Its all open to interpretation your, theirs, ultimately the courts if it comes down to that . Of what price fixing is. And who really cares about that. We make less now, than 20 years ago with even more people's hands in our pockets, or people taking a bigger cut.
I still think open posting of prices and how line items are billed would help this industry. Just think if you knew that some one was getting a $150 for a midsheath (ringcut) entry that you may not accept $100 to do the exact same work. $15 fiber splices vs $ 29 fiber splices...28 a foot for coax splicing when there is similar work paying. .45 a foot . or .25 strand versus .60 strand. It goes on and on. And although you can't always cover all the variables that one can encounter, it would be a a general idea. Most on here don't have a say in their price. They accept what is offered... If they can make a profit they stay, if they don't they leave.
Me personally i want the man I work for to make money, as we all should. Just not more than we do on the parts we do. Too many discount or give away our labor just to get the job. I heard a supervisor say once" he didn't care about verticals and ground rods he didn't have to do them." Thats not worth a damn to me. He didn't care because it didn't cost him. That's why this industry has got so sorry. No-one looks after the working man anymore , and has no respect for us. All they care about is making their money and don't care what that takes to get the work they just pass it to the workers. They don't realize without people like us they wouldn't be able to get the work done.
But really as long as I can make a living and keep up my equipment I m good and Really lucky and blessed to be able to work. We will most likely continue to take what we can get. When it gets where i can't I stay at the house.The market usually wins.
Micro you are right this industry needs a change. If you don't know shiz about the work, QUIT bidding it,just to get the work and hope you find someone that's struggling to do it. How about consult with them or others that know what thw work is before you bid it, to see what they would do it for. Make a reasonable markup instead of being greedy and trying to keep it all. Let the people doing the work make a living too. If all can't make money, let the work go, it 's not doing either side a favor,( or atleast not a favor to those doing the work) . That's what has got us to this point today.
Good luck and do what you have to do.