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Remove “THE” From Work to the Rule and You Have Work to Rule –

Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument – “The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today.”

Labor Rising has many legit organizers and historians in our rank & file. I got beat on as the author of the last blog and appropriately so.

One organizer who we work with closely really questioned my use of Work to “the” Rule. He was right to do so. LR’s rationale is that we softened Work to Rule with “the” in order to educate and introduce a way for the membership to understand the effects Work to Rule would have should membership enmasse chose to stand up for their rights.

Work to Rule is a militant and forging action carried out by membership acting as one on the job regarding safety, and only safety in this instance. Work to Rule can be used in other ways very effectively, but we’ll stick with safety as an opening gambit.

At its core, Work to Rule reclaims the job, our actions and our rights. With WTR in place, management and the senior IPs no longer dictate what happens on the job or in our unions! We do!

We received a lot of commentary that we union members work safely and professionally. True right up until time of injury and we remain uneducated on that until it is too late.  

We see workers given drills/stuff and being awarded safety plaques on a regular basis. They are models of working to the spirit of safety. They provide a job that is on time and on budget for management and our IPs who are working with the respective alliances. The odds are excellent and strongly favor management that a journeyperson can do a job safely within the spirit of safety – again, until they are injured.

So, management wins regarding safety on a day-to-day basis as it relates to the production and profits because we work to the spirit. Think of all the tasks we do to the spirit of professionalism and then once we’re injured it is busted off in our respective backsides. They also win when our IPs cut a deal on the R&F backs especially with PLA’s. They win when per diems and travel reimbursements are reduced. They win when we provide many resources of value like tools, transportation, food, etc., on our dime. In most cases, they win because we are no longer compensated for testing for drugs, welding and job specific requirements, even when we pass. They win because they provide the medical care and staff that work to hedge their losses immediately after an accident. They win because most discipline issues on the job remove input by unions and our collective bargaining agreements by and large (that is part of the reason for the existence of Standards of Excellence). They win because they play to the pride of journeypersons creating quality circles. Journeypersons improve processes and outcomes in the field and the company makes huge $$$ and the journeyperson gets a pat on the back and an award (maybe). We can be pretty stupid sometimes.

If you have been a journeyperson for approximately 25 years, there is better than even odds that you are restricted from employment for some/many contractors – because the contractors want unilateral control over employment more and more.

If you have 25 years or more in the trades, you have seen and witnessed this erosion of union rights both inside our own halls and especially on jobs. Mostly you just want out and hope you have a pension.

Since the mid 70’s our collective International Presidents, one after another, have stripped any semblance of a “free and democratic trade union” inside the house and have given the house away brick by brick to management through these alliances on the job.

If you have 10 years or so in the trades, you have come to understand that the trades used to hold their own at the bargaining table on every subject listed above and far more. But you never witnessed it firsthand. Our IPs have played to our skills and professionalism as though they are the shiny objects that R&F tout, while the IPs and management strip away jobsite and union rights. It is very common for many journeypersons to think their skills are why they earn the wages they do. It is easy for them to believe this when the message from leadership reinforces that thinking.

The tension of R&F is very real, and solutions are needed to put the R&F back in charge of their working lives. Workers all over North America, except in the iron-handed trades, are taking action!

Without Work to Rule actions when union workers are injured, the letter of the safety plan is used to limit or deny claims for compensation in many states. There is zero “good faith” once injured. Some of us get played yet again when our company uses the theater of BS telling us they will take care of us. When we are desperate after an injury, we want to believe what we hear.

Without actions, pensions will continue to fail. If our intel is correct, this is high on the agenda of the alliances between the trades and management, which we’ll address in depth in a future blog soon.

We project that the final straw is the contribution on benefits to our funds. This is huge money to the contractors and management’s bottom line. Most think the contribution to a benefit fund is their money. NO – this is a NEGOIATED item.

Work to Rule is how R&F take back their working lives. Here are a couple of examples of a safety plan. One is for U of M and DOE. Go ahead and click on it – if you have the guts to learn how the deck is stacked against you. We can change our stars, but that requires solidarity and action. U of M https://ehs.umich.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/ContractorSafetyRequirements1-3-12.pdf

DOE’s National Renewable Energy Lab site (NREL).  https://www.nrel.gov/about/assets/docs/cehs-plan-template.doc                            We find this template very interesting.

You likely signed a number of papers regarding safety that links you to similar safety templates. They will be used to the letter when there is an injury. Your health, your family and your livelihood is but one injury away.

I was an expert witness for several dozen workers comp cases in the past – mostly for the worker. Those same cases today in a Comparative Negligence state would take big hits to zero compensation in today’s environment. 

Remember that the next time you think “I’ll just climb up onto that rack and fix or replace something that’ll only take a few minutes.” Why would you work outside of the letter of the rules? Put the proper platform in place. Or the next time you’re hurried through a toolbox meeting and the tools are not tagged with the proper color, don’t change the tag and don’t use the tool.

When something has to get done, regardless of importance to management, get clear instructions from safety and have them sign off on them. Have them watch the job. The days of posting a lookout to keep production on time need to be over. BTW, have you noticed that the safety officer disappears many times by design? We take all the risks – they take all the money and kudos.

Badass workers today Work to Rule to show we value and have control of ourselves, our work, our health and our livelihood. If management and senior leadership is upset – well, the door swings both ways. But only if the R&F Work to Rule!

Should the last straws fall in place with the alliances, the trades are destined to be a temp agency.

We deserve what we get.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising

Work to the Rule in Safety – Only Safety –

Work to the Rule brothers’ and sisters’ with regard to safety only! We’re not advocating a wildcat strike whatsoever. Doing so doesn’t come under the NLRB and isn’t in our PLAs or constitutions. We are referring to safety, pure and simple, following the safety measures that we are held up to the letter – not the spirit – to the letter of the management’s rules!

It is bad enough that our Internationals have capitulated our wages, conditions and benefits to management for decades. It is also bad that we no longer have a free and democratic trade union. And it is bad that we lose in almost all cases when our IPs interact with management.

It is bad enough that the same culture of predetermined IPs has sunk organizing and presided over the substantial underfunding in our pensions. Same guys who, by and large, have never stood in a competitive and free election.

It is bad enough when the management side of construction secure yet more profits for the corporate coffers – off of our backs. And what specifically have our IP’s done?

We collectively deserve what has happened to us, as we spend our time and energy whining, complaining, and swearing. But what action have we taken to change the downward trajectory? Labor history will have zero respect for our generation of the rank & file. We have coasted on the shoulders of giants and now do we really believe that posting rough and tumble memes will square history?

If we want to square with history, then leave all the blue & red political stuff aside and pull in one direction – our families. Being divided only serves corporate money and our IPs continued control of our unions.

Safety to the LETTER! Keep our actions only about safety, no other issue with the only exception being coercion & intimidation. Work to the rule regarding safety has nothing to do with pay, benefits, conditions, hiring, firing, the hall, the agents, etc. We have to keep cool – no yelling and losing our composure – but staying laser focused on being prepared with a professional demeanor. MANAGEMENT KNOWS HOW TO POP YOUR CORK to then diminish your claim. Listen carefully and let the other side dig a hole and document it. All things considered, the less you say the better. We work in an adversarial pro-management system – snap out of it! Bring witnesses and co-listeners when in a meeting. Even though it may seem to be an inquisition, it is not. Just shut up until you have creditable people hearing your story.  

  • Secure copies of all the safety documents you signed and review them carefully. Become an expert, but not an arrogant idiot. Remember, if you worked for that company previously you have a mountain of history regarding safety. Read the literal words – they are quite plain. Should they refer to another document get it. Some are on Google, and you should also help populate Google with your info so Google can index it.
  • Understand that the Human Resources (HR) department is there when and if you have to go over your foreman’s, GF’s or Superintendent’s head. Why would we have to do that – because coercion and intimidation by anyone to finish a job when the letter of safety is not in compliance is never acceptable. Safety is always superior to production, regardless of situation. Just because the company has an emergency does not mean we should forfeit our rights.
  • As we all have become aware, company health facilities are not there to secure a healthy outcome for you as an injured worker. They are there to mitigate recordables and deny or limit claims. We need to go to a neutral clinic and/or hospital and listen to those professionals who have no horse in the Workers Comp game. With anything more than garden variety cuts and stiches, go to an independent doctor even if they say we cannot. Bear in mind that different states have different subrogation laws, and we travel for work a lot. Pay attention or you will be, yet another union tradesperson caught up in the called Comparative Negligence game where you may get little to zero compensation. And BTW a busted-up body. Before we drink that 6 pack of Keystone – we need to read and ask questions.
  • ANYTHING NOT covered by the safety rules – get safety involved and have it put in writing before you lift a tool. Remember if a worker can “shut down” a job because of safety, that means it is very important. So, treat safety to that standard because management will do it to us if injured.
  • All tools, yours and theirs, need to be compliant to the safety officers’ inspection records.
  • Musical chairs – if most or all of the workers work to the rule regarding safety, few will be fired. Firing someone because of safety triggers all sorts of other actions. Right now, and for the immediate future, jobs need bodies. So, whoever replaces you should work to the rule regarding safety and when you get to your next job, work to the rule. Musical chairs will cease when the R&F are one.
  • Perception of a company’s safety record in social media and construction circles is a big deal. If you get fired because you worked to the letter of the safety rules, make your case on the social media of the group of companies you worked for. The straws of social perception will soon break the companies’ backs.
  • Should the union agents tell you to get the job done and do whatever it takes to do so, or you’re lucky to have a job, so just stay cool and document the conversation. Keep a log of any and all comments to push the job when safety is not being complied to the letter.

The rank & file is on its own – has been for a while. It’s time to be a band of brothers and sisters to protect our own safety. Let’s not hurt our families and those of coworkers by jeopardizing our health, wellbeing and earning power. Now that’s being tough. Funeral expenses are at the core of why most trades union started if you know your history.  

Share this like your family’s financial health depended on it because when an injury happens it will!

Our Founders knew how to work together to get the respect they worked hard for. Being tough means standing for something bigger than ourselves. Our Building Trades once lifted all workers. Since the 60’s, that has retreated, and the trades now serve management’s interests far to often.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising

The Building Trades “Our Movement – Our Moment” Convention Anthem: Yet Another BS Slogan?

Since Georgine in the 70’s right through to this year’s conference, we hear hollow slogans crafted for the masses. If the slogan was indicative of a strategy, it would be backed up with structure. We challenge you to go to NABTU website or anywhere and find structured strategy to back up “Our Movement – Our Moment” talk! NABTU doesn’t even update its website with the new slogan – “Whatever it Takes” and “Value Centric” are still posted.

The Rank & File agents heard yet more “rah rah” promises from politicians speaking. Regardless of position to the right or left, THIS IS NOT what a LABOR MOVEMENT depends on. A true labor movement drives change – it does NOT hope for change. Hope as a strategy is for fools!

Labor Rising has documented other unions in our blogs, predominantly led by women presidents who are kicking butt in organizing. Starbucks Workers United, an independent affiliate of the Service Employees International Union is out in the field organizing & driving change. Brother Smalls’ Amazon Labor Union is independent entirely at this point & is driving change. Apple? Several others. Unions are cool again with workers especially millennials. Yet the trades fail to capitalize because EVERYONE knows (especially workers) we are business unions and NOT workers’ unions. And no slogan is going to change that!

Do the trades’ senior leaders think they can ride this current wave of true union organizing? If so, they are in fantasy land!

The trades across the board can barely GIVE books away just to maintain membership numbers. Over one million tradespersons are currently needed in North American construction; and the directors of organizing across the trades can’t raise numbers or organize a sock drawer. They continually and consistently lose. It is only through recruitment, pulling in bodies from failed campaigns, that the membership numbers stay afloat. However, retention continues to slip. The trades are under one million field members “NET”.

Those who are recruited have traditionally put their book in their boot when needed, not much different than our home-grown tradespersons. I’ll use the word trend, however LR falls just short of enough info to call it a trend on REINSTATEMENTS. Intel across the trades describes scenarios where former members are NOT being reinstated. Makes us wonder – are the trades’ internationals using the pension forfeitures to shore up underfunded pensions?  If so, this is like throwing a snowball into a raging fire!

Pensions are slipping underwater more and more, even with legislation designed to prop them up. For an example check out the Update – American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) ARPA’s Impact on Multi-employer Pension Plans and Contributing Employers written by the National Law Review. https://www.natlawreview.com/article/arpa-s-impact-multi-employer-pension-plans-and-contributing-employers

ARPA’s legislation follows up The Taft Hartley Pension Reform Act of 2014.

If you are a union member contributing to a pension coming, you may want to read this! Basically, through legislation our pensions are taking out additional credit on existing credit to smooth out severe underfunding. With hours sliding – pensions will fail. Far too many unions promised benefits they could not afford in the 1990’s & 2000’s. Its pretty straight forward math.

By the end of this decade, hours will increasingly be harder to come by. With modularization, miniaturization, block chain, updated operating systems and more, where do the IPs think the hours will come from?

From Georgine thru today the trades’ IPs have aligned with management alliances to provide bodies. The IPs from then till now have changed the respective constitutions to crush any attempts of membership democracies. Members have close to zero input as to who their national leaders are. Locals and District Councils can be taken over or eliminated summarily.

We see concessions and capitulations on PLA after PLA since the 70’s. THE TRADES HAVE NOT WON OR ADVANCED ONE MAJOR PIECE OF A WORKER’S AGENDA IN 60 YEARS – NOT ONE!

Organizers like Brent Emons, Paul Long, Mike Lucas and scores of others who were passionate organizers well into the 90’s and even early 2000’s have long been purged from organizing. Training for both organizing and Value on Display marketing is designed to keep the troops busy and out of the way of the labor-management alliances, but it is not effective. So, how do we explain the spectacular failure of organizers and marketing reps unless they are being groomed to fail?

We have plenty of Chris Smalls of Amazon in the ranks; however, the trades’ organizers are not allowed to get after the wallets of the end-users, developers, CM’s. Here’s the point —the sycophants of the respective IPs WILL derail true labor organizing, militancy, boycotts, strikes, etc., as ordered by their task masters, the IPs, who themselves have a task master called management.

Nothing can get in the way of the senior-most alliances between end-users and the trades – nothing.

The trades’ senior leaders have reduced the R&F to a temp agency; few members join for any reason other than to collect a check.

Labor Rising promised to present our solution to the persistent death spiral the trades are in, and we have waited until the NABTU Conference. The status quo of talking the talk vs. walking the walk has not changed with our IPs. It is theater, photo opts and sound bites for the R&F! Tomorrow and the next day the IPs will do what the management alliances want them to do.

The Electricians are next in convention in May. If they and the other trades are moved to be a MOVEMENT, then walk the walk. Here’s some radical ideas: Adopt one person, one vote in the constitutions. Get rid of prime language that takes away rights of members and locals, doling out cards and continuing to disrespect our apprenticeships. Fight for workers’ rights on and off the job site. Sign & impose CBAs on behalf of workers instead of agreeing to the scraps dictated by a PLA.

Approximately 60% of all hours are under PLAs – Management can WALK away from PLAs at any time.

So, Part 1 of getting back our market share is getting rid of the Carpenters. Declare their jurisdiction vacant. Not happening. Why? Because they belong to the alliance and management will not let the rest of the building trades declare the carpenters’ jurisdiction vacant – case closed.

Part 2 is creating our own specialty construction management firms. Changing times demand changing strategies. Not happening. Why? Because the management side of the alliance will not want any type of competition, least of all from their minions over at the trades. Talk about being able to raise hours – this is the vehicle to do it.

Part 3 is work to the rule! As organizers, we must plan our strategy from start to finish. Without that plan we lose far more times than we win. Work to the rule is typically used in organizing the non/anti-union workers. It gives those workers control over an aspect of their working lives.

The trades need to adopt WORK to the RULE with regards to safety on the job and only safety. Working to the LETTER of safety, not the spirit of safety. Every time we step onto a job, we are handed scores of documents and confronted with training that states we WILL be safety compliant to the letter of those documents.

Once we sustain an injury, we are held to the letter of the documents we signed. Approximately a decade or so ago big construction figured out how to make money/profits off of injuries on the job. We’re not talking about making money by having a better safety record – but an actual profit center: OCIP – Owner Controlled Insurance Program & CCIP – Contractor Controlled Insurance Program.

OCIP & CCIP came into being partly because of changes in workers comp law. One of those changes is called Comparative Negligence. States’ workers comp rules apply it differently. In a nutshell, an injured worker’s award of damages is reduced reflecting any percentage of fault deemed to be the worker’s contribution to the injury.

Example: An award of damages is $100,000 and the worker is deemed to have contributed 25% to causing the accident, so the worker gets $75,000. In some states, once the threshold of the worker’s fault reaches 51% or higher, the worker gets no award of damages – zero.

We should no longer post a “look out” to watch for the safety officer, driven by thinking we know more about how to do our jobs than they do (even though we do!) Safety is the point, not our professional egos. Let’s show our IPs and management that we can work to the letter of safety, leaving “the spirit of safety” at home. ZERO accidents.

Let management tell us specifically how to do the job from the safety perspective. Put it in writing. We want them documenting all of our moves. Frankly, we don’t get paid more for re-engineering the job more efficiently; and, when injured, we and our families are penalized by comparative negligence as a matter of course. When a worker says they got f*^ked after a case is settled, overwhelmingly this is the reason why. So, be sure that all safety documentation is used for your benefit and not to limit or disqualify you and your family from being compensated if injured.

Come to think of it – every journeyperson reading this that agrees, please share this, and let every tradesperson know to be safe.

Example: You use a folding ladder; it is on an incline and you get hurt. Any injury, not just falling from the ladder, will be held up to the comparative negligence standard.

Example: You have signed off on inspecting the JLG – sometimes every time we use it – so do it. If the paperwork for the inspection hasn’t been completed, do not use it. We often think that when working to the spirit of safety rules, we are ok. But there are volumes upon volumes of injury cases that dispute that thinking.

Example: The Standards of Excellence for some unions say we are to bring and use our own personal tools. Think that through. If your safety harness has expired or there are visible burn and cut marks, what happens if an injury occurs? What about an expired hardhat? Or tools that are altered, like grinding the jaw of a crescent? You will be held up to the safety documents you signed, and you will not like the outcome. Good faith is long gone. As for me, I’d have the safety officer sign off on all tools I use – my own or the company’s. Question, do our respective internationals educate us on that? Labor Rising has yet to find any evidence; but if you have some please share the specifics. And, by the way, are our internationals at fault if our own tools fail?

The Rank & File should own the jobs, not management. However, management sets the terms, and we should follow them to the letter in all cases while on the job – every time.

If we are following their rules, we can’t be disciplined whatsoever. Anyone who might suggest that we go with the flow or work outside the rules, name them in the injury lawsuit.

With construction across North American being over one million workers short, just follow the rules to the letter. There is no one to take your job.

Remember anyone can shut the job down if safety is not followed – management says it all the time.

This is especially important when the end-user’s production is at risk. Safety officers seem to disappear when production is at risk. Get specific directions in writing with the proper training or don’t do it!

When we all follow the safety rules on the job, we can make a lasting positive imprint on both our IPs and management.

We will discuss this in more detail in upcoming blogs and also show the state of union trades’ pensions.

“if you see a good fight – get in it-

Danny L Caliendo

Labor Rising

Organizer

Brother Chris Smalls – Organizer for Amazon Labor Union  

What a contrast to the Building Trades’ 60 year losing streak of market share.

Brother Smalls is an organizer who was left to act on his passion and learned how to channel it. He witnessed and acted on an injustice to fellow workers consistent with what the Founder of the trades witnessed. He took concerted action undeterred by outside voices!

Labor Rising has trained hundreds of Chris Smalls in the trades over the last decade. Hundreds – all of whom displayed passion and commitment to similar values and an understanding of a greater good. LR has written 248 blogs in 10 years, and in 27 of them we have addressed the ability of the trades’ organizers.

It is not the organizers of the trades that lose – it is the 14 International Presidents’ constraints of organizers, and even market development, which are at the core of 60 years of losing market share in the trades!

The CEOs of mega businesses, intertwined with the Building Trades’ IPs in so-called Labor/Management alliances, which have ALWAYS (and by design) been a roadblock to organizing militancy, worker justice and equity for its members since the early 70’s.

In 1979 JC Turner, General President of the Operators, penned a White Paper called “The Business Roundtable and American Labor”. Much of the information in that White Paper was taken from a “special report” produced in 1979 by Georgine as President of the Building Trades Department. Link to JC Turner White Paper: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcgqyOmg3JjY_OKGTEi?e=JoMlBQ

Labor Rising has linked this White Paper numerous times in our blogs – it does a good job of detailing what the CEOs of the Business Roundtable et al were doing to eliminate the trades.

What the White Paper, or the “special report” of 1979, does NOT do is to delve into what the International Presidents & President of the Building Trades did while the Business Roundtable was strategizing the trades’ demise. This would take decades to uncover by authors and historians.

One of the best written works describing the Building Trades’ actions in the early 70’s is titled: Continental Crucible – 2nd edition copyright 2015 by Richard Roman & Velasco Arregui, specifically about NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) throughout North America. For those who want to understand what was happening in the three NAFTA countries by government(s), business, and labor – this is a great read. It also has contributing content from authoritative authors.

Let’s step back into the late 60’s and see how the actions of the then senior leaders of the Building Trades have continued right through today. And why our organizers and market reps lose so much today.

The late 60’s saw a very aggressive and militant BT. The combined trades have huge market share and a solid piece of the business pie contributing to the steady growth of the middle class. The Building Trades’ influence could impact both political & business leader’s decisions at that time.

Those who believe the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 and the Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959, both designed to slow the growth of unions, were the cause for union losses would be wrong – dead wrong.

A little history:  Big business began to enact a plan in the late 60’s for “total annihilation” of organized labor in part because the T/H & LG Acts did not slow unions’ growth. And the Building Trades were ground zero in that plan. Georgine spoke to a “terrible conspiracy” that would be executed by the Business Roundtable – Georgine’s words in 1972.  

Georgine was elected in 1971 to become the Secretary-Treasurer of the Building Trades. By 1972 he spoke to the “terrible conspiracy” of big business CEOs coordinating and orchestrating attacks via the newly formed Business Roundtable (BRT) against the Building Trades. The Labor Law Study Group & Construction Users Anti-inflation Roundtable merge, with The March Group merging one year later. The mission of these three groups was to destroy organized labor with an emphasis on the Building Trades. Big business was off to a good start with a win at the NLRB allowing double breasting in 1971. By 1974 Georgine was the President of the Building Trades.

From Georgine’s blistering comments of 1972 until his “special report” released in 1979, Georgine and the IPs were, for all intents and purposes, silent regarding the aggressive and destructive practices of the BRT during this time period! Even after the “special report” was released in 1979, Georgine and the IPs of the construction unions continued their sharp retreat in battling the BRT and fighting for workers’ rights.  

Total and complete capitulation by the IPs of the construction unions and Georgine was complete by 1982, as is captured in notes from numerous meetings with the alliance members’ CEOs and their companies.

Understand that the IPs and Georgine took a bullet-proof market share in the early 70’s, won on the backs of activists through civil disobedience and construction union militancy, and ran it into the ground by 1982.

So specifically, what the hell were the International Presidents and Georgine doing during those 7 years?

BUILDING ALLIANCES with the very CEOs who want our destruction!

Nearly every specialty agreement and Project Labor Agreement (PLA) made with end-users started in the early 70’s under these labor/management agreements – ALLIANCES – which continue uninterrupted today.  

Example: The National Maintenance Agreement Policy Committee. (NMAPC) was started in 1971. The NMAPC was actually the National Erectors Association (NEA) formed in 1969. The biggest steel erectors and fabricators hated the Ironworkers and wanted to destroy them as best they could. Back then the trades could not be defeated, so better for the top CEO’s to switch tactics by forming alliances. Research by the management groups prior to the BRT indicated that senior leaders of the trades & their pawn Georgine were coasting on the gains made by organizing through the 60’s. Management knew the trades had WEAK leaders who could be worked in many ways.

THEY DID THEIR HOMEWORK! And the trades didn’t disappoint.

It was the Iron Workers and the Boilermakers that joined in alliances in 1971. In 1972 five more trades joined: OE, UA, IUPAT, Laborers & Carpenters. Following them over the next few years were the BAC, Masons, SMW, Teamsters & Insulators, with Electricians and Roofers joining last around 1980.  

Hence by 1982 the BRT had run the table of trades, and all joined the NMAPC et al! 

From the beginning of the alliances through today the trades have gotten their collective heads kicked in. In every measurable way the Specialty Agreements have favored management rights. Concessions and capitulations are the order of the day for our International Presidents and the President of the Building Trades. We can use the NMAPC’s own Book of Decisions as a guide as to how impotent the trades have been over the last few decades. Management has won or prevailed in over 90% of all decisions regarding labor/management.

The notion that our IPs are any type of “labor leaders” is a joke when looking at the sheer volume of losing that has and continues through today! It is also a joke that the trades are in any way a democratic institution. Only the Teamsters (being part of the trades) have an international where members can vote on their leaders. They did and elected an insurgent – Brother O’Brien. His predecessor was neck deep in the alliances. This upcoming chapter for the Teamsters may be very interesting!   

Georgine and the “good ole boys” gutted activist organizing and purged most local organizers or promoted them up the ladder to shut them down.

Since the Labor College trained all of organized labor back then, the trades began to form their own version of organizing mostly in-house. Some trades, like the Electricians, still had an edge to the organizing training until the Hill era began in 2001. However, most trades used the title of organizer for political reasons and did little field organizing. For example: few understand that bottom-up organizing in the trades is a loser far more times than not. The primary reason for that is that the trades are highly transient, which makes campaigns like bottom-up highly ineffective unless you have veteran field organizers. Most of them were being moved up and out by design. Also, the BRT went to work on the make up of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) right from the start. Their list of wins from 1971 through 2017 is, by any standard, impressive. That the trades did little more than go through the motions of fighting BRT legislation was very helpful to the BRT’s successful strategy.

In comparison, an organizer like Brother Smalls has a FIXED target to organize – still not easy what-so-ever but doable. Manufacturing, industrial, service, mines, docks, etc. are examples of fixed organizing targets. Brother Smalls’ new union will face significant hurdles in getting a first contract. However, our not so new Labor-Secretary will provide a level playing field at the NLRB as best as he can – something labor has not had in decades! In the trades, what looks like a fixed target such as fabrication is diluted because they may also be the installer and/or erector. Gums up the voting unit at the NLRB. Advantage management.

Georgine retired as President from the Building Trades in 2000 and was forced to retire as CEO of ULLICO in 2003 because of a stock scandal where millions had to be repaid back to ULLICO.

The trades went from having huge market share and protecting middle class values to being management’s minions – having little power past beating up their own members, sometimes literally.

Surely the trades can’t get any weaker.

From approximately 2000 through today our market share continues to decline in the trades. The management side of the alliances holds all the cards, and our IPs are management’s minions. Our IPs know it. Maybe they think they are fooling R & F members – NOT!

Thanks to the trades’ senior leaders, the trades have become business unions. We are, in fact, a temp agency. Very skilled temp agency – but dictated to by the alliance!

The trades have transitioned from selling/marketing to recruiting to facilitating bodies for management’s needs. IT IS ABOUT HOURS for the senior IPs and basically that’s it.

The Value on Display model of skills have become a cancer. Having pride in your skills is always good. Being an arrogant a*^hole about being god’s gift to construction, is quite a different story. Little wonder in this age of workers interested in unions the trades have few takers.

The trades WILL NOT train organizers and market reps by design. Any organizer/market rep who has attended a Labor Rising class knows they are NOT being trained to win. An organizer like Brother Chris Smalls can wreak havoc and win but must fully understand how to bring pressure to bear on the wallets of management and NOT be impeded when seeking fair workers’ rights. That is fulfilling the true definition of a being a labor movement!

Our IPs have been told by the alliance management members that credible labor activism, militancy, civil disobedience, strikes, boycotts WILL NOT be tolerated on their respective jobs– case closed!

So, the trades do blitzes, bannering, inflatable rats, ineffective bottom-up, VOD and the lot – all the while getting their asses kicked!

I know I promised Part 3 of solutions in this blog – however we wanted to provide some cliff notes in context before presenting Part 3 for how the Rank & File can take back control of its leaders and leave an imprint on management going forward.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising

The Anniversary of The Crossing of the Pettus Bridge and Part 3 for Building Trades Members: Winning in the Trades

Before reading on, I strongly suggest you use the link below to listen to One More Bridge to Cross, a song composed by Joe DeFilippo and performed by the R.J. Phillips Band.  The song commemorates this week’s anniversary of the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge:

https://soundcloud.com/hillipsand/one-more-bridge-to-cross?fbclid=IwAR2uus1smN5CLXS_pBut9W2kgAMBw0FTJ4Iyzwka8GshXtWQaSwTHDvnqr8

What happened on that now historic bridge is what true activism embodies – action! Not a decal on your car or an emblem embroidered on your jacket or a tough looking tattoo!

Try, just once to think about the McKees Rock Strike of 1909, the Steel Strike of 1919 and the Textile Workers Strike of 1934. Those movements were all about real action, not just yelling and screaming about how skilled we are and that ONLY the Building Trades can build. Reality is that since the early 70’s thru today, the non-union has done 80% or more of the total building in the U.S. In fact, it is 87% today and trending up.

Think about how Mother Jones and Delores Huerta combined labor activism with social justice. Again, action – not just a Power Point Presentation.

Think about George Washington and our founding fathers & mothers. Patriotism was action for them – not a punch line. They, along with labor, civil and social justice activists of times past put careers, families and even lives on the line. They didn’t whine that they had to have a vegan diet once caught and then roll over to save themselves from the consequences of their pseudo convictions.

The trades, since the early 70’s, has not advanced ANY significant improvements to members’ lives. However, we still post memes of what labor has done to help the lives of all in North America, as though we were personally instrumental in those fights.

The “Baby Boomers” in particular will be torched as it relates to advancing activism of ANY kind in the history books! Most want to join the trades for no other reason than a paycheck for a period of time!

At Labor Rising, we are finishing Part 3 of what specific action the Rank & File of the trades can take to change how history will record us.

Today, the R&F hold ourselves in high esteem because of the Value on Display model that has pumped up our egos with skill-based rhetoric – a prime-time diversion to keep the members occupied! However, statistics clearly indicate that since the early 70’s thru today, we in the trades are considered to be no more than a punk to management.

Our next blog will be specific on how the R&F can bring massive leverage to both senior management and our own international presidents. Spoiler alert: we’re talking about activism that challenges us to be more that a chest thumber. A MOVEMENT is when we work for something that we may in fact never see! It is for our children and their children.

We’re talking about action that can be taken today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes to bring about change and transform the trades to one member – one vote democracy! Non-union workers will also want to get on the bandwagon, and this will give us common ground to ALL advance together.

We’re talking about action that senior construction management, or our internationals can do nothing to thwart. We cannot lose our jobs and we will get paid while taking this action if we are working.

If enough members, regardless of political leaning, are fed up with being told what and how to run their trades’ lives with zero input, then the action we’ll present can multiply across North America in less than a month.

It has nothing to do with social media or begging for a place at the table.

We can level the playing field of labor and management and contribute to breaking the tri-partite alliance. The action we’ll present is leaderless, although some may want to seize that mantle once R&F gains traction.

This action is not for those members who have the mentality that “I’m lucky to have a job.” This is for those members that say, “I was looking for a job when I found this one!”

Part 1 of how the trades win is: Lose the Carpenters and declare their jurisdiction vacant. The reader will come to understand why that is not happening.

Part 2 of how the trades win is: Becoming our own Construction Manager and even a true temp agency. The reader will come to understand why this will not happen.

Part 3 will entail 1,700 words +/-, so read the blog and sleep on it. If and when you find that what LR writes to ring true, act on it! Labor Rising coordinates and organizes and is a collection of some of the best past leaders, reps and labor activists.

Every number and trend clearly demonstrate that minus intervention by members, the trades are near their end. Pensions are at risk, technology in construction delivery and especially modularization is already here. The concentration of hours under PLA’s are ripe for CURT/Business Roundtable and the couple of dozens of construction managers that serve them – in pulling the rug out from under the combined trades. Inflation caused by greedy corporations will turn inward to slash wages and benefits – especially if you are union. And many other items we will discuss in our next blog.

I’m always reminded of this quote. “It is better to live 50 years as a tiger rather than live 100 years as a chicken.” So, are we going to keep being victims with big mouths and one liners such as F*^k this which is tough guy bs whining, or step into battle?

“if you see a good fight – get in it”  Vernon Johns

Danny Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising

Organizer or Fraud –

Before we get into Labor Rising’s Part 3 discussion about the trades’ multi-decade losing streak & how to change it, I will respond to the numerous requests I’ve received through the years to provide some accounts of my direct organizing experiences and campaigns – some good campaigns and some not so good.

Here is a link to my bio for your consideration:  https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcgvUChl5ympdbuD_GU?e=EM6rLZ  For me, it began in 1993. We elected a new BM in ‘93 and early on in his administration he reported to the membership that Local 1 had a significant non-union issue in both the city and outlying areas of our jurisdiction. After just a few months, he asked me to take on a position as the first organizer in many decades for Ironworkers Local 1, Chicago.

IW Local 1 BM arranged for me to train with Brent Emons, BM of IW Local 8, for three weeks. We drove throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as he introduced me to his field organizers and campaign after campaign that they were involved in at the time, acquainting me with both rural and urban types of campaigns and why each was chosen. I was overwhelmed, but Brother Brent was always available to mentor me – only condition being was that I had to keep advancing my skills.

My next stop was training with Electricians District 6 organizers for one week. Imagine, one IW with 26 electricians – they tried to kick my ass, but it wasn’t happening 😊. This was a no-nonsense training focused on how to build your market and win, well prior to the “let’s get along” Value on Display BS marketing and branding programs now common place in all trades. I also trained with PW, KH, JS and several others as the years went by. In addition, I attended the Labor College which, admittedly by that time, was a let down because the real life, hands-on learning with my fellow tradesmen was heads and tails more advanced than what the Labor College provided.

So, picking some favorites and losers is not that easy, but here goes.

A Good Campaign (actually a Win-Win) –

One of our (Local 1 IW) best was the 1995 campaign with Chem Central, located on 73rd & Harlem, Bridgeview, IL. Chem Central was building a 400,000 sq. ft. metal building, and metal buildings were a disaster for the IW’s. A huge percentage of all metal buildings were non-union everywhere, including Chicago. Brent Emons had the only strategy for winning campaigns with metal buildings, and he allowed me to use it. Also, we had a few wild cards to think through with Chem Central. One major wild card was that the Teamsters delivered the chemicals: 112 drivers 24/7 at this location.

I met with the Teamster Tanker BA, Steve M. We both wanted to talk through what would happen if IW 1 picketed the site. The Teamsters at that time were in a pitched battle with employers in the chemical industry and Chem Central was at the top of the list for upcoming negotiations. The Teamsters felt that they did not have the leverage for a successful contract. The IW’s and other trades were, for all intents and purposes, locked out of the gated industrial areas throughout Chicago and hundreds of thousands of hours of total work!

We knew that if IW 1 picketed, it would become a 2-gate job. The BM of IW 1 and the President of Teamsters Joint Council 25 made a handshake agreement that as long as the IW’s maintained a picket at the site, the teamsters would honor it. IW 1 knew that we had to taint the gate – and we did around noon. Pickets went up on the site on Wednesday – everyone but the metal building erector left the job and the teamsters quit delivering the chemicals to clients.

The next day the gate was rehabilitated and Local 1’s pickets were supposed to come down. By this time, 4 shifts of teamsters had stayed out; no chemicals were being delivered. IW Local 1 DID NOT take our pickets down. This resulted in a ULP, which then went to a cease and desist and then to an injunction. We purposely planned the action to begin on a Wednesday knowing that it would TYPICALLY take 3 days +/- for an injunction. This type of “order” does not recognize a weekend. However, the weekend typically breaks the flow, which could extend the timetable.

Even on the weekend when the non-union workers left the job, we kept our pickets up, citing the fact that all their tools and equipment stayed on the job.

By this time Chem Central had lost 15 shifts going into Monday morning and multi-millions of dollars of deliveries. Before the picket started, IW 1 knew all of the clients in the delivery routes from working with the Teamsters. Supplies were running low at Chem Central’s clients’ places of business, as most were just-in-time deliveries. So, those clients were reminded that they perhaps needed to contact other chemical companies to arrange obtaining the chemicals they needed!

We also knew that some of the penalties for our actions, or rather inactions for basically ignoring the injunction, would be fines. But back then, IW Local 1 was pretty much broke with very little in the general fund and the International was less than effective. So, fines would have a minimal impact as “you can’t get blood out of a turnip.” The R&F held the picket & the teamsters stayed out. Our BM struck a deal to take down our illegal pickets once our contractor had the work at that and three other sites. Also drop all legal actions taken. The Teamsters went back to work and had solid success with negotiations there and with other chemical companies they drove for.

Subsequently, IW Local 1 also had an understanding with JC 25 Teamsters Local 786 Concrete Drivers. They would honor IW pickets going forward. We wove that into the metal building strategy from Brother Brent and went from 2 local metal building contractors to 11 in three years at full CBA rates, 8 of which had been non-union contractors. However, Meco & Atlantic from out of state never erected again in Chicago even though they were signed.

And by the way, according to the LM, IW Local 1’s general fund went from basically broke in ‘93 to having $18 million in 2008 when that BM left; another $2 million more in the organizing fund; and a working assessment down to 2½% for a 2,000-member local. The union also paid the entire memberships dues for a couple of years.

We always went after the wallet of those that hired the non-union sub, as it’s almost always a waste of time going after the sub. I would tell you that it is easier to do it today; however, the Internationals DO NOT want you/us anywhere near the alliances they are part of.

Lesson learned: Do the research and work necessary to have a solid handle on the environment you are working to organize and use every available advantage, including building alliances with other union organizations to buttress leverage. The thumbnail version of this strategy: We organized – We imposed a CBA on contractors – We did not and do not ask! We win contractors with pressure.

A quick but effective win inside the house –

One of the first huge data centers in Chicagoland was being built along Rt. 294 – all union. Sounds good. But the electrical sub-station turned out to be an out-of-town electrical contractor with an out-of-town agreement building a good-sized sub-station. The BM of 134 was not a happy camper. By the time the sub-station was being built there were lots of electricians on the job. And to boot, the IW BA in the area was getting heat about the rebar; which means I was getting heat, too. Electricians 134 & IW 1 have a great relation; however, the out-of-town electricians were doing the rods on the sub-station. Fitz, BM of 134, called me on the side and asked what if anything we could do. Understand that I was in District 6 training years ago and had been training organizers from the electricians for years long before Labor Rising evolved. I respectfully told Fitz and my BA not to talk to anyone, including the members on the job. Two days later my research indicated that NO ONE had claimed the work with statements to the CM like “this is our work” from either the electricians or IW’s. So, IW Local 1 put up an Area Standards Picket at 5 am, shutting down the entire job – approximately 450 union workers – and IW 1 picketers documented everything. The agents from both unions instructed the electricians and IW’s NOT to say anything to anyone, suspecting the CM may want to set us up for changes and/or a lawsuit. No more issues with the out-of-town contractor after the picket! The CM tried in vain to sue us – no dice.

Not a good campaign –

The precast FABRICATORS put the IW’s and brickies in a bind. Our two unions had a living and working agreement that set out the terms for precast in our jurisdiction. Trip ups – brickies. Structural – IW’s. Architectural – composite. The fabricators decided that it should all be done with the BAC. Several large structural precast erectors, doing approximately 500,000 hours of work on the IW side, would be at a huge competitive disadvantage if the fabricators would deal with erectors exclusively signed with the BAC. And out of thin air, a few erectors signed with only the BAC, with more on the way appeared.

Perhaps the fabricators calculated the IW’s would just collapse or talk ourselves out of existence. Understandably, my BM was not thrilled. He asked what could be done if the existing agreements continued to be ignored, and I told him we could organize those companies under the IW’s as long as the R&F brickies wanted to vote that way. They did almost unanimously at three erectors. We lost a close election with one; however, the erector chose to stay in compliance with the agreement. So, it was a push. Organizers could now turn their attention to those erectors newly signed by the BAC doing structural precast. We had many tactics available and ultimately saw most of those exclusively signed by the BAC leave the market and/or go out of business. The IW’s never went after the trip ups – even though those members made strong requests to be given a vote and organized.

NOTE: The only “silver lining” to the IW/Brickies’ unfortunate chapter in both of our histories is that we used similar tactics joyfully against the Carpenters. The BAC is a solid union – the Carpenters senior leaders absolutely NOT!

Our local, with myself at the top of that list, really wanted to take on the fabricators because they were responsible for the trades fighting. All the big fabricators were located outside of our jurisdiction. We didn’t care, we attacked anyway. Big problem was that if we won an election for the workers, our fab/shop Local 473 was not up to the task of representing these workers – approximately 900 of them at 4 separate fab plants. The former BM, Brother U Sr. & Brother C. of Local 473, were real organizers; those after them, however, were talking heads who knew what wine to have with dinner and not much more.

On top of that, having talked with the Hispanic leaders who understood the hiring at those facilities, it was clear that they would not endorse a no-holds-barred organizing drive. HOWEVER! They did tell me they would instruct the workers to sign lots of cards so I could file an election petition. I just would not win it. The result would be that the IW’s would put some pressure on the fabricators while Local 1 was organizing the structural erectors effectively opening up a new front that the fabricators had to deal with. Also, the workers would secure some additional wages and benefits!

Then I let my emotions take over. I planned on finding a boss or two and convince them to be tough on the workers, even threatening them in plain view of others, ramping up the threats to justify a Gissel Order at the NLRB based on a toxic atmosphere in order to circumvent an election altogether. I assumed (which puts me at fault) that those Hispanic leaders would allow that sort of “theater”. I was dead wrong. It was the first and only time I let the situation get the better of me because of my own emotions and ego!

Lesson learned: Put your ego and emotions aside. And know that losing a campaign can help in winning down the road “if” you effectively learn from it. Making organizing overly personal generally leads to failure and excuses.

When I returned from training under both Brent and District 6, we immediately went to work on building a research ability to proceed any campaign.

Local 1 also instituted C.O.M.E.T., a 5-hour version of the class and, as Brent taught me, to immediately put our volunteer field organizers to work. They were all trained in labor law and dealing with law enforcement. We typically had 10 to 25 in the field daily. We paid those field organizers a stipend of $50 and then $70 a day. The Fin/Sec wrote $5,000 to $10,000 checks per week. The expenditure was well worth it, as that is how our local went from broke to $18 million in the kitty!

Local 1 volunteer organizers were anchored by the retirees and they where formidable on the job and during campaigns.

Our local took back metal buildings, small steel and fabrication, small rebar and overhead cranes. We also crushed those working on the condo residential markets.

Our biggest wins were signing scores of GC’s. IW 1 had approximately 70 total GC’s signed. No small feat. We had 6 GC’s who self-performed. However, non-union and even non-signatory GC’s thought they would wear us out with jurisdictional & non-union BS hiring sub after sub. We didn’t take the bait. We had several tactics for getting the GC’s in our crosshairs and sign them. Liquidated damages were one of our best friends!  We had little problem with the CM, developer and even the end-users after that campaign, which took a few years.

We used our target fund 4 times – that’s it. We never liked using our own money to subsidize a job.

Seldom did we use a lawyer and go to the Labor Board. If we lost, we reloaded and learned from it.

Our organizers attended several Union Avoidance seminars and learned a lot about management’s lawyers and tactics.

We used Salts, but Peppers were our go to play for intel. And we attacked hiring fairly well – both covert and overt. Peppers had a high threshold to meet in order to gain entry to our union. When they did, members did not give them grief because they EARNED that right. Stripping & recruiting nowadays is mostly bush-league stuff because most of those we train have never done EVEN an Exit Interview to gain solid inside info on the non/anti-union contractor. Sad.

We did marketing way back then, but always on a research-driven basics. We had legit marketing presence and I had to attend business style marketing classes – Carhartt meets suit & tie!

When I left as organizer, Ironworkers Local 1 had approximately 300 signed contractors including the GC’s. We gave a tad over 100 contractors their wish – to go out of business rather than sign with us!  

In closing, we at Labor Rising have always issued a challenge to Sean Mc and the IP’s. Put us anywhere and organizing will take root. Come on – call our bluff if you think that is what it is!

Next blog will discuss Part 3 of strategies and tactics for how the R & F can send strong notice to the trades senior leaders and management that the members can control the situation or chose to continue to whine and cry. Our choice.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising

 

PS – hello to son Andy Local 134 Electrician – very proud & Oorah!

The Passion of a Labor Movement Replaced by a Business Union Model In the Trades –

What drives a MOVEMENT defines its success. For many centuries, that very purpose and passion has been reflected in working people’s songs. In times of strife and secured justice in the workplace, the music has provided the anthem that advanced a MOVEMENT!

Where can we find the songs of the trades? Thankfully, labor writers like Brother Joseph DeFilippo & a small band of like-minded social justice singers and performers maintain a link to the historical songs of labor – mostly on the CIO/Professional Unions side of the ledger.

We know the music of many of these artist – Pete SeegerSolidarity Forever; Sweet Honey in the Rock, More Than a Paycheck; The Clash, Career Opportunities; Tennessee Ernie Ford, Sixteen Tons; Judy Collins, Bread and Roses; Dolly Parton, 9 to 5; Woody Guthrie, Union Burying Ground; Phil Ochs, The Ballad of Joe Hill; Hazel Dickens, Fire in the Hole; Gil Scott-Heron, Three Miles Down; and The Kinks, Get Back in Line – just a sampling.

Listen to the stories and lives of those who GAVE us the conditions we take for granted today. Here is a link to just one of many labor stories performed by Brother Joe:

Company Town   https://soundcloud.com/hillipsand/company-town

For the trades, justice for workers started to come to an end in 1973. Appeasement and alliance building with the very Task Master of Business (whom our AFL Founders fought tooth and nail with) began and has NOT ceased to this day. Business unionism was put on a strategic path and had form and story starting in approximately ‘95. However, with the election of Hill’s administration and other unions in 2001, alliance building was put on steroids, and it was “Katie bar the door” for membership. The approaching threat of becoming a business union became big trouble for Rank & File of all trades. International-level agreements of every type have de-valued trades workers. Understand this is self-inflicted. Our own internationals compromise us in these deals – perhaps even more than management.

Our “Business Union” had a message to sell to its membership – SKILLS. Value on Display every day. Tradespersons of every trade believe that it is their skills that demand the wages & benefits they receive. Ask them. Read their posts on Facebook. In addition, since 1973 the form of collective actions taken by Rank & File in the field has almost ceased entirely. The few times any general president was ever on a picket line is pure hype to play us, to appease us into thinking we belong in the same breath as our Founders!

Decades of R&F have zero idea of what field activism looks like. They love to take credit with posts on what labor has done for North America. They/we are all posers – we have not earned anything on that list!

The songs derived from activism underpin justice of all types and the music anchors it. Worker justice, social justice, religion & even the military all derive the ability to sustain change or overcome because of the passion of the music!

When that music is window dressing or no longer heard it is because individuals, not members, rule. So, look at entities like business or politics. Very FEW true believers exist anymore – think John Lewis. Most on both the right and left are talking heads spinning a message, selling a brand similar to the “snake oil salesman” in our Founders’ time.

Alliance building is the highly individual action of 13 of the 14 International Presidents along with its puppet over at the NABTU. Not even one true believer from 1973 till now in our trades’ senior leaders, with one exception. Brother JC Turner, General President of the Operators, wrote the White Paper: “The Business Roundtable and American Labor in 1979”. He understood the alliance that was to come.  https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcgqyK4It5U8aRX-AAu?e=GQQuST                  

So, who is #14? The Teamsters. It remains to be seen whether they will return to being a MOVEMENT under their new president.  

The R&F are at an inflection point in the trades. We can continue to play victims and be de-valued by the Internationals or we can become activists again. Having spent 12 years training at Labor Rising it is abundantly clear that our Internationals throttle any attempt to deliver true labor activism to the doorsteps of the end-user, developer & the construction manager. We’re not talking about BS soft balls of activism, but true WALLET grabbing, alliance breaking campaigns to force a return to collective bargaining.

Unfortunately, the memberships currently reflect leadership – it is a check to the membership, not much more! The membership WANTS to be activists but are controlled at every turn. Also, consider that the International leaders’ checks are approximately 10x that of members, guaranteed – with them comfortable in their own houses and beds and not having to reach into their respective pockets for anything. Their pensions are single payer and fully funded by members – benefits for life by-and-large.

The workers throughout North America are showing signs of wanting a union again – but not the trades unions. We have to give books away to keep bodies. Then many of those workers and existing union members put their cards in their boots by demand of the alliance to man the jobs. Working alongside of the non-union, along with the big uptick of double-breasted construction companies, ALL demanded by management alliances.

Many of our members are upset with the Fight for $15, one of the most successful organizing campaigns for workers recently. Fast food workers are getting close to being paid what tradespersons make in some areas. So, we blame them and not our Internationals for de-valuing us at every turn on most jobs.

Back on the trades side, we still make more on the checks; however, the non-union workers are increasingly getting a healthy per diem when we are losing it more and more.

Labor Rising has put out a 3-part program to address becoming a MOVEMENT again.

The 1st part is to throw the Carpenters out of the AFL and declare their jurisdiction vacant. Won’t happen. Why? Because the construction alliance will not let it – case closed. International Presidents are too impotent to do it and/or demand it. Come on – make me a liar – do it. Show the R&F you can.

The 2nd part is to become the Construction Manager in several specialty markets throughout North America. Be our own boss. Won’t happen. Why? Construction alliance will not let it – case closed.

The 3rd part is designed to give R&F control over their own and their trades’ destinies again. To band together over “bread & butter” issues of raising a family and securing a benefits package bargained for by direct influence over them. Absolutely can happen. Can bring together members of either party within our ranks.

It is a strategy that hides in plain site and can be readily adopted in real time. It is a tested weapon used by organizers primarily with non-union. It will require that you do your job that you agreed to do and to do it to the “letter”, not the “SPIRIT”, but the “LETTER”! It can be run simultaneously where both union and non-union work. Actually, it would be even better in that environment.

It is “good trouble” for R&F and if done properly, a nightmare for the alliance of Labor-Management. BTW, doing exactly what you agreed to in writing mitigates strongly against getting in ANY trouble!

Sounds too good to be true – it is not. A door swings both ways. It has been pounding the field workers for a few decades now along with our families. Time to push it back the other way – HARD!

Perhaps we can collectively regain respect with workers, ourselves and our Founders!

Next blog in 2022 will lay out the opening gambit of part 3. Suitable for all building trades workers, even the Carpenters.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

(The above was not just a cool sounding quote chosen 12 years ago – it quite literally predicted knowing that this blog and the next several should and would be written.)

I wonder, what songs and music will be written about us?

In Solidarity,

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising

The International Presidents of the Trades Have Given Themselves Up – Labor Leaders They Are Not – Not For a Long Time!

Labor Rising did not forget about part 3 on how the trades can quit losing market share & become a MOVEMENT again! However, we have been very busy these last few months with unions and Building Trades Councils around the U.S. Those leaders may take flack for working with Labor Rising, but they know the Internationals present no answers. These are our kind of leaders.

True activism is currently visible as we observe workers throughout North America striking at John Deere, taking on Amazon and in all points in between. President of the AFL-CIO, Liz Shuler, recently tweeted out “Kellogg is trying to replace 1400 striking workers. Millennials & Gen Z flooded the job postings with fake applications and crashed the system. This is what solidary looks like.”  Workers have signaled they want to be in a union as long as the union can earn their trust and execute on a strategy. Unions such as the Association of Flight Attendants, Nurses, Service Employees International and Teachers, which BTW are all run by women presidents, are kicking up their respective heels and making solid inroads in organizing.

Teamsters rejected the Hoffa-backed hack and went with Sean O’Brien – so a welcome change in the future of organizing for them. Several other unions are also getting past the BS of talking about organizing and taking it to management.

Energy is building everywhere except in the trades.

Measuring the trades’ market share is easy. It has been a loser for decades!

Check the stats for yourself – here are the statics from the BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics in context: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf

Currently the non/anti-union do 87.3% of all construction work in the U.S. Here’s an interesting twist to understanding these statistics: It appears that construction unions gained 0.1% of market share in 2020, meaning 12.7% as compared to 12.6% in 2019. But appearances can be deceptive. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the trades lost 62,000 actual tradespersons in 2020; and the non-union lost many more workers than the trades during this surge in unemployment, resulting in what appears to be a 0.1% increase in market share for the unions. This is not an effective organizing strategy.

For over a decade, Labor Rising’s training addresses organizing in a downturn can be very effective in raising market share. But downturn after downturn have come and gone and the trades IP’s continue to lose market share in this environment and for that matter ALL environments.

The Infrastructure Bill will put modularization & miniaturization on steroids and REDUCE overall field hours by the end of this decade. Every legit source (9) quantifies this in the universe of construction.

Today’s IP’s continue to lose as it seems losing is in their respective DNA. Losing for the trades IP’s started in the early 70’s under Georgine and has continued unabated until today! All the specialty and international type agreements and subsequent versions began then. The labor/management alliances of today have very deep roots.

Since Georgine right through to today, each generation of IP’s have continued those alliances with senior management. Every hand-picked IP from then until now has fallen in line with perpetuating these unholy alliances. The rank & file have long been betrayed by these alliances that have eroded the hard work of the AFL Founders begun in 1886.

These ONE-WAY alliances with construction management have continually de-valued the trades’ rank & file tradespersons to the point of being little more than a temp agency today.  

  • From what our wages could buy in the 70’s compared to today – huge reduction!
  • Rank & file wages heavily subsidize the use of contractors’ crack.
  • Rank & file contribute hourly to management associations to run their affairs.
  • Growing numbers of failing pensions and huge health & welfare costs. The management alliances will not pay directly into a defined benefit much longer.
  • The management alliance dictates the manner and type of agreement they may sign, whether that be a PLA, participation agreements, participation agreements where the staffing company (not a typo) is involved in the participation agreement and even cash that is part of the deal – and NOT cash paid by the non-union.
  • Work conditions imposed and not negotiated whatsoever. Take it or hit the road.
  • Working on sites along side of non- and even anti-union workers. Fixing non-union errors as a matter of course.
  • Mandated tests and personnel information of every type, from union tradespersons in excess of those needed and/or negotiated.
  • As close to zero as possible regarding any grievance procedures for the rank & file.
  • Per diem and overtime pay dictated to the rank & file and retreating to less and less.
  • Restrictions by the union in hiring and bringing in union workers.
  • Hands-off policies mandated by the inner circle of the construction alliance on potential organizing strategies.
  • Consider, why do we see huge increases in double-breasted non-union companies?  

ANYTHING that would threaten those senior alliances between the IP’s and construction management had to be addressed. The trades split organizing and marketing into 2 realms in the field. In most areas they cancel each other out and the budget and training for field personnel is incomplete by design. The NABTU (North American Building Trades Union) gummed up the works with Value on Display and Breslin’s BS – then they threw in the term “skilled workers” to play on our pride and left those in the field to fend for themselves and keeping them out of the way of the alliance-building.

Meanwhile, international-level marketing reps build alliances with management BEHIND the scenes to advance an IP’s alliance du jour. Some of those alliances today are hydrogen, wind generation, offsite prefabrication, etc. Reverse engineer these. Look at the initiatives around North America over time. Two steps forward, which serves management’s goals for a period of time (alliance du jour) and then 3 steps backward when management is done with the trades. REPEAT over a few decades and you understand losing IP style. Every single construction sector has LOST union market share over this time period, even accounting for technology in construction delivery.

Organizing, marketing, Value on Display – each in their own way needed to be throttled at the District Council and Building Trades level of local and state building trades. The “good cop/bad cop” of the Internationals and the NABTU is straight out of a movie!

How both Value on Display and bottom-up are used is a longstanding ruse perpetrated by the senior-most building trades officers.

Yes, a ruse, which is intended to deceive. For the “good ole boys” at the top it has always been about building alliances with construction management. Of course, they must have the rank & file organizers and marketers doing SOMETHING! So, field organizers run on the gerbil wheel until exhausted. Then the next gerbil is loaded up and the ruse continues.

Bottom-up was NOT designed for transient work forces – we need to get that thru our thick skulls. With 1099’s, temp workers, cash and borrowed workers, winning an election is very challenging. Add in that our field organizers are ineptly or barely trained (by design?) and the cake is baked. With the modularization and miniaturization era ramping up in field construction, by the time we see a “winning” (low percentage even in the hands of a tested organizer) RC petition fully processed and then “successful “negotiations with the employer, those worker groups will no longer exist.

 Labor Rising has trained hundreds of full-time organizers from the field and what they don’t know is staggering for 90% of them. Next to zero training in what & how to use SIC codes, credit reports, opposition research, cyber-organizing, what secondary and recognition are, HIRING law (a complete void in training), Gissel Order, 10(j), salts & peppers, how the NLRB works, building a war room and coordinating multiple campaigns, etc. – GET THE PICTURE? Not their fault – this is on the International.

Bannering, blow up rat, maybe some ULPs and some cards signed – that is the playbook! Organizers pursuing bottom-up are now recruiters, mostly by design & default. The Internationals see it as a way to strip non-union and then bring in those who say they wanted to be union and maybe even signed a card. Turnover in construction is second only to retail at 68.6% vs. 69.7% respectively. All the rah-rah BS at the organizing & marketing meetings is designed to keep an organizer RECRUITING! With retention slipping below 1:1 – bodies, any bodies, are needed. How do the trades win when 90% of well-intended passionate organizers are set up to fail by design? The training by the internationals leaves them unprepared to win and the window for the trades is closing for bottom-up. How would you like to be the Secretary of Labor (DOL)? The rest of labor will use the DOL & NLRB effectively for building worker energy & wins. The trades organizers, with their poor training, will fail time after time and may blame the NLRB! THE NLRB DOES NOT ORGANIZE –WE DO! Will the trades go thru another “turn & burn” phase of frustrated organizers throwing paper at the NLRB?

Our Founders used bottom-up in production and fabrication, seldom if ever in the field. They used strikes, sit ins, boycotts, rallies, etc. Our FOUNDERS went after the “wallet” of those to be unionized! Labor Rising is the 21st century version of our Founders’ mission. We train to go after the clients, credit and social/business perception of these companies. Inside of a developed Compression Zone are those non-/anti-union construction entities we want and those we do not want. Labor Rising seldom trains to go after the sub and even the general. We get after the senior most decision makers wallet until they make the changes we want.

THIS RUNS SMACK INTO THE IP’s ALLIANCE TERRITORY, hence why they have good reason to resent the Labor Rising training. We are built to win CONTRACTORS or get them replaced, signed and/or PUT OUT OF BUSINESS! Put enough pressure on the end-user, developer, construction manager and IT WILL happen – sometimes with a phone call/meeting from the above management.

As for Value on Display – if our organizers in the field are undertrained by design and merely try to sell the services of our trades, their talking points HAVE NOT changed since the late 90’s. 49 of Labor Rising’s 243 blogs are VOD-specific. We have zero need to restate what is apparent to non-union contractors. The trades only have to look at total market share since inception of VOD – it is a loser designed so it DOES NOT encroach on the alliances and those who maintain them. Marketers, while well-intentioned, have little to no understanding of business. The IP’s know this and do not change that dynamic, although surely they could IF they wanted to!

Labor Rising’s 3-part plan for the trades to move with the times and win again on behalf of working families:

Part 1 – Throw the Carpenters OUT!

Part 2 – Create several Construction Managements to operate in the world of modularization and miniaturization!

Part 3 – Marshall the rank & file in viable, direct ways to transfer the power of the alliance back to the workers. This will be the focus of the next blog.  It can be done – let’s see if the membership has the fortitude to do it!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising

Change is a Six-Letter Word that Evokes Self-Doubt in our International Presidents –

Thankfully, that was not the case for Brother Brent Emons. Throughout his career as an Ironworker BM/Agent for Local 8, he consistently demonstrated willingness to change as needed. He put in place strategies & solutions that worked and made his trade, and other trades, viable in the Milwaukee area and all-around Wisconsin. Oftentimes he maneuvered those changes by himself, after which he went to the other trades to propose or pitch what he felt would work for them too. CCM or Complete Construction Manager was but one of many visionary strategies he proposed. There are those who talk a good game and very few that actually do what’s necessary. Let’s consider what CCM can do for the entire trade movement now that the industrial modularization era is here!

What can CCM, or a company more aptly named along the lines of industrial modularization, do for the trades today? First, clearly we need hours and jobs to stay in the construction game in the next couple of decades and beyond if we are sharp about it!

What is a DISRUPTOR? The article link below is an easy to medium read and the one Labor Rising picked to clearly explain what is happening right now:  https://constructible.trimble.com/construction-industry/9-construction-industry-trends-that-define-the-next-normal We are using our full Mailchimp index with this and future blogs and will reach out to approximately 11,000 tradespersons and officers. We know that most Rank & File generally won’t read a long blog, much less this attached article. However, our 11,000 direct contacts, along with those resulting from our membership in 72 FB groups totaling nearly 323,000 participants, should get this article on the map. It is to that end we will go the full monte because Part 3 of Labor Rising’s solutions depends on it. So, we will swing for the fences! If you value your career, pension & H&W as both as a R&F member or as an officer, consider getting up to speed before this train runs us over – thank you.

The question or challenge becomes why can’t the Building Trades be a disruptor?

An internal locus of control is defined by psychologists as the belief that our successes and failures mainly result from things we do. People and organizations with an external locus of control believe their successes and failures are mainly determined by forces outside themselves.

We call ourselves professionals, so DAMMIT, BE A PROFESSIONAL CUSTOMER-DRIVEN UNION CONTRACTOR. We call ourselves a business, so, LET’S BE A BUSINESS!!! Take and use the initiative from within.

The world of construction is again at an inflection point. Industrial level modularization is NOT a passing fad. However, it can be a BIG-TIME entry point for the trades should they cease the moment. Almost all that has come before in how we build is essentially invalid starting now! These markets are the starting point: healthcare & senior housing, low-income housing, commercial office building to 30 floors, multi-floor residential condos to 30 floors, student housing, hotels and a few more types of buildings.

The hours for the trades will fall precipitously each year starting in approximately 3 years from 2021 in these sectors. Labor Rising has totally changed our program to reflect what organizing can look like starting this year to catch up and be ahead of that timetable.                                                                               

Technology has caught up to the archaic way we have built to date. Block chain is replacing the financial aspect of securing jobs and the timetable and number of meetings. When Labor Rising first used the word OS2, few believed that we stated it correctly. They thought it to be a misprint! All industries are light years ahead of this operating system and yet this is a quantum leap for construction.

Trades will no longer have leverage to get a job either on the inside or outside because it is no longer  the pyramid type build . All sectors above will be done in an assembly line industrial setting and shipped for installation!

Carbon-based workers will give way to silicon-based construction practices for much of what we do now.

Alternatively, CCM can:

  • Become a player in the construction industry – not an entity looking in from the outside – hopefully finding a niche when none will otherwise exist.
  • Be the corporate partner to the building and installing of these modules. A construction manager brings all the services together necessary to that end. A company like CCM allows for us to do just that.
  • Work directly with industrial players – cut out current CM/GC. Yes, cut out! CURT stills need existing facilities to be refitted and service plant shutdowns. CCM can do that job with far less expense using union trades. CCM does NOT have to mark up the job at all if it so chooses. NO ONE can compete with a union-owned construction company. We know every facility and can be hugely effective. Since it is all about money – then let it be all about our money!
  • Be one point of contact for sales – not 14 different unions with various agendas to work with from an owner’s or construction manager’s point of view. This is by definition a PLA. Carpenters are in or out. However, that applies for ALL work with the union owned CCM and outside of CCM for the carpenters.
  • Mega projects and industrial use of CCM.
  • Be a vehicle for non-union areas. CCM can hire non-union contractors and have them double breast back to a union CBA in an area – or they may use a participation agreement.

Also:  

  • CCM is a for profit company, not a 501c; however, we can cut our price to just pay overhead & operating expenses and box out our for-profit competitors until they fold their tent(s) and go out of business. A different type of organizing! CCM can hold profit if and when that point is reached. What it can do with profits is very flexible. The trades can have several specialty type CCM’s tailored to fit an industry’s need.
  • Stock can only be redeemed at purchase price; however, they can lose value if CCM has a political leadership instead of true construction professionals at the helm. This would be a huge test to the IPs’ collective egos.
  • Develop attractive hiring packages for senior CCM leaders to compete in industry. Get the best people who will excel with changes in an industrial modularization & miniaturization world and put them in place.
  • Hide in the weeds – existing corporate laws cannot be changed without affecting current companies. Get it?
  • Funding for stocks can come from all sorts of marketing losers, such as market recovery funds, advertising, travel junkets and far more. Locals, DC’s and internationals can buy stocks and cannibalize those funds where the return on them is at or almost zero!
  • Provide bonding and insurance to job and underlying contractors.
  • Be signatory contractor to the various contractor associations which the trades belong too.
  • Be an OCIP – CCIP for workers comp and make a lot of $$$ on that, which is presently done all the time.
  • For our signatory contractors, CCM cannot at this point in time hire workers directly, so you will be on the job doing what you do best.
  • CCM is a vehicle for use on pension funds’ real estate investments to build union and also hire CCM to do it!
  • Hours will be coming in and union pensions, H&W and general funds can heal themselves with a CCM concept.

Now let us take a combined deep breath and really play.

  • Temp agencies, according to reported numbers, made approximately $161 BILLION in revenues in 2019 in the U.S. They are a big pain in organizers’ asses, as are 1099’s – kind of the same thing. Almost certainly, the trades could make Labor Secretary Walsh’s NLRB life easier by being a true temp company for construction and various industrial needs!
  • 36% of that revenue in 2019 was for industrial temp – much of it being for construction temp hires! How would the trades like a piece of that pie?
  • CCM, or more exactly a variation of it, can provide skilled hardcore construction pros to the construction & industrial industry. Understandably, Most Favored Nations clauses need to be upheld and/or revisited. Having said that, the world of construction is 87% non/anti-union. The markup for overhead and profit of the temp agency hovers around 1.1 and higher depending on skills that are needed. So, for example: If the temp worker is dispatched and paid at $18 per hour, and the temp agency charges another 1.1 markup fee for overhead and profit – do the math. $18 x 1.1 = $19.8 to the temp agency plus the $18 paid to temp worker adds up to $37.80 per hour.
  • We have solid skilled workers (journeypersons & apprentices) all over North America that should be out working, and they are stuck waiting on a list at the hall. Once on the list they have to file for unemployment and do any number of side jobs to survive. The entire North American continent needs them. WTF am I missing here? They stay on the list and keep their spot, but in the interim can be dispatched to any number of assignments. CCM, or whatever we chose to call the union-owned temp service, does not need to pull $37.80 or more. The union-owned temp company needs little profits – only overhead. The union worker on the list will make less than full scale more often than not, but far more than they make on unemployment. We will need to work hard to throw some money into H&W, even if partial hours can be bought to keep a member as solvent as possible in their H&W. The journeyperson may whine and cry a bit (OMG they can not have steak and Coors) but they don’t go broke either. Over a career they will smooth out their lives, career earning & roller coaster life in the trades big time without major breaks in service.
  • They can also be sent to service, maintenance and industrial groups outside of Most Favored Nations circumstances. North America is jam packed with expansive areas that have zero union presence! We won’t even be salts. We will just do our jobs. And when we show other workers what unions can do and the money that can be made, as well as the training received, the rest will fall in line with some work. Historically, we claim that relationships foster acceptance of unions; so, create a structure of when, who and how we service those partnering with CCM and Building Trades unions. Union tradespersons work non-union ALL the time. We say let’s formulize it to benefit the customer and us. Non-union is not anti-union!
  • We can make contractors out of our members. Some have tried, mostly in vain to do this, but most of the local unions that try – go through the motions resulting in window dressing. However, locals such as IBEW 103 is not window dressing – they have grown big numbers of contractors from their membership. Call them and see what they have accomplished. Whatever the F*@# they are doing, it’s working, so try to work as hard as they do! Little becomes big!
  • Plumbers 911 had/have the right idea; however, in doing our research they have too many moving parts. One call is all a typical customer is willing to make. ONE! No patience for “Well, we have to do this step and then that step and yada yada yada. One call!
  • With a CCM vehicle(s) the trades corporations can operationalize the business jargon like free, exclusive, easy, limited, get, guaranteed, best, etc.

All of the above comments have been done in the trades. They are not Labor Rising’s ideas. Often LR CANNOT put the proper name(s) on those that deserve the credit and have done much because they are under duress from guess who? Brent is not such a person.

Labor Rising is the combination of “ALL” good work done by many others that is incorporated into Labor Rising’s training, which reflects both where we are, but more importantly, where we need to go! Our training program is totally getting revamped to fit the times. If we keep doing the status quo and/or hope for a “Hail Mary” we will die!

Why did CCM cease doing business in the mid 90’s (fair question)? CCM was in the “black” within 18 months after startup. They had the attention of the newly minted CM’s in the area, along with the GC’s. Many of the trades that were signed with the GC’s put pressure on the unions to terminate being their competitors. Brent Emons ceased his input regarding CCM due to personal reasons. Since CCM made its point to the Wisconsin and Milwaukee world of construction, the current board decided to cash out and returned every penny to the trades owning stock. In hindsight, that decision may have been short-sighted. But that is armchair quarterbacking. Today is not 30 years ago! Also, as LR has trained hundreds of unions we have found other creative mechanisms that no internationals appear to have entertained.

FINALLY – 😊 The Carpenters have dissolved St. Louis DC and shipped its 20,000 members to Chicago. If you believe for a moment that it was because of the political doings of the then St. Louis boss, you may want to revisit that thinking. In short order there will be more consolidations and the carpenters have to be extremely flexible in their new role as labor partner to the era of industrial modularization. They have chosen to be servants.

We, the trades, can chose to be owners and model the correct labor/management future of construction.

Co-ops do it all the time and many are massive. Why not us? Hey IP’s – play big for once in your lives and make the FOUNDING fathers & mothers proud!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising

Brent Emons – Milwaukee BT – CCM – Hours –

Labor Rising readers meet Brother Brent. Brent is the creator and author of CCM (Complete Construction Manager), which was a Construction Manager exclusively owned by the Milwaukee Building Trades in the early 1990’s. In our next blog we’ll provide more detail on his bio, as well as how valuable these concepts are to address the current state facing the building trades.  In preparation for our next informative blog – review the links provided at the end of this blog, as they demonstrate some of the legal work involved – you’re sure to come away with appreciation for the work needed to produce these documents and strategies.

Introducing CCM which is part 2 of a 3-part blog geared to solutions for the Building Trades in the era of industrial modularization and miniaturization.

Part one dealt with the carpenters. In summary, get rid of them throughout North America and declare their jurisdiction vacant and enforce it! Forget all the sob stories. Leaving the carpenters quasi-affiliated and on the margins in many areas will result in the balance of the trades being odd-trade(s)-out of construction as the decade unfolds.

Part 2 has EVERYTHING to do with hours – those that will be lost in the upcoming decade and how specifically to replace and even increase them!

Brent is a visionary in the world of organizing and building a union market. He doesn’t just talk – he solves issues with structured actions and strategic thinking. He has a proven track record of CBA’s signed, along with measurable hours of work added by strategic actions of organizing. CCM is just part of that track record. In LR’s opinion, probably the most important of many.

These are the sectors which are at the core of the first wave of using industrial level modularization: healthcare, senior housing, low-income housing, commercial office building to 30 floors, multi-floor residential condos to 30 floors, student housing, hotels, and a few other types of buildings. It is not a coincidence whatsoever that these markets were picked. They make money and can be produced on an industrial scale on a factory floor. Simply put, they are the low hanging fruit of industrial level modularization and will make big $$$$ well past what they do now for disruptors and investors. A lot more!!

Since most locals throughout the trades rely heavily on the hours in the above sectors to a high degree, a train wreak is coming down the pike for the trades. Perhaps the Boilermakers are less affected in the early years, but the rest of the trades are on the track already!

A consistent loss of 10% to 15% of hours and more year over year and even so-called healthy pensions and H&W funds go on the chopping block. This isn’t fear mongering – it is math. The trades MIGHT be able to take that kind of hit short term; however, the more hours your local loses in the above markets, the quicker those funds WILL fail! As union leaders and trustees, back those hours out of your funds calculations starting in approximately 3 years and see what the real hard numbers tell you. The sooner you do this the better for your participants and union members. You cannot smooth these lost hours for very long. They are not coming back! This calculation will move the “good ole boys”, or perhaps give rise to new leaders. In many areas the effects of modularization will be even sooner. Time is not on the side of the trades’ pension, H&W and general funds.

For locals doing heavy industrial work, modularization and miniaturization WILL have a parallel action; however, those are big hour jobs. Take even a couple jobs off the books or have substantially reduced hours and what happens to the pensions, H&W and general funds? And it will be more than just a couple of jobs.

The pyramid style of running construction projects is dead and/or dying NOW. It is over – we need to get that thru our thick skulls. As the Marines say, “adapt & overcome”. Just being a temp agency with best-in-class training and appeasement of management is not enough in the era unfolding!

The sheer number of total constructors and workers, union or not, is going to be put into a shredder. At a projected loss of 60% to 80% of total skilled workers & HOURS no longer needed in the above sectors going forward, where & specifically how are the locals, DC’s and internationals going to replace those hours?

This introductory blog tees up CCM (Complete Construction Management) for our next blog.

Value on Display professes to be “business oriented” – we (the trades) are “professionals”, and we interact with “customers” in the construction world. We appear to be totally confused about how to operationalize the above business words, nor do we make effective use of other business vernacular, such as free, exclusive, easy, limited, get, guaranteed, best, etc. VOD is a total joke as a strategy and as a business proposition. Measurable hours and market share for VOD’s entire history is conclusive— IT IS A LOSER!

Why? Because if you asked each local, DC or international marketing rep to write down, in their own words, what the Value on Display strategy is, how confident are you that they would be consistent?

CCM was designed far ahead of its time to use true business terminologies & actions in the correct context and setting. As for HOURS: CCM will turn a train wreck into a bullet train if the senior leaders will adapt and overcome!

LINKS HERE:

Articles of CCM Incorporation: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwsE741khfQsVeXn?e=IFalzF

Business Plan: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwpYNOemTE-Y2Ha-?e=MJlNqF

Bylaws: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwiX19QC-CoRGe6y?e=xGSEiX

Meeting Notes 1: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwdBj6Y1yfAZc0KQ?e=LzDtPP

Meeting Notes 2: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwZdP0LFjmkN3_ko?e=OSGxVa

Meeting Notes 3: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwXAkJLCSaqUzW-R?e=Zgq0X2

Stockholders Meetings: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwMHqF1hPTzYGu5S?e=tda61W

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising