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Construction unions offer to help shave costs of housing construction

The Globe reports several construction unions will offer to accept lower wages - $40 an hour rather than $60 - on apartment-construction jobs - if all the jobs on a particular site are given to union workers.

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The Building Trades know that this boom is only going to go on for so long. Similar office tower booms in the 70's and 80's went away and there is no Big Dig to sop up all the slack in the market that will result of this current boom petering out.

The lower price lock will mean once the Seaport is built out and people realize paying $4,000 a month to live in a train yard in East Cambridge is crazy, they will move to Chicago or Portland and there will be no need for some faceless tower named CharlezViEw or The Eleanor at Mystic Mall.

All of the linkage money that is being generated by the current development boom will then be used to keep the trades going on permanent warehouse housing for the poor in areas that will then be exempt from market housing forces.

That money will block out what will be then lower priced non-union labor and guarantee union work until building in town comes back up.

Therefore Jimma the laborer who lives in Rockland gets work building a housing project for people who will not be able to crawl out of our income stratified city that the Globe pointed out earlier in the week. Blue collar suburban workers have work and city folks get subsidized housing to clean your office toilet. Win win? Maybe?

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Not sure I understand all your points, John.

My takeaway from the announcement was that "shaving $250 off the monthly rent of an apartment" for new construction means a $2,250 studio in a new building put up near 225 Centre - or even, Ashmont - will now be $2,000.

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From based solely on eyeball observations from construction sites I've seen, close to 50% of these workers live in NH and RI.

Many more live 1 hour+ drive outside of Boston.

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If you had a job that didn't pay you white-collar money, required you to travel to various places, and didn't require you to be tied to a big city/public transit, where would you live? Probably not in a $400K condo in the suburbs...

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The money's all green, right? You do the math and tell me then of the majority of "white collar" jobs make more than that annually.

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Sally That is not paycheck $ 60 an hour, That figure includes payments to funds like medical and pension .Plus its not like you have an office to show up to everyday. You get rained out , scheduled out , ect.

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Although this winter must have been great for a lot of construction workers

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How many white collar jobs really pay 60-80 dollars an hour?

My experience has been that unionized tradespeople make far more than the vast majority of white collar workers.

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Labor (blue or white, the pay is still pretty good) isn't going to those who were mentioned in the other article on income distribution who live in Boston and Everett.

I just think there is a topic to discuss there.

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But is it fair impose higher construction costs for people who live or want to live in Boston to support good paying jobs that pay taxes elsewhere? I don't favor a residency clause for local construction either, but I think pro-union folks try to pretend there's a specific local benefit to Boston when union labor is used that's overstated.

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that's a good argument for some tolls on the highways leading out of state, a la NH. Hopefully the Staties are at least targeting them on their speed traps...

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Most construction jobs are 7am - 3pm or other non-standard hours. This allows someone to live further away without having to deal with the traffic of a long commute. The prospect of saving 1-2 hours a day of sitting in traffic is why many pay extra to live closer to the city.

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There is no work in NH, so those workers have no choice but to drive 3 hours a day to their job. But if you need a plumber, you don't get someone from that far away do you?

BLS has its own problems, but are our trade schools doing enough to secure $40-$60 jobs for those who can't make it at BLS?

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'' BLS has its own problems, but are our trade schools doing enough to secure $40-$60 jobs for those who can't make it at BLS? "' Whatever happened to Boston Trade?

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How do you know many of the highly paid construction guys didn't grow up in or near the city and only moved out to the sticks once they had a job which allowed for it?

I'd agree with the idea that high schools aren't teaching and encouraging trades and that's a problem. I wish I had gone to a vocational high school myself. It wouldn't have hurt me for college and it would have given me a non-technical skill to use for the rest of my life if and when I hit a wall in the IT world.

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And the job really doesn't "allow" for it. Most of these guys from NH get up at 5am or earlier. And if they are that highly paid, they could afford some towns around here (Walpole, Foxboro, Dedham, Norwood).

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Maybe extend the offer for projects in schools funded by the Mass School Building Authority ? The majority of school construction and repair projects are funded by the MSBA, all with a portion of sales tax (read: our) money.

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Centered around: Why do they make so much money/why can't I get that instead/why don't you give me that money because they live somewhere else? This despite the actual topic being affordable housing which itself usually lights up the boards around here. Gotta mean something.

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The high cost of construction is a big part of the reason why housing is so expensive. Inflated labor costs are part of that. If it costs too much to build nothing but luxury will be built.

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