News from the sites

Was speaking to my brother-in-law earlier. Works as a sub-contractor, co-owns his own company, with a team of about a dozen. He said that things in the Irish construction industry are worse than they are painted; worse than woeful. Not working there myself, I had no idea how bad it was.

As a subbie, he now demands to be paid every 7 days. If a contractor baulks at these conditions, he walks. Simple as. He went onsite with his crew last week and demanded these terms. On first refusal, he turned on his heel. Seeing it was no bluff, the main man there - for whom he has been doing work for 10 years - relented.

So, it is a cheque on Saturday, or no work done on Monday.

No-one trusts anyone. You will never know who is in trouble until the time comes to be paid. Hence the terms of payment. That it has come to this is no real surprise, seeing as it is the banking world in microcosm.

Among his predictions:

  1. A rash of suicides. There is an almost eerie confluence between those most affected by the construction slowdown - young, largely unskilled, country lads of 20-35, and the demographic most at-risk to suicide.

  2. Complete stagnation in house-building for 3 years. No-one will venture capital for anything now. Land will sit idle. The interest repayments will suck the life out of even the cash-rich.

  3. The collapse of household names. He named names. I can’t.

He says that you need balls of steel now just to get paid. No trick goes untried. The loss of a few weeks’ pay can cause you to go wallop, because no-one (neither bank nor shop) will extend credit for materials. if you can’t pay, you can’t play.

What was really sobering was the change that has come over him in a year. He was always sanguine - he used to call the whole charade “money for jam” - but he could not credit the scale of the contraction in the last 4 months.

I was thinking the same thing myself as there was yet another single male occupant of a vehicle driving into a wall late at night. It’s a terrible waste.

Like I once said !

Its The Empties Stoopid

That’s a scary post I have to say - I know it’s not exactly on post but I was thinking about the kids leaving schools in the next 5 years - will it revert to the 80’s when that means leaving the country? I lived away in the early 90’s when things were bad and I hate the thought of seeing my kids doing it - it really upset my family, as they put it - when you want to go abroad and “find yourself” that’s ok but when you have to go abroad to “feed yourself” - well that’s another matter…

Not that I don’t have sympathy but when a large unskilled workforce is making more money than lab technicians, teachers etc something is skewed

also builders were fleecing people because of supply and demand

i foresee black economy and nixers growing

I was in Dublin today, first time in Months, lots of cranes but NONE of them moving this was at 11.00am and when I passed again at 2pm

I know a few trades people and to be honest your average brickie, spark and chippie may have earned more but by god they grafted and the people I know are certainly not unskilled - they didn’t have the luxury of 9-5, mon - fri set lunch and every weekend off. They worked in dangerous conditions, unsociable hours and had to travel the top and bottom of Ireland. |If the demand was there then so were they - honest earnings for an honest days work.

just want to throw in that an electrician, brickie, carpenter or motor mechanic spend 4 years on crap pay doing their apprenticeship before they are qualified.

How were the apprentices paid during the boom? Same as always or more?

A cousin of mine is a carpenter and did his time from 00 - 04, his pay was a pittance. His boss would ask him to skip college days and he refused - he did go on jobs on occasion and get a little extra but basically he was paid crummy money. When he qualified he was turning down work. His firm were swamped - they could pick and choose jobs. He’s out on his own now and doing ok, mostly private work. He still works hard though.

4 years in Uni wasn’t much fun either.
Ever worked in a nightclub for similarly shite money til 3 o clock on a monday morning before getting home and up for 8 to start off a weeks lectures?

I’ve already been to two such funerals this year and I’m personally aware of eight other cases within my circle of acquaintances in the last 12 months and yes, it is this age group that are taking their lives. Most of these guys have left behind wives and young children to pick up the pieces.

That’s very sad. I’m sorry to hear that. No family deserves that pain :cry:

yeah its not easy, last semester I worked 42.5 hours a week on top of college. Dunno how I passed my exams. Did nights at weekends. Crammed the 42.5 hours in over 3 days/nights. Had to quit as I was missing lectures because I was sleeping in even on a friday morning after having last worked the sunday night/monday morning.

Crazy when you see half the college heads going around with no part time job and living on campus spending all their time in the pub :open_mouth:

three years ago i was working on a big site, there were two 17yr olds getting €700 a week for carrying scaffolding planks from A to B. a lot of the older guys were down in the bookies as soon as they were paid, a few were big into online poker. i met one of that crew recently, he said a lot of the lads bought the appartments they built but couldn’t sell or fill them. i have heard of violent attacks regarding sites and money, a lot of rural court cases over the next year will feature this.
this is the other carnage away from the financial.
there is going to be a grass roots backlash, people’s primal need for shelter was abused by those charged with care of the state.
there has to payback or we will see the rise of a very intolerant politics.

Let us not forget the political movements that arose out of the last depression in many of the so-called civilized counties Germany, Japan, Italy !

The fanatical political movements in those countries were well on the way to power before the great depression and simply used it to their own ends. They were not a product of the depression. FDR and the new deal was the political movement that grew out of the depression. Cause for optimism in these stricken times.

Back on topic. Frightening news about the terms subbies are working. Thank god I’ve very little to do with construction at the moment. Time to spend a few minutes to think on the human cost of this mess, families destroyed, futures ruined and thats only for the workers who were used as cannon fodder to fuel this boom we just had. We will be counting the cost of this for at least 40 years until the last of the crazy mortgages is finally paid.

This topic is being discussed currently over here

I’m employed as a consultant within the construction industry.

I generally become involved in any new projects at a very early stage, many before they even go for planning.

There’s just no new projects coming through the door and the majority of existing projects that we are involved in which are still at an early stage (ie. not at construction stage) are being pulled by our clients.

So if you think its bad now just wait until all of the projects currently being constructed throughout the country are completed but are not replaced with new projects. Thats when the sh*t really hits the fan.

When I was leaving school the guys that went to college were seen as the mugs. For the near ten years since then it has definitely seemed like that.

Agreed. A lot of my friends work in construction and for may years they couldn’t believe I was telling them the truth regarding how much I earned, i.e. they thought it was a pittance, while I thought it was a relatively decent salary. Unfortunately for a lot of these guys they are finding out the hard way that construction at the time was not a relection of long-term sustainable reality.