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Building Trades Members, their Skills & Contractors are Being Transferred to the Non-Union –

House of Cards $

The anti/non- union would need a plan to do this – right?  Below we offer excerpts from our years of on-going research that validate this statement.

Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) and their surrogates would need to:

  • Have a primary starting point along with a structure and strategic plan. Labor Law Study Group started in 1965. In the fall of 2000, the Construction Users Roundtable came into being, which speaks for the top end-users of construction, and is part of the Business Roundtable. This direct and unbroken lineage has as its mission the transfer of the union contractors and skilled membership and training of the Building Trades to the non-union. A great white paper for you to consider is:!289&authkey=!ANb4O5GMPzmC1hs&ithint=file%2cpdf

  • Reorganize and centralize the construction industry. Enter the Construction Manager working at all times for the end-user in the late 70’s. The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) started in 1982 and is the dominant association with 29 chapters & 14,000 members thru-out all of construction.
    • “And the enforcement mechanism used by the Roundtable was the threat of its enormous purchasing power which it held continually, though usually silently, over the heads of the contractors. They intended to gradually establish non-union contractors to undercut the economic position of unionized employers and through the strategic use of their purchase orders, the large consumers would insure their control over the contractors, both union and non-union.” JC Turner, General President of the Operators
  • Quietly make new friends on the Hill – what we now call the Right to Work Committees and Groups, ABC, ALEC, Heritage Foundation, Tea Party, etc. providing both direct and indirect funding.
  • Form Government Relations & Litigation Committees to vigorously fight every pro-worker form of rights at the bargaining table. We see the fight to repeal Davis-Bacon & court decisions limiting our right to picket, giving union contractors the right to set up non-union companies and the right to repudiate their collective bargaining agreements and much more, like 25 RTW states with the likely hood of them increasing, is higher than them decreasing for the foreseeable future.
  • Empower and use to CURT’s purposes and ends groups like the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and Construction Industry Roundtable (CIRT) (this is not CURT, but a quasi-relation). Google this entity, go to the “About” tab and look at the pull down menu under “Members”. Most of our unions’ big partners’ construction firms are there! WHY? National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have actively opposed the use of PLAs, particularly for government projects. 21 states ban PLA’s with another 20 working hard to get there, and 9 states encourage some form of use. Not good numbers for the unions.
  • Transfer union contractors via double breasting and strong enticements with purchase orders, bid shopping and other strategies. While technically stuff like bid shopping et al is illegal, it is rampant and uncontrolled.
  • Openly recruit solid journeypersons with skills and leadership to the non-union via hard core recruitment firms, such as ihirebuildingtrades, Tradesmen International, Trillium and several others which are all growing. These are recruitment firms, not the temporary firms, some can be both – which are transferring skilled trade’s members who are unemployed, underemployed, not in the political click or working on the road for long periods of time. Many seasoned union skilled tradespersons are faced with one or more of the above scenarios due to contracting work opportunities and hours!
    • To transfer those skills, and to know those union members who the non-union recruits by name, they need information gathered by the construction manager or a surrogate running the jobs. Add to this the fact that union Building Trades have all their eggs in very few baskets, especially those gated and controlled jobs which require big time info on all aspects of the tradespersons on the job, especially their work history, credentials and temperament. How do you think the recruitment entities know who to precisely go after? Those recruited are then a pathway to other union tradespersons and also the clients of the union contractor!
  • Leverage modularization and technology advancements in construction delivery. Significant areas of construction are both contracting in hours needed to do a job and the number of contractors needed (minus 1099’s) – in spite of $1 trillion of construction spending. The construction industry is also consolidating due to successful union and non-union companies being “rolled-up” into regional and national firms. The overwhelming majority of these parent roll-up firms are non-union.
  • Let/drive the Building Trades unions to handle most of the recruitment, training and HR on a host of hiring issues for the transfer of the “blue chip” hands – from minority, local hiring initiatives, veteran’s preference, drug testing, professional standards, etc. Then, due to the contraction and consolidation of union job opportunities, along with rising non-union market share, the non-union contractors recruit directly and thru recruitment agencies workers who have been trained and vetted for placement. All of the HR activities have been conducted and paid for by the union members one way or another. We are continuously told what is needed, so we do all the heavy lifting. This is a great deal for the end-users to then recruit and transfer those targeted workers.
  • CURT understands the legal and business consequence of collaboration and relationship building, with the endless meetings to discuss “what they need & will pay for”, dictated to us because of the inferior (for unions) one-way relationship and declining market share. Labor-Management co-operation, CURT’s Tripartite Initiative (CTI) and other alliances for the purpose of collaboration are ruses and also in the hard numbers, of NET market share development over the last 2 decades. If Knowledge is Power – then this is the gateway into the inner workings of union decisions. It allows anti/non-union to dilute/derail actions of the unions in the form of professional relationships with legal constraints, mostly in the form of recognition and enforceable secondary limitations that have legal consequences and constraints. “If” it was the 2-way win/win relationship they describe, our “net” market share would be stabilizing and/or increasing. EVERY single sector that CURT represents has ingratiated themselves at our meetings, giving us awards, and plying their silver tongues, while every sector continues to erode with a “net” overall decline of unions on their jobs. The only exception are the 2 major areas in North America – British Columbia & the Gulf Coast. What appears for now to be long term relationships in those 2 areas will be eroded over time?
  • Win constant give backs. Starting in the early 70’s with agreements such as the National Maintenance Agreements et al, to the present with new classifications and major modifications, have not arrested the decline of market share. Mergers of locals, underfunded pensions, trades infighting, aging of the work force in unions are all substantive erosions of the Building Trades’ future viability internally especially if all we have is Value on Display and letting the customer ultimately decide if and when they want to use the Building Trades.
  • Removing General Contractors from many bigger jobs in several sectors, using bundled delivery systems like Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) or others. The General has had the CBA with many trades, and as they go bye–bye, so do the CBA’s.
  • Maintain a stable of anti-union law and consultant firms. We may not want to acknowledge them, but the dozen or so that operate very successfully are also on point when needed, either pro-actively or reactively. When anyone needs to lawyer up, they have a blueprint to work from. These groups, CURT and the Construction Managers have been using our strategy of Value on Display and collaboration to beat us since 2004.
  • Produce books, consultants and lawyers who train on how to be even more professional, create a Brand, and collaborate. This puts the future of the middle class and our families solely in the hands of management. They ultimately decide “if” they want to use the union Building Trades or not! For example, Breslin’s 127 page, 14 font, double spaced fluff piece on business strategies was published in January of 2003. You may want to reconsider whose business strategies this approach has served?  Contrast that to our 474 pages of research, some of which is before you. Also if you saw the timeline of dates from 1965 till the present, no right thinking person in the Building Trades leadership can ignore its structure and probable outcome should we continue the status quo or marginal changes to a failed strategy.

It is hoped that the new General Presidents of the IBEW, SMART, IUPAT and Ironworkers will reconsider how their organization raise market share. Perhaps the other unions and state and local Building Trades leaders will also work the numbers back as we have done. We are a HOUSE of CARDS and CURT knows it!

Are we working hard – damn right we are? However zoom out to 35,000 feet and for the last 20 years we have been giving ground everywhere. It is hoped that the leadership isn’t so enamored with the power lunches and great venues all these labor-management meeting are held at, to act on their oath. “To leave the trades better than we found it”

For those that feel that we just have to educate more, or we are the best kept secret, or it’s just going to take a little longer, or how the non-union is impressed when they learn more – snap the hell out of it. Every number says we are being played – case closed!!

New York City and the huge non-union market share developing there, is the last template needed by CURT and their surrogates to then go after the last pockets of commercial work in other cities, and it’s well under way already. Talking and collaborating with everyone is used against us, and is killing us!

Legally and lawfully going after the end-user and construction mangers clients, credit and social footprint will reverse market share decline! That’s what we do here at Labor Rising and more!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising Group


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