A Booklet about the working partnership between you, your union, and your employer.
(the complete text)
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Working Together
Chapter 2. Why Unions are Important
Chapter 3. The Roofing ContractorJob Provider
Chapter 4. Roofers and ContractorsThe New Partnership
CHAPTER 1: Working Together
Your success or failure as a roofer depends mainly on you. How do you meet the challenges of the job? Do you work hard at whatever job you have? Do you try to learn all areas of roofing to the best of your ability? Do you show up for work on time every day?
Your own skills and attitude are your main assets. But you are not likely to become a successful roofer on your own. Your success as a roofer also depends upon:
This booklet is about the working partnership between you, your union, and your employer.
UNION MEMBERS WORK TOGETHER
As a union roofer, you do not work alone. You work as part of a crew. Imagine trying to apply a built-up roof on a large building by yourself. You would have to gather the materials and equipment, heat the kettle, hoist materials and asphalt to the roof, and install the new roof before bad weather hits Could you do it alone? It’s a much easier job when a whole crew works on it.
As a union member, you do not bargain for your wages or job conditions on your own. You bargain as part of a union. What would happen if your employer said, ?From now on you are all working twelve hours a day for straight time.? A non-union roofer may protest, but may have no real choices but to do it or quit. One worker alone has little bargaining power. However, a union roofer doesn’t face this problem. Union members work under a contract. This contract, known as a collective bargaining agreement, is approved by all members of the local union. It sets the wages, fringe benefits, and working conditions with all roofing contractors who sign the agreement.
The Union contract gives you a strong voice in the roofing industry.
UNIONS AND CONTRACTORS WORK TOGETHER
The Roofers’ Union cannot create good jobs and working conditions on its own. Jobs are created by contractors. A union contractor puts together a company that has the money, equipment, knowledge, and planning skills that are needed to obtain good jobs.
Without union contractors, there would be no union roofing jobs. Without union contractors, there would be no union contract.
The Roofers’ Union and union contractors realize that they must work together to create good jobs and good working conditions:
- The Roofers’ Union can’t be effective without successful union contractors providing jobs for union members.
- Union contractors can’t be successful without the skilled roofers supplied by the Roofers’ Union.
Union contractors and the Roofers’ Union depend on each other for strength and support. Together, they work on issues that affect the roofing industry.
MANAGEMENT AND LABOR
Our country operates under a free enterprise system. This means that almost all businesses are owned by individuals (or groups of individuals and investors). Private businesses compete with each other for profits.
To be successful, the free enterprise system must work out a balance of two basic elements:
- Capitalthe money and resources needed to start a business and keep it running. Management is the term for those who own or manage capital. The two terms are often interchanged.
- Laborthe workers who produce goods or services. No roofing contractor can be successful without a supply of skilled labor that can perform good roofing work in a reasonable amount of time.
As roofers we invest our labor, and our return is the paycheck we receive. As union roofers, our investment is reasonably secure. About the most we can lose is one week’s work if the employer fails to pay us.
On the other hand, employers invest their own labor into their business but they also invest capital. The capital is their own money that they are putting on the line. The risk is much greater. An employer can lose much more at any given time than one man’s weekly wages. Some employers lose their entire investment and go out of business.
Because the amount of risk is greater, the employer’s return is often greater also. A contractor would not invest a great deal of time and money into a business without a reasonable chance of earning a good return. Many roofers move from labor into management hoping to earn greater returns on their investment.
A FAIR BALANCE BETWEEN LABOR AND MANAGEMENT
Both workers and owners invest in their job or company:
- A worker invests labor.
- An owner invests capital.
Both workers and owners share in the money that the company earns. The workers get their share through their wages. The owners get their share through their salary and through company profits.
Both sides sometimes disagree about how much of the profit should go to labor and how much should go to management. If those on either side have too much power, they will demand too much. Any group that has too much power will tend to make rules that favor its own side. That is a fact of human nature. This is why it is so important to have a balance of power between labor and management. Neither side should have too much power. If both sides are nearly equal in strength, they are forced to discuss and compromise on workplace issues.
Present-day labor unions and union contractors have learned that a balance of power benefits everyone. When there is a balance of power, those who invest labor and those who invest capital can all win.
Collective bargaining is the process of working out a contract between two equal sides. A contract is also called an agreement.
In the union roofing industry, collective bargaining is the key to keeping a balance of power. This system gives labor and management equal power at the bargaining table. They bargain to work out a contract for the common good.
The contract is a set of rules for the workplace. If both sides are equal, the rules set by the contract are fair. The contract sets conditions like these:
- A wage level as high as possible but not so high that union employers cannot compete in the roofing marketplace.
- Benefits that protect a family without being too heavy a burden on the employer.
- A procedure for working out the complaints and problems of either labor or management.
The two sides will always have different views on wages, benefits, and working conditions. The differences are worked out through negotiations:
- Workers want decent working conditions and a fair return that will allow them to live with security and dignity.
- Management wants a fair return in order to keep the business running and to earn a profit on the money invested in the business.
- Both want a voice in deciding how the job is run.
The two groups have come to see that they have many goals and interests in common:
- A well-managed, efficient business
- A strong, effective union
- A supply of skilled workers
- Prosperity and growth for the union roofing industry
Working together, labor and management move toward these common goals. There will always be different views when it comes to the details. However, because power is reasonably balanced between the two, they have learned to compromise in order to reach an agreement that benefits both sides. Collective bargaining works to keep a balance.
CHAPTER 2: Why Unions are Important
BEFORE THERE WERE UNIONS
We haven’t always had unions. Back when most workers were farmers and independent craftsmen, they did not need to join together in unions.
Working conditions changed because of the Industrial Revolution. It really was a revolution because it changed the way most people worked.
The Industrial Revolution began not long after the United States was formed. Steam power and then electrical power were harnessed to run machines, and machine production replaced many of the old hand skills and crafts. It no longer required a master cobbler to make a pair of shoes. The work was done by machineseach doing one simple operation over and over. Women or children could be hired to operate the machines for much lower wages than a skilled craftsman. Many skilled trades were almost wiped out. A skilled weaver, for instance, suddenly found that he was replaced by a machine and unskilled child labor. As the wages for other workers went down, the wages for skilled construction workers also went down.
In mines and factories, working conditions were terrible. Work was often dangerous and unhealthy. The working day sometimes lasted from dawn to dusk six days a week. Wages were so low that many men could not support a family. Often the entire family, including children, had to work just to stay at poverty level. Imagine children as young as six years old in your family having to go to work for those long hours!
There was no safety protection and there were no pensions. If a child lost a hand in an unguarded machine or became sick because of unhealthy work conditions, the child was fired as no longer usable and a new one brought in. If a man became too old to work fast, he was fired with no pension. Workers were often desperate to hold any job and earn any amount of money.
All this happened because workers lost what little power they had. Much capital was required to purchase the machines for a new business. Very little skilled labor was required to produce the finished product. Small shops could not compete with large factories, so gradually small production shops disappeared. Skilled workers were less and less in demand. The result was that those who owned very large businesses made large amounts of money, but ordinary workers had very little.
THE START OF UNIONS
It wasn’t until workers joined together in unions and presented a common front that they won better conditions. Most early unions were small and local, and they were mostly organized so that members of a trade could help each other. Successes in gaining better wages or working conditions were few and far between.
In the 1800s, the government was no help at all. Most public officials looked upon labor unions as radical and dangerous (and a few actually were). Most courts held that unions, collective bargaining, and strikes were illegal. Almost every time there was violence during a strike, police and state militia were brought in to ?maintain law and order.? But this always meant supporting the side of management, not labor.
The famous labor leader Samuel Gompers thought that skilled trades would be most successful at organizing. In 1886 he formed the AFL (American Federation of Labor) made up of various unions for skilled trades. This was the start of a truly successful national labor movement.
Later on in the 1930s, the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) organized unskilled workers in industrial unions. These two labor organizations were bitter rivals for many years, but they finally merged into the AFL-CIO, the umbrella labor organization that now includes most national unions in the United States.
With a national organization to back them, unions gradually gained power to bargain and win the many rights they have today. However it required many years of sacrifice by union members. Men and women went without work, were injured, and even died because they believed in the union cause.
THE UNIONS TODAY
Labor has made most of its gains in the past hundred years. Now labor has a more equal balance of power with management, so they have a more equal share of the wealth.
That did not happen until the unions finally gained enough strength to make their voice heard by the government. In 1935, Congress finally made it clear that unions and collective bargaining were legal. It passed the Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act) which ensured the right to union organizing and to collective bargaining. The Wagner Act is the Bill of Rights for unions.
From around 1930 until 1947, unions were strong and had gained a real balance of power with management. But as the balance of power began to swing in favor of unions, some began to abuse their power. Local unions at times unfairly restricted membership. Labor leaders sometimes abused their power. Unions overused their ability to strike.
In recent years, labor lost some of its strength. This was partly because of abuses within the unions. As a result, laws were passed to restrict union activities, and many anti-union organizations sprang up. As unions lost strength, the non-union sector of labor increased. Non-union labor weakens the cause of all labor. Because non-union workers have no organized voice to speak for them, they have lower wages and poorer working conditions. This tends to pull down wages and conditions even for union workers.
At the present time, the unions are working to regain their position and are making good progress.
Roofers began their own union back when many unions of skilled workers were organizing. The first union for roofers was the International Slate and Tile Roofers Union of America (ISTRUA), formed in 1902 and chartered by the AFL in 1903. Three years later, the International Brotherhood of Composition Roofers, Damp and Waterproof Workers was formed. Both of these new unions were chartered by the AFL.
Roofers and other construction workers have problems that are very different from other union workers, such as factory and service workers. So in 1908 the AFL set up the Building and Construction Trades Department to coordinate the work of the various construction unions. Both of the new roofing unions joined it.
In those early years, the two roofing unions had many disputes over jurisdiction, but they finally realized that they had much in common and ought to merge to form a single roofers’ union. So in 1919 they joined together to form the United Slate, Tile and Composition Roofers, Damp and Waterproof Workers Association. The new union was formed "for the mutual benefit of all concerned" and guaranteed the independence of all union locals. The Union Constitution and By-Laws set up a method for union members to govern their organization.
A few years later, in order to keep members informed, the Union started a magazine, The Journeyman Roofer. This was a forerunner of the current union roofing magazine, The Journeyman Roofer & Waterproofer.
The Union grew in those early years despite the fact that many people in business and government opposed any union organizing. Early roofing organizers traveled the country helping to organize local roofing unions.
The bottom dropped out of the economy during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Thousands of businesses closed. Millions of workers were out of a job. The roofers managed to hang onto their Union, but times were tough for all workers. It wasn’t until the economy picked up in the late 1930s and early 1940s that the roofers were able to expand their organizing again.
During World War II, many roofers put their energy into the war effort. In the army, many roofers served in the Army Corps of Engineers, and in the navy, many served in the Construction Battalions, called the Seabees.
When the war was over the soldiers came home, looking for jobs and new homes for their families. The rapidly expanding economy started a construction boom. With it came a boom in construction union membership. During the 1950s through the 1970s, the Roofers’ Union grew rapidly.
In 1978, the Union took a new nameUnited Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers. It took on the job of revising the Union Constitution and By-Laws. The present-day union has 95 local unions.
The Union cooperates with other groups in many ways. For example, it works closely with the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO to resolve disputes with other construction unions.
The Union serves on ANSI (American National Standards Institute) to help develop safety and health standards for the construction industry. As part of the Building and Construction Trades Department, the Union has helped develop standards for OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration).
Most important, the Union works together with union roofing contractors in a labor/management forum to solve common problems.
THE VALUE OF UNIONS
Unions have been good for the country as well as for union workers.
Unions create a more democratic America. They are democratic organizations that give every member a voice. Local union members decide on local issues, vote on the contract negotiated by union members, and elect local union officers.
The local union chooses delegates to attend national conventions. These delegates vote on national issues affecting the union, on constitutional changes, and for national union officers. What other large organization do you know of that is as democratic as a union?
When unions gained enough strength, they pressed for many reforms. Unions played a large part in winning social reforms that have helped all workers, union and non-union alike:
- Child labor laws
- Free public education
- No prison for debtors
- Minimum wage
- Standard eight-hour work day
- Forty-hour work week
- Unemployment benefits
- Workers’ Compensation
- Disability Insurance
- Social Security
- Civil rights
- Safety legislation
These social programs have been a great benefit to the nation as a whole. Look at the items on this list one by one. Ask yourself how each one has been a benefit to you or to someone in your family.
UNIONS AND YOU
The Union has given you a voice. As an individual worker, you can do little to protest unfair treatment by an employer. But as a Union member, you have a powerful voice. The Union’s strengthand your strengthcomes from standing together and speaking as one voice. If you are treated unfairly, you can protest, knowing that you do not stand alone. The entire Union is pledged to work for fair treatmentfor one person or for all. Union members meet and decide as a group what increases in wages and benefits they will request. They present a unified front.
You enjoy many of these benefits which union members have gained by standing together:
- Fair pay
- Retirement plan
- Health plan
- Vacation with pay in some areas
- Apprentice and journeyman training
- Assistance with drug and alcohol problems
- Credit unions
- An organization that works for you
Your union dues make all these benefits available to you and your family. What you pay in Union dues is repaid to you with interest through these Union benefits. In addition, your union membership makes you part of an organization that has:
- Local union officers to serve you.
- Local union delegates to represent you at national union conventions.
- International union officers to represent you in national affairs and legislation.
One benefit that can’t be measured is the pride and self-respect you have as a union roofer. You are a free and independent skilled craftsman. But you are also a member of a respected organization that represents you. You are a partner in an enterprise, with a written contract that specifies your wages and your rights.
CHAPTER 3: The Roofing ContractorJob Provider
THE CONTRACTOR’S JOB
The roofers on the job may think the roofing contractor has an easy time of itlooking at job sites, talking to people, pushing paperand pulling in big profits. But the job is not as easy as it looks. The contractor also has to deal with the costs and risks of running a business.
The contractor doesn’t work just an eight-hour day. The contractor carries the job around 24 hours a day and faces a lot of sleepless nights. A roofing contractor must deal with many problems:
- Getting enough trained and qualified employees.
- Selling enough jobs at the right price to pay the bills.
- Making enough profit.
- Keeping the crew employed.
Selling jobs and making a profit are important for the workers as well as the contractor. If the contractor doesn’t sell enough jobs or make enough profit, the business fails, and union jobs are lost. Successful union contractors provide good union jobs. That is why union contractors and union workers are partners. Without this partnership, union jobs and profitable union contractors cannot exist.
Most of the work in a contract shop is sold by competitive bidding. Contractors usually submit sealed bids. The contractor with the lowest bid is almost always awarded the contract. The bidding process puts the squeeze on the contractor, especially if the contractor is bidding against competition with lower costs:
- The business needs enough work to meet the payroll and pay expenses.
- The business must make a profit.
- Work is obtained by being the lowest bidder on the job.
- Being the low bidder may leave littleif anyprofit on the job.
The contractor often loses the bid since there is much competition for jobs. So the contractor must constantly bid on jobs in order to get enough work. A contractor often wins only 5% to 10% of the bids submitted. That means the cost of submitting a bid is lost.
The contractor who wins the job has submitted the lowest bid. That means that the contractor has to keep close control of job costs or the job will lose money. If a job loses money, then the profit from other jobs must make up for the loss. If too many jobs lose money, the roofing contractor is out of business and you could be out of work.
That is why the bidding process is important for the roofers as well as the roofing contractor.
KEEPING THE BUSINESS GOING
Roofing contractors make a big investment in setting up a business. They do it because they believe they can operate a roofing company that will provide a good income and a fair return on their investment. They think they can run a roofing business better than their competition.
Union roofing contractors have made a commitment to the workers. They are concerned with the welfare of the workers and are willing to pay a fair wage. Union contractors are committed to producing quality work by using trained union roofers. These contractors have agreed to work together with the Roofers’ Union to set fair wages, benefits, and working conditions.
To provide union jobs and to make the investment pay, the roofing contractor has to keep the business going. In order to sell jobs and make a profit, the contractor has to see to it that the business is managed properly.
The contractor has to protect the investment in the company. The roofing company may be owned by the contractor alone; it may be partly owned by working partners; it may be partly owned by stockholders. In any case, the contractor has to see to it that the original investment in the company is not only protected but also returns a profit on the investment.
Starting a roofing company requires imagination, ambition, and a large investment of capital. A contractor must have money for trucks, tools, equipment, shop space, office space, and much more. The money invested in all this must return more profit than it would earn from a bank account. If it does not, there is no point in keeping the money invested in the business.
The contractor is always concerned with cash flow. There must be enough cash on hand to meet payrolls and bills. If these are not met on time, the company’s credit rating suffers. If a credit rating becomes bad enough, roofing supplies will not deliver material unless it is paid for with cash before or upon delivery.
A company may have several million dollars of work and $500,000 due for work completed, yet there may still be a cash flow problem. Work must be completed on schedule in order to collect progress payments. Money due the company must be collected on time.
Sometimes even a successful business has a cash flow problem, so the contractor must get a loan to meet expenses or expand the business. A loan costs money and reduces company profits.
The roofing contractor also worries about personnel. Every true union roofer has professional skills and attitudes. However, some employees may create problems because of absenteeism, tardiness, or slow work. The contractor or supervisors must deal with each personnel problem and solve it without disrupting work or causing resentment (which can affect the work of other employees).
The roofing contractor has to be sure the business is managed efficiently. The business must be well-organized, and the supervisors and foremen have to be able to manage their parts of the job well. The contractor must see to it that the whole crew performs well and on time. To do this the contractor must manage many duties well:
- Selecting supervisors
- Creating an efficient flow of work
- Controlling quality
- Staying on schedule
- Coordinating work with other crafts
- Ordering materials and equipment on time
- Conforming to government regulations
- Handling financial matters
- Selling jobs
TRUE COST OF A JOB
To show you some of the problems a roofing contractor faces, this chapter takes you through some of the calculations that go into making a bid. The actual process would be far more complicated, but this example will give you some idea of the process.
Submit Your Bid
Imagine yourself as a roofing contractor bidding on a job. Your estimator has gone over the plans and estimated the material and labor needed for the job:
- Material $4,345.00
- Labor 987 hours
For simplicity, let’s assume that you pay all your roofers at the rate of $18 per hour.
Take some time right now, get your calculator, and figure out what you would bid for the job if you were the contractor:
- The labor cost for this job is $18 times the 987 hours needed.
- Add the cost of material to that.
- Add an amount for profit.
Remember that you have to keep the bid low enough so that you win the bid. You also have to bid high enough to earn a profit.
Write your name on a sheet of paper and write the amount you will bid for this job. Turn it in to your instructor.
Let’s look at the real cost of the job you just bid and see if you made or lost money. You had to make your bid without really knowing all the costs of running a business. The rest of this chapter gives you a look at the costs your job needs to cover.
If you as a roofing contractor pay your roofers $18 per hour and charge your customers $45 per hour for labor, that means that you are raking in $27 per hour profit on every person on the payroll. Right?
The truth is that most of the $27 per hour ?profit? is paid out as the cost of doing business. This chapter will show you where some of that money goes.
As we work out costs, enter the figures on the Bid Worksheet at the end of this chapter. Some amounts will be rounded off.
Direct Job Costs
Direct job costs are those that can be charged directly to a job, such as materials and labor. For example, almost all jobs require bonding (a guarantee that the project will be completed even if the contractor goes out of business). The contractor must pay for a bond for each job.
You already have the costs for materials and labor. Assume that the other direct costs for this job are the following:
On the Bid Worksheet at the end of this chapter:
*On line 1, enter $4,435 (the cost of materials).
*On line 2, enter $1,200 (other direct job costs).
For this job, the labor cost is $18.00 per hour
*On line 3, enter S18.00
However, the labor costs are more than just the wages paid to the employees. Payroll taxes, payroll insurance, and benefits must be added to the hourly wage rate. This is called the labor burden. For every hour of labor, your company must pay the following:
- Social Security
Each worker has an amount deducted from the paycheck for Social Security. It is usually marked FICA (Federal Insurance Compensation Act). This is half of the FICA costs. The contractor pays the other half. For this bid, assume that Social Security costs the contractor 7.65% of the hourly salary ($18 x 0.0765 = $1.38).
*On line 4, enter $1.38 (Social Security).
- Federal and State Unemployment Insurance
By law all companies must contribute a set amount per hour to an unemployment insurance fund. The amount a company pays is based upon how many claims have been made by employees of the company. For this bid, unemployment insurance costs 6.5% of the labor cost per hour ($18 x 0.065 = $1.17).
*On line 5, enter S1.17 (unemployment insurance).
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ Compensation is insurance for injured employees. The amount paid depends upon the type of work the company does and the company’s safety record. The amount goes up if a company has many accidents. The average rate for roofing companies is 10% of labor cost per hour ($18 x 0.10 = $1.80). There is an additional cost based on the selling price of the jobs, but to keep this simple, we will not calculate this for the example on the bid sheet.
*On line 6, enter $1.80 (Workers’ Comp).
- Liability insurance
To protect the business investment, the contractor must carry liability insurance. This insures the business against property damage, injuries, or loss of life that may be caused by the company employees. For this bid, assume that the liability insurance is 3.5% of the labor cost per hour ($18 x 0.035 = $0.63)
*On line 7, enter $0.63 (liability insurance)
- Cost of Union Benefits
Depending on the local union agreement, the contractor pays a fixed amount into different trust funds for employee benefits. These are such things as training, medical insurance, and retirement fund. For this bid, assume the following benefits:
Health insurance $3.50
Retirement fund 2.00
Local training fund .25
*On line 8, enter $5.75 (Union benefits)
Overhead is the cost of operating a business that cannot be charged to a specific job. These expenses must be paid by charging them to every job. These are the annual overhead expenses for your company:
Contractor’s salary $70,000
Supervisor’s salary 50,000
Labor burden of admin. salaries 13,000
(FICA, unemployment insurance, etc.)
Estimator and owner vehicles 8,000
Field vehicles (4) 18,800
Flat bed truck 4,500
Mortgage payments 18,000
Vehicle gas and maintenance 7,500
Telephone and yellow pages 4,500
Office equipment 3,000
Business license 1,000
Dodge Reports, assoc. dues 2,000
Office expenses (paper, etc.) 1,000
Christmas party 1,000
Accountant & lawyer fees 2,400
Field tools & supplies 9,000
To determine how much to add to a bid for overhead, the annual overhead is divided by the annual work hours charged to jobs.
In this business assume there are 12 roofers on the productive work force (doing work that can be charged to jobs). Each person works 40 hours per week for 50 weeks of the year (assuming there is no weather too stormy or too hot to work). This equals 2,000 hours per year for each person (40 hours x 50 weeks = 2,000 hours per year). Multiply this 2,000 hours times 12 workers:
- 12 workers produce 24,000 hours of productive work per year.
The cost of overhead has to be paid for by these productive hours. To determine how much to add to your bid for overhead, the annual overhead is divided by the annual work hours charged to jobs.
- $287,600 ÷ 24,000 hours = $11.98 per hou
This means that for every hour of work that is charged to a job, $11.98 goes to pay the overhead.
- On line 9, enter $11.98 (overhead)
Total Labor Cost Per Hour
To calculate the total labor cost per hour, the roofing contractor has to add together all of the labor costs on lines 3 to 9:
- Wage rate
- Social Security
- Unemployment insurance
- Workers’ Compensation
- Liability insurance
- Union benefits
For this job, these add up to $40.71 per hour that the contractor must pay:
*On line 10, enter $40.71 (total hourly labor cost).
To calculate the true labor cost for this job, multiply the cost per hour times the number of hours the job will take ($40.71 per hour x 987 hours = $40,181.)
*On line 11, enter $40,181 (total labor cost).
REVISING YOUR BID
Now that you know the actual job costs, you can add them up to more accurately calculate the total job cost. There are three basic costs that make up the total job cost:
Other direct job costs 1,200
Total local cost 40,181
- On line 12, enter $45,816 (total job cost)
This figure is the actual cost of the job. The roofing contractor must also add a certain percentage for profit. If there is no profit to reinvest in the company and to repay the investment in the company, there would be no point to staying in business.
Put yourself in the shoes of the roofing contractor bidding for the job. If you add too much in order to make more profit, your estimate will be high and you are not likely to get the job. If you add too little for profit, you may not be able to stay in business. Decide on what percent of profit to add:
- On line 13, enter the percent of profit you choose.
To calculate the amount of profit, multiply the total job cost ($45,816) times the percent of profit (in decimal form). For example, to calculate 10% profit:
- $45,816 x 0.10 =$4,581
- On line 14, enter the amount of profit (based on the percent of profit you chose).
Submit a second bid for the same job. To calculate your total bid, add the amount of profit you chose to the total job cost.
- On line 15, enter your total bid.
On a separate sheet of paper write your name and the heading Bid Number 2. Write the amount of your revised bid and turn it in to your instructor.
Remember that submitting a bid does not guarantee you will get the job. Of all of those submitting a bid for this sample job, only one will win with a low bid. Submitting an estimate for real work is a complicated job (much more complicated than the sample in this chapter). The estimate is not likely to win the job most of the time. It’s a tough world out there for the contractor!
Materials $ _________ (Line 1)
Other direct job costs $ _________ (Line 2)
Local wage rate $ _________ (Line 3)
Social Security (FICA) (x 7.65%) $ _________ (Line 4)
Unemployment insurance (x 6.5%) $ _________ (Line 5)
Workers’ Compensation (x 10%) $ _________ (Line 6)
Liability insurance (x 3.5%) $ _________ (Line 7)
Cost of Union benefits $ _________ (Line 8)
Overhead cost per hour $ _________ (Line 9)
Total labor cost per hour $ _________ (Line 10)
Total labor cost (987 hrs x $/hr) $ _________ (Line 11)
TOTAL JOB COST $ _________ (Line 12)
Percent of profit _________ (Line 13)
Amount of profit $ _________ (Line 14)
TOTAL BID $ _________ (Line 15)
CHAPTER 4: Roofers and Contractorsthe New Partnership
The Roofers’ Union and roofing contractors have formed a new partnership. In recent years they have recognized that it is in their best interest to work together.
Try to imagine how difficult it was to change the attitudes of labor and management toward each other. The two sides had fought many battles in the past. But as the unions gained recognition, things began to change. Contractors began to see that the unions provided a responsible voice for the workers and could help management solve mutual problems.
Gradually, many representatives of labor and management, especially in the building trades, have come to realize that in many ways they are on the same side.
The relationship between the two groups is not always smooth. The Roofers’ Union and the roofing contractors still disagree at the bargaining table over the proper share of the profits and over working conditions. But they realize that a strong and healthy industry cannot exist without an effective Roofers’ Union and prosperous union contractors.
The leaders of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers and the various roofing contractors’ associations understand that if we waste our energy fighting each other, we cannot prosper. The power of the Union and management must balance each other. Together we use our power to promote mutual success.
What the Union Provides
The Roofers’ Union provides union contractors with important advantages:
- A reliable supply of highly skilled workers
- Workers who all abide by the same rules negotiated by the union
- Fair competition with other union contractors because labor costs and working conditions are the same
- One responsible organization to represent workers in negotiations and grievances
What Management Provides
The union roofing contractors provide their workers with important advantages:
- A reliable source of employment
- A fair wage
- Good working conditions
- Benefits such as health care and retirement
HOW THEY WORK TOGETHER
The Roofers’ Union and the various contractors’ organizations work together in many ways.
- On the local level, the local union negotiates with the local contractor’s organization to work out a bargaining agreement that both sides can agree to.
- On the national level, the Roofers’ Union and the contractors’ organizations work together to set up training and other programs.
Both local and national cooperation help provide a safe and profitable industry for workers and managers.
Roofers face many hazardsfalls, burns, electrocutions, chemical exposure, and hoisting accidents. Safety programs benefit everyone in the industry. Workers benefit because there is less chance of injury or death on the job. Employers benefit not only because they have no desire to see their workers harmed, but also because fewer accidents mean less lost time on the job and reduced cost for Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
Safety rules are set by federal laws (through OSHA), state laws, and employers. However, conditions are not safe until a safety program is developed and enforced. Both the union and the contractor encourage safety training on the job and enforce safety regulations. Safety is emphasized in apprentice training programs sponsored by both union and management.
The Roofing Industry Partnership for Safety and Health is a program sponsored by labor, management, and the government. It promotes safety by offering roofing contractors a package of incentives designed to improve their safety performance.
Roofers’ unions have apprentice training programs. All of these programs are supervised by a Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC). The JATC is made up of management and union members. Their job is similar to the Board of Directors of a corporation. They approve finances and new instructors and oversee the progress of apprentices.
Problems are bound to come up in the workplace, so there has to be a way to settle disputes. The agreement negotiated between the local union and local union contractors spells out a grievance procedure to be followed when there is a dispute.
Grievance procedures assure that both the worker and the contractor can state their case and receive a fair hearing. During a grievance procedure, your union provides a strong voice for the worker, and it provides a responsible agency for the company to work with.
Production problems can often be solved through cooperation. Both roofers and contractors want to have a good work process. When there is a hitch in the process, the company loses money and the workers lose jobs.
Management is not alone when it comes to solving production problems. When union workers receive a fair wage and have a voice in controlling working conditions, they have an interest in finding solutions to production problems. Workers on the job are likely to see ways to make an operation more efficient and to produce a higher quality product.
Workers have a stake in solving problems because it improves working conditions. Individual roofers often come up with creative solutions to problems. Some companies have joint union-management committees that meet regularly to discuss production and other problems.
Employee benefits are often called fringe benefits. They include such things as health insurance, retirement plans, and vacation plans. Most of these are determined by negotiation and spelled out in the local agreement. Some of these benefits are paid completely by management, and some are paid at least partly by the worker.
Another area where the union and contractors cooperate is in promoting the union segment of the industry. By reaching out to builders, building owners, architects, and engineers, a promotion program can earn more work for union roofing contractors and union roofers.
Project labor agreements guarantee work for union roofers and union contractors. These agreements standardize certain conditions on the job for all craft workers and bar work stoppages.
Other Areas of Cooperation
Local unions may have different trust funds and agreements, some supported by the employer, and some supported by both the employer and the employee. These are typical trust funds or agreements:
- Apprenticeship training
- Health and welfare
- Vacation plans
- Local union retirement plans
- Credit union
If there is a problem on the job that could grow into a major labor dispute, the contractor may invite the Business Manager or Business Agent to visit the job and talk to management. Together they try to solve a minor problem before it becomes a major one.
Joint Roofing Industry Labor/Management Committee
The Roofers’ Union and management representatives from around the country have set up the Joint Roofing Industry Labor/Management Committee to handle many industry problems that concern both groups. This committee is made up of union members and union contractors. Together, they work on a range of problems such as these:
- Improving safety
- Recruiting apprentices
- Improving apprentice training
- Finding ways to keep workers in the industry
- Promoting cooperation between labor and management
- Promoting the union roofing industry
THE NEW PARTNERSHIP
The new partnership between your union and your contractor benefits both. Working together, they can create a healthy industry. It provides you with a good, steady income and many benefits. It provides the contractor with a well-run business and a healthy profit.
Working together, we all win.