2012 has been a phenomenal year for some and a not so great year for others. For us, the main low point of the year was finding the shocking results of our two separate State of Industry 2012 surveys, revealing the level of unfair treatment over the past year for subbies to be at an all time high of 90%, which shook us to our core. But we took these disturbing findings and worked with it and with your help we begun to spread the word about unfair treatment among our industries, resulting in the #buildfair4all campaign reaching phenomenal heights.
Which brings me to our year’s highlights; for us it was getting our message across to a nationwide audience though word and mouth, national, trade and social media and face to face meetings. We have taken your messages – that specialists are being badly treated like never before and change has got to come – to MPs across the land, the Department for Business and Innovation, the Cabinet Office and the industry’s trade bodies.
We’ve been encouraged to see many recognise your plight and support your cause.
And this would not have been possible without your committed input. By taking the time to fill in Streetwise surveys and use our template letters to contact your MPs, you have brought the issues of late (and non) payment, contractual abuse and bullying behaviour further up the news and political agenda.
The most recent example of this is Streetwise Buddy and curtain walling contractor Dortech. Chairman Steve Sutherland told the Daily Telegraph how he is saying he won’t work for Balfour Beatty any more, sacrificing 40% of annual turnover in the process, because of long running payment issues. Read his story, and the 240+ reader comments, here. Steve’s had received dozens of supportive comments on Twitter and direct to his office. The Daily Telegraph has been very understanding and supportive, and you can follow their reporter James Hurley here.
Our campaign has reached Parliament and Ministers. We have directly discussed your views and feedback with civil servants in the Department for Business. Politicians are very concerned to ensure government investment in infrastructure benefits the economy, and in the New Year the Business Minister Michael Fallon is promising to name and shame those who refuse to sign up to the Government’s Prompt Payment Code. The Cabinet Office is raising awareness of their Mystery Shopper service. 85% of you say you’ve not heard of it. The Mystery Shopper service investigates your complaints about main contractors – on taxpayer funded contracts – who don’t pay you properly or include prompt payment terms in your terms.
You can keep across these campaigns and get hints and tips from fellow specialists by joining our LinkedIn group StreetwiseSubbie – Nationwide Alliance of Specialist Contractors.
2013 is going to be another promising year for us at StreetwiseSubbie as our campaign continues and support grows, and we continue to help those in need of some support in their constant battle against the big guys. If you haven’t already, please do check out our Gold and Silver Buddy membership packages to see exactly how we could help YOU in 2013.
So on that note, we wish you all a fair and prosperous new year!
Barry Ashmore and the StreetwiseSubbie.com Team