooked is the safety record of the contract laborers. Union craftsman have the highest safety standard and that’s because of the constant training. No union craftsman is ever done taking safety training because there is continuous training throughout every union members career.

When someone is hurt on the work site how does it affect you? As an owner you are legally responsible for injuries on the work site. Less injuries mean less responsibility for you! That’s why union labor is constantly being trained on safety in the workplace. Safety is also an important issue for the contractors because a safe work site lowers contractors insurance rates–which can mean savings to you.