Sunday, November 17, 2013
Recently, a framer said to me, "The wages for framing has started becoming unable to live on."
Framing is a basic construction where they build the structure(framework) of a building. To assemble and install big pillars, walls and beams results in several framers' working on-site 1 week through 4 weeks.
The reason for having a wide range of the period is that there is a difference between the case where walls and other things are built in advance in a factory and brought, and where all of them is built on-site.
In recognition of not wanting to have exposed the frame to the rain over a long period of time, these days the way of building it to some extent in a factory (panel construction) is the main current; but the time when a path leading to a site is narrow and a large-sized crane and a truck don't come in results in framers' building it from the ground up on-site though it takes time (conventional method of construction).
Yet I hear because a sum of money proposed by builders to subcontract framers and carpenters has started getting smaller in this day and age, the wages paid to the framers who come and help on-site is decreasing a net income of the main framer who made a plan.
I probably think the framer doesn't actually live so uncomfortably, yet framers and carpenters who accept the work of low-cost builders are going to have a harder time.
I hear if things don't work out, their wages are about the same as company employees' salary.
Now the regular wage for framers and carpenters is about 20,000 yen a day. If they work 25 days, they get 500,000 yen. When you hear it it sounds as if they earn more than the public, but how about it if you think of social security deduction, traffic expenses, a tool bill, a vehicle bill, consumption of strength, not any bonuses?
They work a 25-day month, which means they aren't on a five-day week, and if you think about of course not including the Bon holidays, the New Year holidays, holidays and unworkable days because of rain, to make 500,000 yen a month is pretty difficult.
Of course the case of not full-time employment but a contract which has decided the total price usually gets all the more profitable depending how hard they work. That is because if they finish construction sooner than usual because of reporting to work early and overtime work, construction period is short, so the price of the number of days gets more, but because the contract price is itself the very lowest, the work of framers and carpenters who do quickly and want to earn money eventually gets sloppy.
Customers ought to be satisfied with being able to build their house affordably, but site workers who execute it also have their living to concern themselves with. If a low cost puts a strain on their living, it is plain that it will also put a strain on building a house.
There are no present contractors including framers and carpenters who excessively demand profits. Few builders like us who have been putting them together ought to be thinking of trying to make a large profit, too.
There was news that SHARP Corporation has recently run a huge deficit.
A severe price competition makes even company's continuance dangerous. If a company cannot continue, customers cannot receive after-sales service and maintenance. And the employees and business partners cannot make ends meet too.
That impoverishes in turn Japanese society too, and leads to price wars here, there and everywhere. These are the realities of deflation. After all, all of us lose money.
Please don't forget that has been happening also in the present housing industry.
Going through grinding competition is necessary, but I believe the intense competition more than it could put industry and society themselves out of business.
Budget may sometimes be tight, but despite all that contractors and builders receive moderate compensation and do quality work. And then, they both thank each other. Wouldn't that has been originally what building a house ought to be?