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“Our Lives Begin to End the Day we Become Silent About Things That Matter” – MLK

Standing silent is the culture of the Senior Leaders of the Building Trades.

Senior Leadership have pursued hours & bodies and not outcomes favorable to workers & members!

James P. “Bud” McCourt, Newton Jones, James Boland, Lonnie Stephenson, James P. Hoffa, Frank Christensen, Eric Dean, Daniel E. Stepano, Kenneth E. Rigmaiden, Kinsey Robinson, Joseph Sellers, Jr., Mark McManus, Terry O’Sullivan and James T. Callahan, along with their point man Sean Mc Garvey, preside over a totally failed culture of representing workers! They are the latest group of senior leaders spanning more than 40 years, silent on advancing workers’ rights in North America – bred to be silent and complicit with management, to rollover to nearly every management whim.

To ignore the “Golden Rule” of what you do not wish for yourself and YOUR family – do not impose on others!

An arrogance of a magnitude that only Trump & Putin can appreciate!

Advancing a “business brand” instead of a MOVEMENT! Becoming a temp agency! Giving away all that has been fought for by generations of Labor Leaders, in order to maintain a mere presence of an employee pool of workers, trained and sold on the cheap!

Martin Luther King, and other labor/civil leaders, would not share a moment in time with any of the above “LEADERS” and their immediate, and not so immediate, predecessors. Not a moment!

Children & young adults marching – yet the Trades are silent!

Women marching – yet the Trades are silent!

People of Color/DACA marching – yet the Trades are silent!

CIO Unions and Professional Unions are marching and striking – yet the Trades are silent!

Activism in every sphere of American life re-engaging and in the streets – yet the Trades are silent!

All the above are being coordinated with mass communication platforms and social media – and the Trades are silent on developing these tools of engagement at the International level to wield the power of the R&F.

The only fights the trades engage in internally are with each other, and in the self-dealing of their own political advancement. Externally, the entire focus of senior leadership is on hours & recruiting bodies, suppressing democracy at every turn of the R & F.

Recruitment is exactly that – recruitment! Securing workers/employees to be sold at a cut rate on PLAs! (Project Labor Agreements) & more and more on CBAs (Collect Bargaining Agreements). All under the guise of BEING COMPETITIVE! My god – our Founders would have nothing to do with us in using the competitive excuse and rationalization. Low paid workers have been a constant, both in our Founders’ time, as well as in our time. We must be competitive! An excuse to undercut Building Trades Affiliates, Locals & District Councils by the Internationals at nearly every turn on behalf of construction management! Recruitment isn’t Organizing. And the matrix of measurement many use to quantify growth is sheer BS. Density and total dollars spent in construction spending, adjusted for technology in construction delivery, are true benchmarks of growth. The Trades are being crushed using genuine measuring matrixes – hence why we are now a temp agency – best in class temp agency – but a temp agency nonetheless!

The trades put up posts on social media all the time on “what LABOR has done for workers” – all done/earned/fought for decades ago by genuine leaders and the Rank & File in the streets! Snap out of it!! We, the trades, haven’t earned a thing of any social value for workers, union or not, in decades! We aren’t activist with a cause – we are lemmings collecting a check until it is gone with the present culture of senior leadership’s capitulation to management! We coast on the shoulders of Giants, and we think we are them! Pretty pathetic!

We beg politicians and management to GIVE us our due and wonder why it is now mere table scraps!

Who can respect such men that constitute the present senior leadership? Non-union workers? Really! 90% chose to work non-union. Those that come, come for benefits and a check while it is there in approximately the same ratio – 90%. Many want a UNION, just not the present Building Trades. They already have a boss, they don’t need another one. They see that labor leaders don’t work on behalf of the R & F.

Union members are now employees of companies. Ask the average R & F member their view of senior leadership. Anyone that says it’s good, check their credentials and relationship to those who sign their check, and disqualify them. The ONLY comradery that still exists is in the field and supporting one another!

You think management respects our senior leaders? – Yep, all the way to the bank.

How about politicians? Yep, in some districts. And that would be mostly the CIO side and professional unions that can deliver votes, money and a coordinated effort. The trades can’t organize a sock drawer and our members are mixed in their political views – in part thanks to senior leadership’s lack of leadership beyond lip service! The trades still use post cards and phone calls to educate members in 2018! Nice ☹

The Race to the Bottom in the world of construction is entirely due to senior leadership’s appeasement with management – cutting wages, benefits & conditions continuously now for decades under a BUSINESS BRAND!

Labor Rising/Labor Combat has not only been teaching true organizing in the face of the internationals’ leaders doing all they can to threaten those who have the guts to bring us in. We have also been very busy chronicling the path of senior leadership’s dealings with management.

With several hundred trained by Labor Rising/Labor Combat, and most of those believing in the trades – the pieces of the Value on Display puzzle have been filling in.

As Vernon Johns – mentor to MLK once said – “if you see a good fight – get in it”.

Our fight in the trades has been internal, now for approximately 40 years. And it is with our own leaders married to management and the trappings of power.

The days of this business-branded Building Trades are numbered. With the activism of North American workers building, the trades will be re-invented, and more than likely by-pass the totally compromised senior leadership of the past 40 years.

It is already taking form in several forums: Non-union workers taking on management, and NOT wanting the help of the trades. 90% of non-union workers can eclipse the need to deal with the present trades’ senior leaders; and, in this age of lighting fast communications, can bring forth a new Building Trades. The youth of America just organized an estimated 800,000 protestors just in DC; nationally more than the current true active membership of the trades combined in North America.

Their attention will soon focus on what kind of work life they want – the sooner the better.

Polls show they like the idea of a union – just not a business union!

In Solidarity,

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

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