Timebuilder, I think Cheelr is saying contractor street rate vs tech compensation margins are proportionally larger now than they ever were. This may be true (IDK). On the other hand, it may be that more regulation, specialty tools, etc (overhead) may require this shift he speaks of. I think there's way to much polariztion caused by this union/non-union battle. It SHOULD be about the craftsman and his employer. Unfortunately, too many shops take advantage of their techs. Example... I'm currently working non-union and I worked 2.5 hours on Friday. They sent me home and said, "...but you're on stand-by until 5:30. We'll call you if we need you." Okay... I'll leave my phone on the charger and if I here it from the zoo or whatever I want to do with my kids, I might answer. Now, if you want to pay me for my stand-by time, I'll keep my phone on me. If YOU as the employer want to affect what I do with MY time, compensate me. Even if you pay me minimum wage or for a few hours, I'll stay near my uniform, tools, truck and phone. On the other hand, the union shops are getting involved in A LOT more than negotiating wages and benefits. They can argue all their political points all day, but it used to be about workmen getting together and protecting EACH OTHER from unreasonable and even abusive employers. There's very little balance left in this world. Let's be reasonable and get along with our fellow workers and employers. If your employer's a jerk, do something about it and he won't be in business for long if every tech would stand up for himself. Sorry.