Regarding the news series “ Contract to Cheat”: I applaud you on your investigation of the construction industry and the proclivity of contractors to hire workers on a subcontract basis.
As a general contractor since the early 1980s, I have witnessed the influx of Hispanic workers who have, because of their incredible work ethic, taken over the trades. They are willing to work harder and for less money.
You blame the contractors, but it is impossible to compete in the marketplace if the competition is hiring the lowest wage workers without paying benefits, workers’ compensation insurance, Social Security or withholding income taxes. This is rampant in the food service and landscaping industries also. Unless there is enforcement against employers for hiring illegal immigrants, wages may continue to fall.
I am not against immigration and think people who work hard to get ahead are what make this country great. It is a difficult problem, but until there is a level playing field for employers, those who game the system are the winners.
Ellen Longino, Raleigh