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Good morning / afternoon / evening. Whatever time of the day it is for you I am sure you may be surprised to hear from me. It has been a long time since I last posted an article on this site. Much has been going on in the background that has kept me from allowing my creative juices to splash out in writing.

If you are still reading this after my honest introduction then I want to say thank you. Maybe like me, being in the Construction industry it hurts when you read of a Contractor going into liquidation. It makes me feel quite sick in my stomach when reading the details, especially how much money is owed to sub-contractors. And the same old questions arise. Why did this main-contractor not pay their sub-contractors on time? In some cases, why did they not pay their sub-contractors at all? Excuses, we know so well!

Of course, we all feel more than a little disappointed when we read news like this in any industry. But we soon get over it and move on. After all, what can we do about it? Is it just me or are there other people who think this disease is growing within the Construction industry? Some stories I find really hard to believe but they are true because I have come to know the people who tell them. However, I am just firing up the burner now because I would like to hear from you. Yes, you! Sub-Contractors who work at the coalface and understand full well what it is like to fight every day to get your money.

What can be done about it? I know there are those veterans amongst my contacts who have some good ideas. Maybe we can find ways to change the culture within our industry if we speak up about this injustice. I’ll sit and wait to hear from you. Please leave a COMMENT on my site and air your frustrations. Thanks for reading. I hope to write more often from here. Have a great week.


Author John

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  • Rob Simmons says:

    Hi John,

    If you are thinking of Midas we know them very well having dealt with them for many years until about 5 or 6 years ago, Until 7 or 8 years ago they were cash rich, the only larger regional contractor with money in the bank. For example, when ROK went bust, they had more than enough money to hand pick & buy up live shovel ready project sites from ROK, so were a very safe bet to work with. They were also very open & honest until around that time.

    I still work for one of their most successful directors, he had the most profitable part of the company under him by miles, until near the end credit crunch. He then suffered a rather strange happening when his department made a loss after a break even year. He got shut down & his department closed just as things were picking up again. He was dumbstruck.

    What then followed was, they were vacating the offices (he had gone some months earlier), they had taken on some ISG Pearce people & they turned up at the offices & redecorated & moved in.

    Following on we went to a presentation by this new crowd of what I call ‘clever people’, & they were saying how things were going to be, & indicating that the cash was going to come flooding in. It was a change of style which we recognised as the ‘Balfour Beatty’ style of management. Our hearts sank as this was a very bad sign for what had been a very long good relationship with Midas.

    We continued working with them for a while but the site organisation became more & more chaotic, & we had clients telling us terrible tales of mismanagement & dissatisfaction. The payments got slower & slower with retention nigh impossible to recover. (Chasing for 4 years past the due by date was needed for our last payment of retention from Midas).

    This is the crowd who run their projects using subbies & suppliers money, to cover their poor pricing & site practices, whilst impressing their directors with the cash they show in the ‘pot’, or the ‘treasury account’ as I have heard it called. They also won’t pay the subbies & suppliers in the month/s before reporting time, so massage the figures before the directors & stakeholders see.

    These are the very same people who, just before the credit crunch came, were doing up houses on their companies accounts, billing everything to a project. We couldn’t finish one major project as all the trades were working on a house for the buyer. It was all billed to the project.

    As the credit crunch went on each year, payments took an extra month, until it was out around 6 months for a payment. Then you wouldn’t know what was coming, as there was no pay less notice, or any paperwork prior to the payment arriving. This is the chaos that arrived with Midas, once a great company & team to work with. No wonder it all got out of control.

    It is still the greatest mystery to me, why do we all do it, get involved with these badly run projects, why won’t people share information about how these companies are treating them, then we could make better informed decisions & move forward.

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