"The unions are… lobbying the government to create rules to put us out of business," roofer says
Independent roofing contractor Larry Rouse says that, with the HST, the WSIB, the College of Trades, and other government taxes, he "goes to work every day feeling like a criminal as I have to deal with mnistry this and ministry that."
By Steve Payne
London, ON roofer Larry Rouse posted this on our site yesterday. He says “ministry this and ministry that” (he was responding to posts about Ontario’s HST, WSIB, College of Trades, etc.) mean that “every year I make less money but do more work.”
“I know of a contractor who has done just what you said. He now lives in a million dollar home with an outbuilding to die for. 80×120 with heated floors, transport doors, second level is for entertainment. He undercuts everyone and for some reason never gets caught. You wonder how he makes money being so cheap but once you see how much in taxes and fees he saves it becomes clear.
This guy is 75% Cash and makes a fortune. Now lets take the 100% Cash guy what does he make as he pays nothing at all to the government.
I have been a contractor for 28 years now. Every year I make less money but do more work. I live in an area of high unemployment and cut throat prices. I try to put my prices up but loyal customers call you up and think you are trying to rip them off. You try to explain the problem but truly most clients don’t understand the challenges we face. Also most clients hate the HST and are willing to take the contractor who does it for cash. I go to work every day feeling like a criminal as I have to deal with ministry this ministry that.
So what do I do? I’m beat up, worn out, and heading towards my goal of retirement. The only problem: my retirement goal consists of meeting with my family and friends and a lot of flowers. They will talk about how hard of a worker I was never slowing down and always busy. Duh, no $#%%! I didn’t belong to no union, I didn’t have the nice cushy pensions, I damn well couldn’t afford to put away enough to retire. Stat holidays for me were just another way to blow a few thousands dollars with no way of recouping the costs. And still I hear it time and time again on the radio: “We’re on strike, we need better working conditions, we need a raise, we push a button all day and have no idea what our job really is but we need more to push that button.” Nothing against the button pushers but for crying out loud give your head a shake. The thing you don’t realize is the company you are striking against is secretly talking to their headquarters in China and you will be out of a job within 5 years.
The unions are trying to do the same to us by lobbying the government to create rules that put us out of business. The only problem is we don’t a headquarters in China to talk to. So we just bend over and take it.
Wish I could see a light at the end of the tunnel, but I was always told to stay away from the light unless I was retiring.
Signed, tired and worn out.”
Edited version of Larry Rouse’s post on Dec. 19th