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Shame on BYU?

I was driving by the Northwest corner of campus today and saw three men holding a large sign that said, "Shame on Brigham Young University" and also "Labor Dispute." I saw some people with the same sign in the same spot last semester, but I can't figure out what they are trying to accomplish.

Does anyone know what this is about?

I asked them for a flyer once

I asked them for a flyer once to try to figure it out, but even after reading it I wasn't sure.
Apparently they have a lot of time to kill.

What I've heard (and this is

What I've heard (and this is by no means official) is that it has to do with BYU paying the BYU students a higher wage than the contracted employees who only get the legal minimum wage. Why that is a dispute is beyond me. If you don't like what you're getting paid, then get a new job. I have a hard time believing they were contracted for a job and then they were somehow paid less than what BYU originally agreed to.

Wonderful world of contracting and subcontracting

I have to ask this question... and if I weren't so damn lazy I'd pull over and ask these people what they are trying to accomplish. Anyways, the question is this: Were you hired on directly by BYU or by a contractor? If you were hired on by BYU at a wage less than desireable, why don't you test your skills in the open market and see what you can get for your skill set. If you are just pissed that BYU is paying you less than a student because they are younger than you, then you need to learn about how the real world economy works. You pay people the rate at which you value the skills/work being provided.

The "labor dispute" is not in

The "labor dispute" is not internal, it actually, as I understand it, has to do with Oakland Construction.

If they had signs saying "Shame on Oakland Construction," who would care? Oakland only has a handful of customers, but their accounts are in the millions of dollars. A sign wouldn't do much there.

So, they try the tactics on BYU...maybe they'll get scared of the publicity and stop using Oakland. Not likely.

BYU is like any other business

... They just want to get the best deal for their money. And when Oakland offers a better contract than some other contractor, that usually means they have a way to control costs, and in this case it turns out to be the labor. Go figure.

If the workers aren't unionized, first of all they are stupid, and second of all, can their a**es. If the workers are unionized, that means they are getting a fair wage for what their position is. I'm pretty sure that local 4-oh-whatever will let Oakland get away with crap pay. The workers are probably jealous of people like my brother who makes something like $11 an hour at his job.

Work in Utah?

Or more to the point, if you don't like what you're getting paid, get out of Utah. Seriously, if you don't have a very specific reason to live in Utah, and you want to not be poor the rest of your life, move somewhere else. Anywhere. Utah has horrible pay rates, high unemployment, poorly funded public schools, and it isn't getting better.

Just compare to other states. (Utah is Southwest) The only places worse are Mississippi and Arkansas, and that just isn't saying much. Complaining about unfair wages in Utah is like complaining that it hurts when you stab yourself. The situations where you absolutely have to do it are rare, and the pain is expected.

dJake, just to fill you in!

I can see that you have been a member of this site since around December, but to give you a little heads up.... keep it clean.

High unemployment?

Utah consistently has a lower rate than the national average in unemployment. The only time in the last five years Utah has had a higher unemployment rate was August-September of 2002, when Utah's was 5.8, 5.9, and 5.8% respectively, while the national average was 5.7% in each of those months. In fact, many people 'blame' Utah's lower-than-average unemployment on their low minimum wage (currently the federal minimum). Which is better; to have more people working? Or to have less people working, but those that are working earning higher wages?

Re: High unemployment?

Bling, got me there. I really have no idea why Utah would have such a high employment rate. Desperation? Apparently it even has one of the highest percentages of people actually in the labor force, and that makes no sense in the context that there is a high "stay at home mom" attitude. If there is a correllation, I certainly don't see it. As far as having a better unemployment rates due to the federal minimum, that simply doesn't hold water. Most states use the federal minimum, and of the few that have a lower minimum, most of those tend to have higher unemploment rates.

However, this still doesn't negate the point I was trying to make. "Utah isn't a good place to live to make a living." IMHO you should have less people working, but those people earning more so that both spouses in a family do not need to work to live above the poverty level. Not to mention that Utah's cost of living is disproportionally high compared to it's income levels.

On a somewhat related note, one thing strange I noticed about Utah was all of the older people in unskilled jobs. Like it seemed that waiters and retail workers were all college graduates. But everywhere else I have gone those jobs are typically filled by 16-21 year olds. Weird.

High cost of living compared to income?

Actually, according the census bureau, Utah's median income is around the top 20% in the nation (, and according to, SLC's cost of living is relatively cheap compared to other US cities, especially in the areas of housing and healthcare.

I'm not a big proponent of Utah, necessarily, but I don't know where you're getting your information from. It's easy to extrapolate assumptions based on the fact that alot of jobs in the Provo/Orem area are right at or just above minimum wage, but in reality, Utah is a very profitable, relatively inexpensive place to live.