Construction workers deserve more

in #life23 days ago

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We are building another room and a kitchen at the house for a few weeks now. Everyday, my dad goes there to supervise them. I mean, there's someone out there in charge of them for sure, but he's there to check what's going on and so they can ask questions and get answers right away.

Since I went there to paint this (I got no room in this current house to paint), I have seen what they were doing for a week. I have watched them mix cement (which is satisfying lol), put cement on walls, how they take a break, when they go home, etc. You know, the usual construction stuff.

During those times, I have learned some things about them.


How little they are being paid

I mean, it's old news that manual laborers are really paid low but I was expecting we have improved this time. Apparently still the same thing.

One of the reasons my dad is going there everyday is to also do some welding on some parts in the kitchen. He's like an all around kinda dad so he knows how to do this as well. He's there to ensure that it's built strong.

The welding that needs to be done is to put some metals between the steel so the cement would stick to it, having a stronger structure. Although the welder did the most important part, he left and didn't finished that one.



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Apparently, he left because he was paid so little. My dad and the foreman tried to talk to him as the task left is still an important one but he just doesn't want to finish it. My dad understands the situation though, so he just went there to do it himself.




Paid so little, but no free food


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I've never been to construction sites so I didn't know what's up. We haven't moved to this house yet so there's literally no furniture, cooking appliances, and etc so when I was working there, I had to bring some snacks, packed lunch, and water.



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I was actually surprised that they don't get free snacks from the contractor or whoever is in charge of them. No, I don't believe there's no budget anymore for their snacks and water, I just really think they don't care about these workers and want to underpay them as much as they could.

My dad buys them snacks everyday, which I am grateful too. He said, he had an experience working in construction before he became a soldier and he knows exactly how it feels like working with an empty stomach. You can't work while you're hungry, especially in jobs like this.




They aren't "unskilled"

These jobs are usually called unskilled because I have no idea why, but these are actually not an easy job and it definitely requires skill.



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You would think mixing a cement is easy, HELL NO. I'm not even talking about the actual mixing part (moving your body) but I'm talking about knowing the consistency of the mixture and knowing when it is okay to use.

Back in art school, we made a life-sized sculpture using cement and it was hell of a stress. Most of the cement we mixed just cracked. It was also not easy to know the proper mixture to get a smooth finish. I hated the work that we did because it wasn't easy to do and it looked like shit. xD

We also had an experience with welding as well. It was hella difficult and dangerous. You think it's just point and shoot? Hell naw. Every part of it is difficult.

First, you have to cover your body and wear protective gears. Then you have to cover your eyes and face with that black little thing while welding and THAT black film is really fucking dark like you literally won't see anything. The only time you'll see something is when you see a light from the spark that the welding rod and the metal create. So when there's no spark, you won't see where the fuck you're pointing at.

Plus, your eyes get really hurt from the smoke and the spark itself (cos it's too bright). All of those just to get a few dollars per day.




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They deserve more

Come on, roughly $7 a day for mixing cement? With no free snacks and they have to shoulder their transportation? Meanwhile, other countries pay them a lot.

They're not the ones producing the food we eat but they are responsible for a human's safety and security. Big corporations pay a lot to the contractors but they exploit them as they think they are "just" manual laborers.

Come on, Philippines. You're really okay with this?

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I hate to say this but the sad truth about our world today is that poor people are being treated unfairly. This doesn't happen to all countries but yeah, in most 3rd world countries it does. These workers indeed deserve more!

Indeed, great post my friend. Everything where you are putying your mind into it, your passion, time, your energy, is worth the respect. Easy is only to sit on a bed watching TV

I understand completely about the plight of construction workers. We've undertaken several projects. The workers who arrived told us they were being paid less than $10 per hour. From what we paid the Contractor, I was ashamed for them.

Maybe they don't know. But definitely they are being taken advantage of. The contractor left and didn't return for several hours. The workers had no water or food. They took a break and sat under our tree for shade. While they were working, I baked a cake. Then I invited them into the lanai and served them some food, drinks, and took a cooler with gallons of water.

Excellent work by all of them. They are master carpenters, I have the highest respect for those workers.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Most probably don't know and think their pay is enough as they have also been told countless times by the society that they are "just" construction workers. Others know probably but they just choose to be their as they have no other choice.

That's so nice of you, thanks for doing that! Also I think the contractors expect the owners to feed those workers themselves, which is wrong cos you know how much they are getting. Very greedy

It's unfortunate and emotional to read about these people. I think they would deserve a decent meal, it was so thoughtful of you and of your dad to offer them food. It's a simple gesture of humanity and compassion. They are humans working and they deserve respect and good working conditions,no matter if they mix cement or build a space rocket. At the core, all people deserve to be treated with respect for a job well done.

Yes yes! And even those little gesture that we did, I hope it will encourage them to be good to others as well and would not take advantage of people once they become successful in the future.

Kindness is often contagious, I am sure it will spread amongst the right people.

Excellent post and you're absolutely spot on. We're having a house built in Thailand and the workers are treated like shit. This is due to the general attitude that its an unskilled job which it absolutely isn't. There is no health and safety, no training and the profession in general is looked down upon.

On the flip side, however, due to lack of training and people accepting low standards, some of the work is dreadful which is kind of understandable when there is no financial motivation to do a good job. It's a vicious circle.
I am glad someone else thinks like this and will also put out a post about it later. ReHived and best wishes with the build.

I think it's common in third world countries. :/ The poor get poorer because how they are treated.

some of the work is dreadful which is kind of understandable when there is no financial motivation to do a good job.

So true! Even if you buy expensive houses, chances are they are still not gonna be high quality houses cos they corrupt the money and buy cheap materials instead, and treat the workers like shit as you said.

I'm also glad this encouraged you to write one. Please do tag me so I can read later :D

Welding in shorts? Holy cow...

It really is tough for construction workers.

Even here in Estonia where they... I think... get paid more than in the Philippines, a lot of them decide to go work in the same field in other countries like Finland or Sweden or Norway. Even though they get paid more in those countries, they'll have a lot of people here in Estonia judging them for going to the neighboring countries in the North.

AND there's another risk for them - a lot of construction workers who've gone from Estonia to Finland to work get scammed and won't get paid at all, so they'll be working their asses off for nothing.

If they want them to stay, why don't they just pay and treat them better? That also happens here not just in construction but in other professions as well. They want them to stay working here but don't increase their salary and give better benefits LOL clowns.

Life is really unfair. Scamming happens a lot and they just can't say anything or their voice isn't loud enough. :(

Grabe! Some of them don't even get paid sa pinas. ;(

Waah! Totoo to. Sabi ng papa ko may time daw na tinakasan sila ng contractor kaya di sila nabayaran sa hardwork nila :/

Tama! hirapan sila talaga! ;/