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Collective Bargaining Agreement

A Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is to secure labor peace. Particularly during the last couple of decades, numerous speeches, discussions and initiatives have addressed what a contractor wants.  The focus has been in various forms but reflects similar themes:  attitude, training, committed and sober workers, safety, etc.  Not once has Labor Combat Organizing College ever seen labor peace mentioned as what a contractor wants.  This is interesting because the vehicle we use today to address aligning the contractors’ wants with their labor force is a Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was exclusively developed as an instrument to provide labor peace. 

Most, if not all, current contracts and International agreements contain specific language related to work stoppages, grievances, strikes, etc. being precluded from taking place on their respective jobs.  Any other mention of value added items (e.g., training, safety, committed and sober workers) are subsets of the primary contract.  The primary Collective Bargaining Agreement trades labor peace for union jobs, for a specific time.  Considering all the give backs, and recognizing poor past practices, the contractors have clearly gotten the better deal by any measure. 

Labor is essentially impotent to press for any improvements because of its overall poor market share.  A Collective Bargaining Agreement is much more about labor peace on a job and only exists, by and large, because of our forefathers’ legacy to advance labor rights, which in today’s union culture is not even acknowledged.

                                                           -Danny L. Caliendo

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