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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez




    :: Tuesday, October 28, 2003 ::

    This Man Is Building a $1 Billion Construction Empire by James Burnett
    In the beginning, the business plan Fish created for Suffolk was straightforward: the builder as wrecking ball. “When we encountered a brick wall, instead of trying to get around it, we’d just go right through it,” Fish says. He undercut rival firms by as much as 15 percent, making up the difference by squeezing it out of the carpenters, masons, and assorted specialists he hired to execute the blueprints. “He was the kind of guy who used to go after jobs and beat up subcontractors,” says Andris Silins, secretary -- treasurer of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, who scrapped with Fish when he headed the organization’s local affiliate. “Over time, he realized he couldn’t operate like that. But John probably put a few guys out of business during those years.” Still, for every HVAC installer hauling him into court, there were several clients signing on as regular customers.
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