Workers' Comp Woes

I’m a small concrete contractor responding to John W. Dickens letter. Dickens states that we can control our insurance costs. How can I do this when I get a guy out of the [hiring] hall? He works for me 33 days and then files a huge workers compensation insurance claim for a worn-out shoulder. He obviously did not wear out his shoulder in 33 days. But the whole claim goes against my experience modification rate. How can I control this? Workers comp is totally out of control. Now, I just hire subcontractors.

Prayer of Thanks

Thank you for having the guts and the wherewithal to print the important and meaningful editorial entitled “Help Is on the Way for Tool Users Through Prayer”.

I am not a super religious person, but it is good to know that someone in this country has enough guts in a prominent magazine to print something from the heart. Well done. And I agree—a little bit of prayer won’t hurt this country a bit.

Sika Corp.
Salt Lake Cit

State of the Unions

I read your editorial, but I fail to understand why we need unions.

In a union state, if we have to use union labor, we have no problem with it, as long as we can bid it competitively. We run into a problem when the unions want us to use their personnel, yet they don’t have the job-specific expertise for our specialized work.

Several times, we have used our personnel to run wire in a building, only to get a call several days later that the system has failed. Upon inspection, we find that the local union contractor has cut and removed several pieces of wire.

I would never cut out someone else’s work because I didn’t agree with their politics. We work side by side with union and nonunions contractors every day. We believe that “the customer is always right, and the customer comes first.”

I don’t consider union workers to be my enemy. I do think that the unions need to look at the whole picture—maybe from the customers’ perspective—and do their jobs the best they can. No finger-pointing or: “I couldn’t do my job because of what they did.” Just get it done, make the customer happy, and have that customer sing your praises. I can’t think of a better way to get business.