Dec 5, 2007

Seasonal Workers In the Midwest do "Take It on the Chin"

Seasonal workers .. like those working for a landscaping company in the Midwest... really do "take it on the chin!". Seasonal jobs are very hard on employees. First, they are only guaranteed work usually 8 months out of the year. The other 4 months (winter) usually consist of being laid off and collecting unemployment. Unemployment benefits fall short of their normal weekly gross wages. Some employees will do snowplowing for the same contractor, but those days are far & few between now with global warming effecting the amount of snow fall.
Second, these same employees are required to work long & hard hours during the normal working seasons. Sure they get 70 hours plus, and collect time and half over 40 hrs, but that comes at a price. They must work 6-7days per week, from sun up to sun down. Not only is this physically challenging, but it puts a real strain on a normal family life. Most landscaping workers can not participate in family functions due to time constraints and being physically tired. I hear a lot of outsiders say, " Well they get 4 months off a year! That's not bad." How would you like to have the WINTER off and not get a check! I guess it would be different if they had July off and can beach bum the summer away!
A little unknown factor is the bad habits of eating that is inherent with this type of work. Usually, most construction or landscaping workers skip breakfast. Lunch time usually consists of a quick stop at McDonald's or Burger King. Lastly, they come home late, usually after 7-8pm and eat some late night dinner. Shortly after eating, they go to bed and repeat this cycle again.
Contractors of these employees usually experience a lot of turnover and usually have younger workers who are not married or have children. Contractors have to pressure construction and landscape workers to work long & hard hours, maybe at the expense of their families, even when they go home to their own family.
The next time you have any landscaping or other seasonal construction workers at your house, please be as understanding as you can to their plight... Usually a respectful and polite client is all they ask.