Theodore's World: National Plumbing Organization Responds to 'Joe the Plumber' Focus

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October 17, 2008

National Plumbing Organization Responds to 'Joe the Plumber' Focus

National Plumbing Organization Responds to 'Joe the Plumber' Focus

Market Watch

Today the president of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors--National Association (PHCC) released a statement applauding the efforts of both presidential candidates for their focus on plumbing contractors during the presidential debate on Wednesday night. Plumbing, heating and cooling contractors are small business owners who are becoming a prominent part of the debate on the country's economic future.

"We think it is great that comments from 'Joe the Plumber' were brought up several times in last night's presidential debate," said PHCC President Joe Schmitt, Joe Schmitt & Sons Plumbing & Heating, Englewood, Ohio. "Plumbing, heating and cooling contractors, most of whom operate small businesses, have been a big part of the American economy during our organization's 126-year history. Unfortunately, smaller companies like ours can be forgotten as the country focuses on big business issues."
"The impact of the next administration's tax policy will have a major impact on our members, no matter which party is in office. It is our sincere hope that both the Democratic and Republican candidates will think long and hard about the comments of my fellow Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher as they consider future tax programs. It is imperative that entrepreneurs like Joe and PHCC members across the country have the opportunity to buy small businesses and create jobs for Americans. That is the American dream, after all."
"Small businesses throughout the nation are hurting during this economic downturn. With rising gas prices, the cost of health care and the uncertainties facing our financial markets, they're being hit from all sides. Reform of our nation's tax policies should be a top priority for the next administration. The survival of PHCC's members and America's small businesses may depend on this. The next president must consider the needs and contributions of plumbing, heating and cooling contractors as small businesses. This has to be priority in order to help this economy recover and to encourage investment from new business owners."
"Throughout our 126-year history PHCC has helped to protect the health and safety of the nation. It is now Washington's turn to step up to the plate and help save our businesses."

Wild Thing's comment.......

Cooll! This is great, with the attacks staring on Joe this is good news and a backup for what he has said how he feels. Not a backup for Joe , but to show Obama and his thugs this is not an isolated case of one person speaking out like Joe did.

It is all of us, all Americans that work hard and don't want socialism.

There once was a plumber named Joe
Made Obama look just like a schmoe
Knows his job to a tee
So he flushed him you see
To the place that all Marxists should go!

Posted by Wild Thing at October 17, 2008 03:50 AM


Just goes to show you, dummys don't want free speech. It's like talking to the owners of the company and your coworkers getting all up in arms because you talked to the "big guy" and called him by his name!
Joe did just the right thing and I would have done the same.

He had it coming,
He had it coming,
He only had himself to blame,
if you had been there,
if you had seen it,
I'm thinking you would have done the same!
(Chicago, great musical!) (he is Obamanation!)

Someone had to put Obamanation in his place and Joe did just that. Good job, Joe.

Posted by: Lynn at October 17, 2008 05:14 AM

I read the local union thugs were upset because Joe isn't licensed and a union member. Most guys who own their own residential plumbing business aren't union. The plumbers I call aren't union and if they were, I would find another.

Posted by: BobF at October 17, 2008 07:21 AM

Small business is the heartbeat of the American economy. They already pay too much tax and are regulated to death. Unions don't help except to drive costs up or cause the company to fold. I have seen that happen at a place I worked.

Politicans concentrate too much on big business and of course their large contributions.

One nice thing about small business's. They don't globalize. They mostly keep their money stream local.

Posted by: TomR at October 17, 2008 08:02 AM

Amen BobF. I only hope this has struck a chord in the very fiber of American humanity, this threat is another sneak attack by the Communists no different than the attack that occurred on Dec.7, 1941, the difference is, we the alert see it as a slow motion train wreck that we can't seem to prevent.

Obama wants to give the UN $850 Billion to alleviate world wide poverty, I was taught that charity begins at home. We just kicked out $850 Billion, earmarks included, to bail out the corrupt Democrats that have been raping the stockmarket and have been in collusion with the rapists. This is Obama's plan to help Kenya and redistribute the United States wealth. Wake up out there!!!

There is a maxim in business that if you buy the goods from foreign sources they have our dollars and we have their goods, if we buy our goods we have our dollars and we have our goods. America First!!!

Posted by: Jack at October 17, 2008 01:54 PM

Lynn hahaa that was GREAT!

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 17, 2008 03:30 PM

BobF, he said something about he works for someone and up till now didn't have to have a license or something like that.

They are really going after him and I hope he can just ignore it as best he can.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 17, 2008 03:34 PM

Tom, your right and noticing this especially too.

"One nice thing about small business's. They don't globalize. They mostly keep their money stream local."

This is one of the things I like about them. Usually the owners are right in the area too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 17, 2008 03:37 PM


"I only hope this has struck a chord in the very fiber of American humanity"

This should wake up a ton of people if they have their brains thinking and listening.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 17, 2008 03:40 PM

Yes, the union in Ohio is huge. Especially in Cleveland, Toledo, Warren-Youngstown and a few other cities.

Since I lived in Ohio, and was a Licensed Electrical Contractor. I must clarify some of the bogus information the Union is putting out about "Joe the Plumber." First, in order to get licensed in Ohio you must be State Certified in your trade. This means an 8 hour exam, which costs the potential applicant about 500 dollars, if he does not pass the exam he must retake the exam at another 500 dollar bill. If you pass the test you can apply for a license in your county and in any city that requires it. Townships usually don't require it because they are covered under the county.

Now just because Joe the Plumber is not licensed does not mean he is not a qualified plumer, it means he works for a State Certified plummer. There are plenty of Journeyman Plumbers, Electricians, HVAC, and Carpenters who are not Liccensed. In order to run a business you are only required to have one licensed in that particular trade. The whole idea is political and of course the state charges another fee to renew your State Certification every year. Also you must take State Certification Hours, for my trade Electrical, we had to take 10 hours per year at a cost of 300 dollars, for Electrical. Talk about boring, 6 of those hours was on the National Electrical Code, 2 hours on Business Law, and 3 hours on OSHA. It was the waste of a good Saturday.

All of this was started by the Unions, to keep the small contractor out of the business. This is what is happening to 'Joe the plumber.' Now, permits have gone up, Licenses have gone up, it is an attempt to kick the little contractor out of the business.

Joe's dream of buying a business is what this country use to be all about working for yourself. But after, Bonds, insurance(now you need liability insurance in the Millions), Licenses, permits, your overhead shoots skyward real quick.

Obama says, he wants to encourage small business with a 5000 dollar tax incentive. This is bogus in itself. For Electrical an apprentice, costs you now about 9.50 dollars an hour, plus fringes and health care. For someone who doesn't know the difference between a volt and a bowling ball. For the first 6 months you have hired an overpaid 'gofer', go for parts, go for coffee... They are not allowed to work 'hot', because they are only an apprentice. So this incentive crap costs the small business owner a small fortune just to make the guy profitable.

Tax increases, means the first guys to go are the apprentices, then up the ladder.

Obama's idea of 'Redistributing the Wealth' is pure Socialism and it doesn't work.

Posted by: Mark at October 17, 2008 04:01 PM

I understand some people not being in favor of unions. In many ways, their days have come and gone.

That said, my husband is a union sprinklerfitter. He almost always works. Fire suppresion systems per requirements in this country are far behind the desirable standards. He does a lot of retrofitting.

It's a proven fact, time after time, that businesses that rely on their own maintenance staff or hire non-union (therefore, not required to keep up training and safety standards) labor seriously risk the safety of those their systems are designed to protect. Time after time his company is called in to correct the mistakes a non-union worker has made that has caused pipes to burst or other malfunctions that end up costing the companies more than it would have to hire union in the first place.

He works so hard somedays he can barely move when he gets home, but he doesn't make a giant wage. We have health benefits, but they are paid out of his wages. His union struck for two weeks over pay wages that it took an entire year to make up the wages from the raise they got from the time they were unpaid. This is on a two year contract.

His union pisses him off regularly, but from a consumer standpoint, it's a good thing to hire union for his profession, and NEVER stay in a hotel room that doesn't have a sprinklerhead in every major room area. (that's the first thing I look

Posted by: Eden at October 17, 2008 06:02 PM

Eden, I don't know about anyplace else except Ohio, but in Ohio, Fire Safety Codes are strictly enforced. In fact there is a special State Certification for Electrical Fire safety training.

These are primarily Commercial installations, it seems that Residential and Industrial are not on the list but commercial is. Not only Union shops are required to have a Fire Safety Qualified but any contractor doing an Electrical Installation. The local inspectors are FSQ and demand this.

As far as staying in a hotel with sprinkler head how can you verify they still work. Half those places the Exits signs are out and if u are above the first floor an egress may be hard to find in an emergency.(Egress meaning a route to an actual exit).

Posted by: Mark at October 17, 2008 06:17 PM

Mark, thanks for the information. Also, I hate to say it but your explanation of Egress is all wrong. Egress is sitting in a specially designed aircraft seat with yellow/black handles. You strap yourself in the seat and pull on the handles. After pulling good, initiators fire, blowing off the hatch, igniting rockets which propel the seat from the aircraft at an unbelievable speed. That's Egress. :)

Posted by: BobF at October 17, 2008 07:25 PM

I know, that question comes to my mind, too, about if they are working. We have come across motels without them, we walk right back out.

Just because there's the requirements and laws, it doesn't mean people adhere to them. It's getting better, but there are still people trying to repair their own systems and cut corners with non-union.

Believe me, I know, I have to hear him bitch about fixing other people's cheap screw

Posted by: Eden at October 17, 2008 08:09 PM

BobF, it is not my definition of Egress, it is OSHA, I don't make the rule just have to follow them.

So now we have come to Union vs. Non-Union. And of course the Union people are the best in the country when it comes to the building trades. And Unions are the next best thing to a dictatorship short of the democrat congress.

No way, the union has a way of sandbagging a job to prolong it, doesn't matter if there are benchmarks to make and the Greenfield contractor is getting penalized by the day(Fined money) for benchmarks not made because of lousy Union employees and their lazy tricks to stay on the job a little longer to milk another weeks pay our to the GC.

When I worked in Cleveland I worked for a non-union shop it was the best there wasn't a union shop that could compare or compete with the quality of our work. When Cleveland built their new Football stadium, we could not bid on the job because we were non-union. why because of democrat politicians, who enacted the Davis-Bacon Act in 1932, only Union companies could bid. Another way your communist inspired unions and the democrats are killing the small businessman and to drive them out of business. Not because they are better but by limiting the jobs they are allowed to bid on. We made most of our money on High Voltage installation, because the Great Unions were not qualified to work on them.

If you are union, you have to hire out of the union hall, pot luck, is what you get. You can't interview him, he is who you get. If he doesn't work out you can't fire him you have to file a grievance and still have to pay the slug for sitting around doing nothing. Every body gets the same pay there is no incentives to do better or to imporve your knowledge, nothing unless you want to become ruling memnber in the union. like a thug.

No thanks , Eden, I have seen it from both sides, Union and non-union. It contrasts well with Socialism and democracy.

As soon as Joe the Plumber opened his mouth the mighty unions jumped on him for every trivial excuse to discredit him. All the man wanted to do was buy his own business, but the unions if they have anything to say about it, Joe the plumber wont be able to.

Yeah the unions, are great they want to do away with the secret ballot, they want and use your union dues to support Barak Obama. The unions are akin to storm troopers. When it comes to the trades. They think democrat, they are democrat and dictate policy democrat.

you better figure out whose side you are on Eden. Because Obama has the Unions in his hip pocket.

Posted by: Mark at October 17, 2008 10:11 PM

Mark, I really appreciate your explaining about all of this. It helped me so much. I just figured he did not need a license if he worked for a man that had one. Your explanation really was sooooo clear and made it easy to understand.

I agree, what Obama plans on doing is pure socialism. I am so terrified he will win and every time I think of it which is a lot I say a quick prayer please God help us keep America ok and safe from Obama.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 18, 2008 12:10 AM

I too have worked both sides of the fence I put two years in the Teamsters and 5 in the IBEW and 1 year in a guild. Sure I got good training as an apprentice but I also took private full time training before being forced to join the IBEW as a condition of working for Westinghouse under their mandatory apprenticeship program. This was in a 'not a right to work state'. I started doing journeyman work the first month I was there under a journeyman, I just had to document the hours in each category to satisfy both the Union, the Feds and the State who jointly ran the apprenticeship program.

Mark has been hitting 100% on the real issues, after two brutal strikes, both over a 5% wage opener and 4-1/2 months of deadly picketing, the Union bosses settled for 3% and the forfeiture of a paid holiday during the last one, this was to mollify the labor unions who gobbled up the paltry hourly monetary offer that made their unskilled labor happy and left us in the lurch. The Unions all had to bargain collectively under one bargaining council, that was the way it was set up in WWII by the Feds during the Manhattan Project.

The day the strike settled I packed my shit, took out the withdrawal and left the IBEW forever in '76. I was responsible for my success or failure from that point on. At one time unions were a very good thing for the worker, but look about, they put socialist demands that are untenable on the economy, demands that have to be offset by other sectors.

Boeing machinists just went on strike during the worst financial crisis since 1929, it doesn't matter to the union if the company goes under, no money = no sales = no Boeing = no work.

GM and the UAW, 1500 are hitting the bricks, hell they can't sell their overpriced shit, when 25-40% of the base sticker cost is for socialist UAW programs at a time when the foreign product is superior in quality and economy, will they, like us tighten their belt for the common good? Hell no!!!

In '85 the UAW shut down the supplier, Bailey Net90 Controls at Wickliffe, Ohio, manufacturer of the control system we needed, for a three week paid Christmas - New Years Holiday, then the UAW wrote a grievance to Bailey, not because as a company client (customer) I and my crew had to work to finish what they had dogged off and left, but the UAW wrote us up because we used the corporate parking lot (not the workers parking) that only we and security used in their total absence. Bailey management were superior, we had access to the entire plant and it's resources and engineers were on call, we had the deadline to meet for a critical overseas shipment and had it loaded and on the way on Dec 23 of that year.
America needs a universal right to work law, not more union control and abuses like the Davis -Bacon act or even more control that Obama wants to grant them.

Right now good workers get the shaft because they have to pay dues used for PAC's and Socialist activities they abhor just to get a job in the union controlled environment. Obama will give them total control. This is the crux of the education dilema, good teachers 'have to have the right thinking' or they lose out, if they go along they stay, but don't have a real say, worse yet are the members who pay their union dues in the form of agency fees, dues without union representation or voice, blackmail, extortion call it what it is. It's institutionalized extortion. The universal fix is to throw more money at the problem, the lion's share of our property taxes goes to schools.

Posted by: Jack at October 18, 2008 02:38 AM