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RE: McStructural? [Not Political]
- To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: RE: McStructural? [Not Political]
- From: "Caldwell, Stan" <scaldwell(--nospam--at)halff.com>
- Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 10:55:37 -0600
First, thank you for keeping politics out of your post. I promise
to do likewise. My comments are inserted below, in Dallas Cowboy
general, Stan, I tend to ignore your posts, because I find them condescending.
However, this one I read, and I happen to be the one of the bemoaners.
Although I didn't realize I was bemoaning, I thought I was providing
opinions and observations.
that you find my posts to be condescending. That certainly is not my
intent. I will admit, however, that I have little patience with those
who repeatedly complain about their situation, make no constructive efforts
to improve it, and instead try to blame their problems on others (the
profession, the government, etc.). I also admit to being addicted to
optimism and humor, two attributes that serve me well every day. For
better or worse, I also share your propensity for sarcasm and your enthusiasm
for proper English.
For example, this is an
observation. There is a company here in DC, Legion Design Campbell and
Associates, that is a minority business. Their work is almost exclusively
MBE contracts. (We know you are an active supporter of
minority businesses. Could that be because unless you can satisfy
the minority requirements for the contracts you go after, you don't get the
know where you got that idea! I personally believe in a level playing
field and there is nothing fair about firms getting work based upon the
ethnicity of the owners, especially when those owners are first-generation
immigrants. My company does a lot (perhaps 50%) of work in the public
sector. In Texas, virtually all public agencies require substantial
(20-40%) minority participation. Consequently, my company teams with
MBE subcontractors on almost all public projects. So do our many
competitors. Unfortunately for me, it is often the structural scope that
is given away to the MBE firms, because it is convenient to do so (the
percentage of work that is structural often coincides with the required MBE
In the fall of 2000, (September and October) they
had seventeen H1-B hires. The wage was
18 dollars a hour. This was an office in DC, where rent for a studio
apartment would have been $1000/month. I have been in that office,
in fact it might have been around that time. What I remember most is
that all of the chairs had plastics seats with rips in them and some kind of tag
- they looked like they had come from a government refuse sale. And
everything was dirty.
It certainly appears that you have uncovered a bunch of
McStructurals in the DC area. Their wages are lousy ... but the plastic
chairs are inexcusable! Maybe there ought to a be a law against dirty
Am I whining?
No, because I don't have to sit in one of those chairs. And I
don't ever want to. But other companies trying to compete with them might want
to whine. It's hard to compete with a company that can get away with
paying a low wage and never cleaning their office. Most people would
also consider it an abuse of the system for a company to get an MBE contract and
then turn around and fill it with H-1B hires.
wouldn't be surprised if Legion Design also "encourages, but
does not require" employees to contribute to their PACs. They are the
kind of company that would sink that low.
I know that I will never convince you of this, but PACs are
completely legal and ethical. Your implication that PAC contributions
and fund-raising events amount to some sort of corruption are unfounded. I
have never asked for a project in return for my political activities, and I have
never been promised one. However, since MBE firms have been guaranteed a
piece of the pie, I think it only fair that they actively contribute in the
political arena along with everyone else.
Gail S. Kelley, P.E.
Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Big Tuna, Texas
ALL HAIL BILL!! ALL HAIL BILL!!
[Coach Bill, not Engineer Bill]