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10 Reasons Why the Trades IP’s are Painted into a Corner of Their Own Design –

Painted into Corner

  1. The International Presidents have no clue what the Rank & File are thinking – very simply it is anti-establishment. R&F voted for Obama because of Hope & Change – didn’t happen to extent needed. Wanted to vote for Bernie – sabotaged by the DNC and Establishment leaders. Many voted Trump because workers know what they get with continued establishment politics from either side – NOTHING! Rolled the dice on Trump even with anti-union policies – which to the arrogance of BT leaders is crazy. To the R&F – crazy is continuing to give control to those that have given everything we stand for as a MOVEMENT, away. IP’s have given away market share, wages, CBA’s, a voice, organizing, benefits and conditions. What union workers know they will get is more concessionary wages, low wage classifications, PLA’s, dictated to by both labor and management and continued loss of career jobs! Better to start from scratch than continuing getting played!
  1. The trades now have zero political power nationally and in at least 35 states. Republicans are going to milk them dry and Democratic know they can’t deliver votes.
  1. Some trades senior leaders are already thinking they can work with Republican majorities that will gut most pro-union legislation. The collaboration of the trades are why we are in this position in the first place. Value on Display combined with the CULTURE of “good ole boys” undermining R&F workers, is as establishment as it gets for the trades for the last 2 decades. The R&F just took away the IP’s seat at the big table and we in the R&F know they will sell their souls to get a seat anywhere. The IP’s have no game other than threats and intimidation – IP’s can be sent packing; and a new BT emerging if the R&F breaks this very thin veneer!
  1. Infrastructure is at a minimum, 2 years away for public works being shovel ready. Also, many public works jobs will be monetized in public/private deals to finance them. In the meantime, Quantitative Easing will recede and interest rates will rise. Pain will proceed any true economic recovery possibly lead by infrastructure. Interest rates rising will slow down construction spending along with corresponding slowdown in construction jobs; and the trades fragile 11% market share will be exposed. The good ole boy reign will come to an end with true R&F leaders stepping up. A MOVEMENT will be re-born. The crystal-clear reality of the situation that the trades presently find themselves in, will break the status quo establishment. Either we learn to fight again as a labor MOVEMENT or this BS version will die.
  1. Our IP’s seeing this coming are paralyzed. They have no plan/strategy other than to sell and market skills and training when they have next to zero leverage in any arena. Not only that, but predatory federal and state anti-union sentiments will be used aggressively. Add to that hard-core recruitment/head hunting of the BT’s crack hands. In addition, a near 1:1 flat retention rate of members in record years of construction spending. And BTW 1:1 retention is a misnomer; the trades are losing crack journeypersons and bringing in helpers and any bodies that will take a card. Only a half dozen markets can support recruitment. And in those markets, if that is how they expect to secure greater market share without taking non-union contractors; history will show they failed too!
  1. Pension underfunding – without legislative help and relief in real hard dollars, these pensions which are either now insolvent and/or headed that way will fold taking the security of pensioners with them. When retirees who are getting screwed – talk about the unions handling of these pensions, this version of the trades will fold. Not so for the good ole boy’s pensions, which are secure in most cases. Good ole boys are responsible for much of the under-funding of todays troubled pensions. Reverse engineer the names of leaders and who made motions to pick up past accrual rates. Over decades in many cases, times substantial increases in past accrual rates. A hole of immense proportions. Come on reverse engineer the minutes. Meanwhile, management is dictating that the trades abandon defined benefit pensions in upcoming agreements, or they will not sign them!
  1. Community and even worker outreach moves far too slowly with ever changing players. To many meetings and hurdles. While labor needs allies, it needs to lead from the front. A pay check solves most community issues. And the trades used to be the experts in getting living wages, benefits and conditions on behalf of workers, union or not.
  1. Without the use of legal and lawful labor unrest and civil disobedience; and using 21st century strategies, which have long been missing with our IP’s. The same with real organizing training, along with the written strategies and the passion to win.
  1. Failing to take risks and not recognizing the ability of the trades to be a legal and lawful construction manager. If there was ever a time to deploy this strategy, (which has been done successfully) even with the threats of management – now is that time! If infrastructure is going to take place – then we can deal ourselves back into the game – on our terms. And we could run our own OCIP/CCIP programs – big time profits. Source of revenue to shore up failing pensions! Google those terms.
  1. Only securing more non-union contractors along with the workers will increase market share and density and can reverse the present losing trajectory. Only dramatic increases in market share can stem the tide of pension insolvencies.

Only the trades balancing organized capital in the trenches can restore the middle class. However, what stands between this and failing – is the Internationals Presidents clinging to the present and clearly failed strategies. These strategies are part and parcel to the failed leadership of the “good ole boys” club. Labor Rising has expressed this privately to several senior leaders in the trades; put us and our strategies anywhere in the country and we will win. Not bravado – it is a certainty. Call our bluff! The above 9 points are why voters voted the way they did. A clarity is upon us in the trades. This group of IP’s are the last of any relevance and the trades will effectively cease to exists on their watch – OR ……

“will they see a good fight – and get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

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