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Thread: Guilds, what happened?

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Guilds, what happened?

    Following on from the discussion in the ABSA retrenchment thread:-

    In the old days there were 'GUILDS' in every trade, these were independant organisations run by the tradesmen of the particular trade which guaranteed a level of competency by their members.

    If you belonged to say, the 'Happy Moon Bricklayers Guild' any employer would be guaranteed that you could lay a thousand bricks per day or build howevermany meters of vertical or horizantal edges/corners in the same time, read plans, order and protect shrinkage and wastage of materials, troubleshoot and keep a tidy site. This was why employers chose and kept 'Guild' members first.
    The corollary was that guild members were paid a higher wage than ordinary bricklayers. Same for other trades.

    It seems that 'Unions' have levelled all trades to the lowest common denominator demanding that members be paid irrespective of their competency and created a s#!tstorm of paperwork for the employer, this has in turn created the gap for 'Labour Brokers' who do the paperwork and supply the labour/tradesman only when the employer needs them.

    Perhaps the answer to Tec-O's gripe about labour brokers is to let the trades form 'Guilds' again so that employers know what they are getting and can budget accordingly.
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    Dave A (04-Apr-12)

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Good idea. And you have to be qualified to belong to the guild. Bring back the old trade test!

    For the consumer it is a win - win as they can trust the guild to enforce quality work.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Trouble is in this modern day and age people expect a R20 plastic toy truck to be as durable as a Tonka truck. There is an unrealistic expectation that you can short change something and still squeeze fantastic performance.

    I'm going into a meeting tomorrow where we do facilities management. The client whittled away at the contract to such an extent that the contractor's not coping - something which I predicted. And no-one's happy.

    I expect the client's going to be even more unhappy when I tell them they shot themselves in the foot and the solution to the performance problem is spending 10% more than they are right now
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Often people want more than they can afford and therefore go for cheaper alternatives, inferior materials and expect the contractor to work for free. (they also expect the outcome to be the same as the expensive option).

    The contractor on the other hand needs the business and also compromises on his fees and therefore his standards. His perception is that the customer will compromise on the outcome and would not expect the same standard as the more expensive option. All of this leads to problems and conflict.

    The solution? Stick to your guns. Explain the options to the client and make them aware of the consequences. Some businesses make you sign to confirm that the various options/products/services were offered and that you made a certain choice. With the new Consumer protection act this is becoming a non negotiable to protect the contractor/service provider.

    Do not compromise you industry. You don't get a discount from an advocate or a doctor, do you?
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I guess I raised the possible societal influence, but is it possible our labour legislation contributed to the disappearance of guilds too?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    In every Trade there are some labour rules and most of the organisation obey these legal rules.

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