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Consolidation Contraction & Roll-ups – Organizing Part 9 –

As we all know, Value on Display (VOD) as a strategy to improve market share has proven to be a disaster. Every number that can be measured over decades clearly indicates this.

VOD has several major weaknesses. Let’s discuss one of the major ones.

Consolidation, contraction & roll-ups of companies and contractors. For the last couple of decades contractors have been consolidating in total numbers, contracting in total hours needed to do a job and being rolled-up by bigger regional/national companies/contractors for their book of business. According to business experts, if contractors aren’t in the top tier of competitive spots, they will not have enough market to support work, so they look or will be merged, dissolved or sold off in parts. Markets like industrial, maintenance, new construction, etc., are all consolidating, contracting & being rolled-up.

This is a big deal because the trades should be putting their thumbs on the scale to influence which contractors survive to the next round and which lapse into history – from the largest national CMs down to the local subcontracting markets. We have left the companies/contractors to their own devices in this regard – even though every number says this is at our own demise.

With VOD we talk to everyone in the world of construction oblivious to measurable facts that they are using union trades less & less. Setting aside the legal jeopardy of recognition and secondary activities, this is a stupid business plan. As an example, if you reverse engineer who are the top-players in the construction management for fee firms – the numbers clearly are trending in the non- and even anti-union direction. Same for all levels of construction services provided – NET!

Here is a link to the ENR Top 100 list of construction managers for fee. https://www.enr.com/toplists/2018-Top-100-CM-for-Fee-Firms  VOD is spread far too thin in talking to all the players in this group along with all the significant GCs and subs regionally and nationally. If the trades do their homework, we could distill this list of CMs and other sectors down to those companies/contractors that are likely to use or who do NOT use union labor on their jobs. Much of the homework will lead to the bigger companies in the “pinch point” – the CURT represented contractors. Since every number that can be measured clearly demonstrates that CURT is the primary problem, why do we talk to those reps? The notion of “we have to” is crazy! They use the info we provide them in a so-called collaborative way, and over decades AGAINST THE TRADES! Box them out – keep them in the dark. Create UNCERTAINTY in the CURT ranks. Uncertainty is a killer in the world of construction – capitalize on it and perfect it.

If you, as labor, doubt this, here is a test for you. Go to the next round of labor/management/tripartite style meetings with companies that are using more and more non-union, or those entities that have you sign PLAs, so the trades are prohibited from organizing other sites or jobs. Be polite and professional; however, do not answer question after question on the very important matters to management – pertaining to the job. Use weasel words like “I’ll get back to you” – “let me study it” – “we hear your concerns”, etc. Leave and keep them hanging. They will get very agitated. HOWEVER, the trades can only do this when they have several layers/punches of strategy to deliver to those CURT contractors both on and OFF the job. Don’t put the cart before the horse!

UNCERTAINTY – it is an albatross to CURT and all stripes of contractor associations. They need to remove uncertainty in how the job will proceed for their respective clients/customers to the highest degree possible. Doing so is worth a lot of money to them! No bluffing on this, do your homework and develop strategies for a given contractor/market in writing. Quit being chumps under the guise of collaboration! For the markets that have demonstrated that they are trending away from the trades, ask yourself, “Why are we complicit with helping those entities at our own destruction?”

Promoting companies/contractors that use union trades or are trending in that direction, and exclusively them, puts our thumb on the scales in a dramatic way. As contractor’s roll-up and contract into a smaller nucleus core of contractors, the trades should facilitate who we work with and why – and why can’t just be to get hours. That has been a disaster. It is not a long-term sustainable strategy. We know the history and sentiments of the contractors and need to act on it. This is measurable.

Our plan should focus on eliminating and/or severely curtailing the business plan and profits of any company/contractor that is blatantly anti- and even trending to non-union. AND – quit meeting with their representatives. Let them use intermediaries – like our own contractors and others to get information to us.

In bid packages – a CM that is anti-union or trending that way also uses a GC and subs that are likewise non-/anti-union. An entire rats nest and we continue to talk to them. We in the trades are working against our own best interest.

Up and down the spectrum of the contractors’ chain, we as trades need to penalize the anti-union entities both ON and OFF the job. To the extent possible, the trades need to work hard to penalize the senior-most decision makers in the chain. Grab them hard by the wallet – go after their clients, credit and social footprint, or the perception they would like to present to the world! We don’t need to lie or spin it. As bad actors, their own skeletons in their closets will do them in. But you must know how to stay out of the legal jeopardy to bring this into the clients’/customers’/publics’ awareness!

This is exactly what Labor Rising and Labor Combat instructs on. The “Compression Zone(s)” is a sector of the total market broken down into who we will and will not work with and who we will penalize in every way possible ON and OFF the job. We will put forth a strategy to impact their business plans and limit their growth – and in the best-case scenario, put them out of business. Hell, our Founders would do that in a heartbeat when they could. Companies do it to each other daily. Why do our trades’ senior leaders continue to work with anti-union contractors/customers when every number show doing so is a loser! The trades are working with CLCC in Canada and in the U.S. – our own homegrown anti-union entities are on the jobs alongside of us!

Why are we always cleaning up the anti-/non-unions screw ups on the job? Quit it! The nonsense that we can show the “client” of the anti-/non-union contractor how good we are has been ludicrous for decades. Let the non-/anti-union contractors/companies and their clients get hammered in delays, cost over-runs and liquidated damages. Put the “client” in the position to hire a manager that gets it done right the next time. Why do the trades keep getting played more and more and hired only to do the most technical aspects of the job? We are training the non-union in every aspect of how to do it on future jobs! The numbers are crystal clear on this. Snap the f@#* out of it! This is entirely measurable in all environments and economic conditions.

In the upcoming Labor Rising Organizing Blogs, we will instruct on how to develop a union’s, district council’s and international’s Compression Zone(s). Specifically, who to work with (almost entirely our union contractors) and enhance that ability far past concessions so they are “competitive”. This is the race to the bottom which the trades are leading – we are becoming nothing more than a temp agency. Our contractors want raised market share with solid labor rates. Conversely the trades want to know who to cripple and to wreck their existing business plan – to limit their growth – so, anti-union and strong non-union contractors. And, who is on the bubble – which will be most contractors (NET) across North America and mostly made up of non-union contractors.

When the trades can eject the bad boy contractors and/or be a junk yard dog to their business plan and profits, some may come around. However, most will die and that opens significant market share for our union contractors and tradespersons. It is a valid business reason for some of the non-union filling that void of collapsed contractors to sign a CBA. More market share at stable labor rates and training; and, of course, the trades not going after their business model in a negative way.

Someone in the next decade is going to be the net loser. Right now, all bets are that it is the unionized trades sector. And with using VOD as the current strategy, it’s not a bad bet. Or it can be the anti-union and non-union contractors. Pick a side International Presidents. Will we promote a strong middle class again or a class of working poor? This is going to happen on your watch – the millennials want an authentic Labor MOVEMENT; not the BS VOD business union. That’s not worth fighting for – it is a check, and a diminishing one at that! They are not coming our way until we return to the mission of activism and collective action. Founders and history are watching.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising/Labor Combat

 

For Organizing Parts 1 thru 8 – go to www.laborrising.com and click on the Blog tab.

Building Trade Owned and Operated Construction Management Company – Organizing Part 8 –

A brief history: Nearly 30 years ago the Milwaukee Building Trades Council put into place a Construction Management Company called CCM (Complete Construction Management). It was designed by Brother Brent Emons to combat the construction managers then coming into being.

A construction manager’s entire purpose is to reduce costs to the end-user/clients they are working for, along with making a very substantial profit themselves – adding yet another layer to the total cost of the project.

Take a guess where the money comes from to achieve the 2 purposes above. If you guessed union contractors and union wages, you’d be right! This is big reason why we continue to have all the specialty agreements along with the increased use of PLAs (Project Labor Agreements), with more and more concessions and less and less market share. Can’t get blood from a turnip much longer! 

This concept of CCM was nearly 30 years ahead of its time and is very viable today. In most Building Trades Councils that Labor Rising visits, it is the for-profit construction managers that are squeezing the unions off the jobs acting on behalf of their clients. The “good cop – bad cop” games played between the end-user, developer, construction manager and the general contractor are consistently pitting one union against another, and union vs non-union.

CCM was created by Brent to get union contractors and union workers on the job in Milwaukee. CCM also acted as a PLA for the job long before PLAs were around and provided craft integrity and jurisdictional resolution. It would be the construction manager of choice for any union pension-funded jobs. Many real estate managers take union pension funds and build quite a few projects with non-union. That has been going on for decades. CCM would be a force to bid public and private funded jobs of all types. It was fully implemented and up and running and was hated by the for-profit construction managers.

CCM was in the “black” by its third year. It sent a clear and powerful message to the CMs then coming into business and their clients. 30 years ago, much of the construction was done union in Milwaukee – so a deal was made to suspend CCM because it truly would compete with for-profit CM on just too many jobs.

If the Building Trades leadership resurrected this strategy for areas that could use it, the for-profit construction managers business model and profit margins will be in jeopardy. This matters because the for profit construction managers represent a big part of the cost of the job to the end-user/client! The Building Trades with substantially lower profit margins become competitive with the for-profits CMs.                                                                         

The for-profit CMs are going to hate this; however, in a lot of areas throughout the country this is the only vehicle available to use to get unions on a job NOW! Many other areas need a competitive tool to market unions and their contractors in entire regions and sectors. Value on Display has clearly not been able to dent these markets.

This is not theory or “what if.” The documents exist intact to provide the platform to move quickly and decisively to implement CCM in today’s environment. Building Trades Councils can be construction managers if done properly.

It thwarts nearly all anti-union initiatives at all state and federal levels because of its structure! RTW and most of the current anti-union legislation is thwarted and can go to hell!

As to how to fund CCM, look at our current budgets for political activity, labor/management relations, the use of contractors’ crack (aka market recapture funds, won’t need them any longer), representational and market development activities – all which have NOT led to increased market share “net”. All or part of these budgets can be redeployed “if” we develop Union Construction Management entities. Now that’s a real Value-Added concept – a WIN/WIN scenario for all but the CM. So sad!

As an example, I’ve recently been in Washington State and Pennsylvania, and in both of those states the middle is infested with anti/non-union contractors. Other states have similar situations and this concept can change that. Think RTW states and low market share states, a clear majority. Think sectors of industrial and maintenance we are locked out of, and we now would have the vehicle to get back into those markets.

Underfunded pensions would be the clear winner with a Union Owned Construction Manager.  Because the union owned CCM can set profits margins far below industry standards – for profit CMs could not compete. Any threat by them would be met by a viable competitor – The Building Trades.

We have enough contractors, supervisors, workers, funding and clients to do this. Any non-union contractor that would want to bid on jobs would HAVE TO sign a CBA.

CURT would be very interested in this concept because right now they pay for a dumpster being moved on a job. The paperwork/costs are off the charts to end-users. We could set a negotiated rate far more competitive than the for profit CMs CURT uses! And we could pay real packages. This is not pie in the sky – it can happen.

The “sword” can cut both ways, and what is a dying Building Trades relationship with all industries could flip very dramatically. We have been on CURT’s jobs for decades and know every nook and screw up. If our numbers are well below those of existing CMs – WELL, it’s all about money and a job done well and on time.

The entire legal framework exists, which is hundreds of legal hours necessary for CCM to be viable. Done, and still viable per the lawyers who have reviewed them! They are being made available by Brother Emons thru Labor Rising to again provide a forceful, real world solution to increase market share before we are dead. The Building Trades at the local, state and national levels can be our own legal construction managers thru consortiums of regional and national unions and building trades! Think of the Gulf States with a Building Trades CCM and many other parts of the U.S. The lawyers would have to chime in on if this can be done in Canada.

Why are 14 International Presidents & the President of NABTU still refusing to do this even in heavy non and anti-union areas and industries? What the hell is going on? They keep saying they want to do something BOLD & GAME CHANGING – well here it is!

The CCM document includes:

A complete Business Plan. Statement of Purpose. Business Philosophy. Policy & Goals. Overview of the Business. Operations. Timetable & Funding. Competition. Promotion Strategy. Management of Company. Organizational Chart. Strengths & Weaknesses. Complete Market Survey of Target Area. 5 Year Budget.

READ THESE! Quick fluid read(s) that will renew our pride as builders! Thank you Brother Emons for the vision.

The Articles of Incorporation are completely done and living.

It is a potent weapon for those Building Trades Councils aggressive enough to pursue it, with minimal downside risk.

Articles of Incorporation –    https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=20B7C846BD8B8E62!4091&authkey=!AOLovtNorbitcQ0&ithint=file%2cpdf    

Business Plan of CCM –

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=20B7C846BD8B8E62!4095&authkey=!AC5adMs3LjYq448&ithint=file%2cpdf   

Bylaws of CCM –

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=20B7C846BD8B8E62!4096&authkey=!AH1pjd4PrdA50II&ithint=file%2cpdf       

Shareholders Meeting of CCM –

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=20B7C846BD8B8E62!4093&authkey=!AHd1LEVzccM0_Bw&ithint=file%2cpdf  

Meeting Notes of CCM #1 –

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=20B7C846BD8B8E62!4097&authkey=!AK4LcK9Whc4I2ec&ithint=file%2cpdf   

Meeting Notes of CCM #2 –

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=20B7C846BD8B8E62!4094&authkey=!APLnoyRadbraz7g&ithint=file%2cpdf   

Meeting Notes of CCM #3 –

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=20B7C846BD8B8E62!4092&authkey=!AGDOJj0T-UAEmfk&ithint=file%2cpdf

Share with Building Trades leaders in your area & state. You may have to cut & paste links.

For Organizing Parts 1 thru 7, go to www.laborrising.com and click on the blog tab.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising/Labor Combat

The Infamous “They” the Building Trades Presidents Bow Down Too – Organizing Part 7 –

The title says it all. Georgine and his group of International Presidents from the mid 70’s were the first to capitulate to the Business Roundtable. Most of the specialty agreements we see today had their roots then. So, NMA is a good example. National Maintenance Agreement. Since then the good ole boys club, one after another, have perfected capitulating to management.

The Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) was created from The Business Roundtable in 2000 for the express purpose of dealing with the Building Trades’ senior leadership on CURT’s terms! The BT win-win scenario of labor/management has NEVER panned out in ANY number anywhere! We got played – move on Brother Presidents if your egos will let you. “THEY” – THESE ARE THE CURT COMPANIES IN THE PINCH POINT!

Former General President J.C. Turner of the Operators International authored a White Paper in 1997 titled “The Business Roundtable and American Labor” (link attached) on “they”. He thoroughly set forth what the trades would look like today if they did not heed his words and analysis of the Business Roundtable, which is now CURT for construction. This is the only GP I would have liked to have worked for or with.  https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcgqyK4It5U8aRX-AAu?e=5DhLn2

As reasonable people in the Building Trades, we consider stuff like collaboration and marketing. But it has long ago given way to capitulation to and appeasement of management. In contrast, businesses focus on weakness, opportunities and information to be acquired and used to exploit workers for higher profits.

So, let’s exam who benefits when a marketing rep/organizer continues to use the Value on Display approach to increased market share.

First, it’s a smart business model for the non/anti-union contractor/end-user to have the trades pursue them with their Value on Display proposition. When our reps are busy trying to build a relationship and sell the non- and even the anti-union on using union labor, the rep/organizer is not out doing other concerted activities that may have a real impact on the non/anti-union end-users’/developers’ bottom line and business model. (Screw the small potatoes subs – they do what they are told by the money). We are less likely to be defending workers’ rights to a living wage and demonstrating to the community that the non/anti-union contractors’ business model may in fact be detrimental to workers and communities.

Second, because we are pursuing the non/anti-union end-user directly, we waive all secondary activity that may be available to the building trades. In addition, when we are talking to the non-union contractor, we are in fact looking for RECOGNITION of our union. Once it is established by the bad guys that this is our intent (even if it is a lie), then all secondary activity is off the table – period! One call to the NLRB and we’re gone! Get this – it is a big deal!

Third, we expose to the non-union contractor/end-user the inner workings of a local union all the way up to the international. They see turnover of reps and their abilities, temperament and habits. They can develop and implement strategies based on defeating ours.

Fourth, to sell our value, we as building trades address the things we like to hear such as “we are highly skilled” and “we have great safety training.” Put your business hat on. What the non-union contractor/end-user hears is the structure of state-of-the-art training and safety programs that they can copy and adopt in the comfort of their office and on the cheap. The non-union contractor asks questions and gets inside information so they can copy our programs for their own use. Check some of their websites under the Safety tab and you’ll find the trades’ safety stuff, sometimes word-for-word, as if by coincidence. The non-union can’t do the safety, but they can incorporate the correct language in their bid submissions. An example is IRAP apprenticeships initiatives launched to defeat our apprenticeships. We have provided information on every component of the building trades, which is readily accessible to all contractors, union or not. Meetings go on endlessly, or so they appear to those of us in the Building Trades, by design of CURT. For the contractors, it is an endless supply of information and delay, with layers of legal hurdles for labor, and all they have to say is “Let’s have yet another meeting?” The trades accommodate every need of management, and then concede on packages and conditions. Can we say chump? On the other hand, ask any contractor about their business model or to open their books and you would be told to go to Hell.

Who in the above scenarios has the advantage in the Value on Display strategy? The Building Trades with approx. 10% of the market share and declining, or the non/anti-union? Win-Win -RIGHT!

The inception of Value on Display was a gift of immense proportions to CURT. A better Trojan horse has never been built since Troy.

How CURT would destroy the Building Trades past transferring union contractors & workers via recruiting – they would employ attorneys to fight the trades at every turn.

Know your anti-union law firms and consultants, because they know you well. If you Google Union Avoidance you will get an idea of the extent to which the non/anti-union, and yes even union contractors/end-users, will go to be union free. Before any meeting with union organizers, market development reps or agents, most anti/non-union contractors have already made a rigid determination not to work with unions. They meet with us to establish Recognition/Secondary activities, and to remove as much UNCERTAINTY regarding what labor might do as the project moves forward. It then limits, to a very high degree, what the trades can do in the future. It narrows our playbook of available concerted activities going forward. How many times have market reps been falsely PROMISED some work in the future? They also learn all the latest and greatest in safety and training and at times identify those key individuals within our ranks for future possible recruitment. Check LinkedIn – see the constant flow of former reps/agents now working with a company/contractor.

Who is paying the fees to these firms? 

Certainly not small and mid-sized sub-contractors. These bucks come from the big boys. The big end users, developers, construction management firms and general contractors. Spend some time looking at the client lists of some of these firms. Even better, read the papers written by senior lawyers and consultants. Go online and get the NLRB disclosures of how they defeat us at the NLRB. Learn. The overwhelming fact is that most modern-day organizers/market development reps have literally never filed a charge or used the NLRB properly. No “turn and burn” real abilities to defend workers. Even in the Trump era we need to know the labor board. In upcoming blogs you’ll see why, and it’s not what you think.

I have attended 9 anti-union seminars, was a stealth member of the ABC as a union organizer, been to numerous CURT meetings and attended a few other events that need not be mentioned. The late Brother Hill challenged me to ID the CURT meetings I attended – he confirmed, I did.

This dirty dozen or so group of law and consulting firms run a very tight play book for the big anti-union companies. In most cases if you do your homework, you will find that they work for a lot of CURT companies, as well as others.

Jackson-Lewis                                            King-Ballow
Siegel-O’Conner                                         Ice-Miller
Sidley                                                           Hill Farrer
Labor Relations Institute                         The Burke Group
American Consulting Group                    Fisher-Phillips
Littler-Mendelson                                       Ogletree-Deakins

CURT would need a voice in national, state & local legislative affairs. How’s this lineup:

American Legislative Exchange Council – ALEC     Heritage Foundation
National Right to Work – NRTW                                  Tea Party
US Chamber of Commerce         Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc – ABC

AGC – Associated General Contractors, while mixed, is proliferated with the non-union they represent.

All these groups listed above, and others, must be fed money, big money. This isn’t chump change like the anti-union lawyers and consultants (he says with sarcasm)!

The above groups, and others, are the anti-union, anti-worker entities that put the strategic policies of the Big Boys such as CURT and the National Manufacturers Association (NMA) into action. And our senior leaders have rolled over to them for decades!

CURT, NMA, etc., have extensive networks that work at the state and community level to promote their agendas working with and funding the above groups. For CURT, it is their Local Construction Users Group. They legally buy (lobby) national, state and local politicians with the money they can provide.

Since an entity like CURT works 7 days a week to bring about the demise of organized labor as we know it and in every concrete way, why is it that we feel they want to collaborate with us?

If the Building Trades allow a bully to continue to take their lunch money, then they shouldn’t be surprised when the bully takes it all!

CURT’s strategy of transferring union contractors and workers has been masterful. Labor Rising hates saying that but facts (the numbers over decades) don’t lie. Zero fake news here.

CURT has long recognized that the trades set the standard for training and has traded some jobs for access to that training. At the same time, they have worked with post-secondary community colleges and vocational tech schools to provide training in the future. As part of their overall strategy, they have picked a point in time where the technology, training, manpower, and economy all converge. IRAP is just the next manifestation on the training axis, which simply means the building trades is not a part of that equation. Not even the Value on Display temp agency Building Trades that we now are. If you look at the total number of hours the building trades have on jobs that CURT represents, then you will see how dependent we are on those industries. And EVERY industry uses less BT today, even in years of record construction, than 3 decades ago in both the U.S. & Canada. A big part of the trades’ losses is technology and construction delivery; however, that is consistent for both sides – so a push!

Finally, we are not relevant to this next generation because we primarily talk skills and not the “Value” of being union, which is the fight for middle class values.

Google “jobs” or “careers” in your craft and location. For example, careers/jobs in HVAC in Boston or electrician in Dallas. Seldom, if ever, do you find our apprenticeships as a career path on that first search page with those most-used search terms. We are increasingly irrelevant to the decisions a person makes entering the crafts. Apprenticeship is an arcane and seldom used search word, but use it in the Google search – because if your union still does not come up on the results page, you literally do not exist to the next generation of workers. For example, the IRAP mess is a real hazard – why? No mass texting program along with a solid, membership-wide communications platform The days of calling/writing your rep ended over a decade ago. Can someone please tell our IPs this?

CURT’S Mission Statement tells us all we need to know about what they think about workers and especially union workers.

The machine of transferring union workers to the non-union is in high gear. We are so well trained that there is big money in recruiting our members for leadership, operations, estimating and supervision. Non-union recruiters, like ‘i hire buildingtrades’, ‘Labor Ready’, ‘Tradesman International’, ‘Trillium’ and others work to retain union workers who are thoroughly vetted. We keep the dogs and they get the blue-chip hands.   

Several large temp agencies have now populated the country and hire our unemployed and underemployed Building Trades workers and put them to work with the non/anti-union. Tradesmen International signed an exclusive staffing agreement with the ABC. That simply means that Tradesmen is the hiring hall for the non-union. 

JC Turner’s White Paper about the Business Round Table and American Labor written in 1979 is dead balls accurate – TODAY!

How long do the trades have to be on our knees before we rise up? Unfortunately, the fight starts with our own internationals! Unf*#%ingbelievable!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising/Labor Combat

For the Organizing Blogs Part 1 thru 6 go to www.laborrising.com and click on blog tab.

Labor Day – Organizing Part 6 – Recognition and Secondary Activities in the U.S. –

Not a day for those in the trades to continue to play victim – victims who blame laws, rich people and politicians for the demise of labor power. Our Founders dealt with the exact same entities on steroids! Plus, blacklisting, physical threats and, for many, death itself – hence Labor Day or May Day! (Google the history of the 2). Not for those with bad ass shirts and little else. Not for posts you see today – that you should thank labor for all they have done because what have any of us alive today in the trades done to advance the plight of workers? Zip! All the LABOR GIANTS are dead, and with them the LABOR MOVEMENT they built along with the middle class! Labor Day in the trades is to recognize what “has been” won. Not to pat ourselves on the back for losing most of what has been fought for decades ago.

Consider Brother Sanders – if elected, the very best he can do is his version of the 1935 Wagner Act, which to be clear would be excellent news. However, the trades would be dead in the water since it has been decades since we knew how to effectively organize. The Trades would have to dig back into history to understand what a Labor Movement is and how to build it in the 21st century. Key to that reality is the “trust” of workers, and the trades have long abandoned being shoulder to shoulder with workers in the field, be it union or not. Recruiting IS NOT organizing and building trust in the fight for social justice. Since the mid 70’s to the present day, the proliferation of specialty agreements with every type of give backs, along with nearly all decisions going management’s way, have undermined the trust needed to effectively organize. Not to mention a void of trained organizers. North American non-union workers see unions as a plus again and want the fight necessary to achieve union status – yet our 14 IPs are clueless as to how to capture that spark! Sanders’ Wagner Act will be well received and acted upon by the rest of labor should it come to pass.

For 5 parts of this organizing series (links below) we have dealt with market development. Today it is appropriate to discuss the laws of Recognition and Secondary Activities as used in the U.S. Without knowing this and adapting to the change needed, organizing, or even market development is close to useless!

Trust will come “IF” we are dedicated to workers’ issues and can show we in the trades can WIN!

While we are deciding to again be the trusted partner of workers, we need to gain knowledge of the existing framework of laws which have derailed most organizers. Derailed because when you attend training designed to help you to avoid legal landmines in Recognition and Secondary activities, you are not trained completely so you stay in the maze. This keeps you out of the pinch point, and yes, it is by design. Should an organizer understand the complete laws regarding Recognition and Secondary activities they would advance the trades. However, the senior leaders would have a lot of explaining to do about labor/management collaboration or rather capitulation! The simple fact is ¾ of all attendees at Labor Rising’s training, plus all the organizers I have met through the years, don’t know the underlying laws of Recognition and Secondary Activities.  

Organizer after organizer describe being stuck in a maze. You are! As organizers and market reps you have NOT been trained to know the labor laws in practical ways that keep you in the maze.   

Reverse engineer the last few decades, and it is as plain as day. The correlations are very high. In our desire to be professionals and collaborate with management entities per Value on Display, those entities have drawn us in close and extracted every kind of information needed to defeat the trades. Keep your enemies close! And we are all too willing to educate and explain our value to management anytime and anywhere – to our own demise. Labor/management meetings of every kind have been used to limit the trades legally – to extract information and weaken the trades from trying to pursue concerted activities later. YOU ARE IN THE MAZE!

What you’ll find down to a gnat’s ass is that just because we want to collaborate, that in no way binds management entities to do the same. No number in any area of the trades’ market share in the past few decades can dispute this statement. Let’s see:

  1. NLRB – National Labor Relations Board. If the trades are put and kept in this endless loop of BS, then management has only to perpetuate it. The money they spend on labor lawyers is no more than a cost of doing business. The notion that we are “costing them money” is just not borne out. The word that puts the NLRB in play is RECOGNITION! Recognition to the trades comes in 2 primary forms, bottom-up and all types of top-down. At the end of the legal day – both types are asking for a CBA – Collective Bargaining Agreement. Management has very little trouble in connecting our actions to Recognition if they so desire in front of the NLRB.

 

Most of our Organizers/Market Reps think that because they discuss work, training, safety and the value the trades can bring to the non-union contractor, they do NOT fall under the definition of Recognition per the NLRB. They are always wrong when they are enjoined and are spending members’ money defending something that cannot usually be defended. Coercion would be the charge if the non-union wants to press their rights at the NLRB. And they WILL lie when needed to facilitate a NLRB charge. Then it becomes a “credibility determination” that will go to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) within the NLRB framework. What happens there is a blog all by itself. However, since most Organizers/Market Reps reading this have never been in this situation. I will tread on the trust Labor Rising has established to date and tell you – you will be a loser over 90% of the time. And forget the ability to appeal. 1st Amendment rights are waived once Recognition is in play. You forfeit that right. Big deal, right? And, you can avoid all of it if correctly trained to avoid tripping Recognition in the first place. But we are NOT by design & you must thoroughly understand it; and be willing to change who and when we talk to management entities and those they SERVE – secondary entities!

 

  1. Secondary Activities as defined in Section 8b4 under the NLRB. The average well-informed member/officer reading this can Google this section of the act. You will then know more than 90% of the Organizers/Market Reps we have worked with. They are taught basic labor law, minus the key points and persuasive speaking, in classes they attend, which is exactly why we are getting our butts kicked and continue to be stuck in a maze. What Organizers/Market Reps are taught in the field is that they can be effectively sued if we in the trades bring real and actionable pressure directly on customers of end-users, end-users, developers, CM & GC’s. Secondary targets!

 

8b4 is only actionable, which means we in the trades can only be sued “IF” RECOGNITION is established by the non-union world of construction. Because of the endless and continuous meetings that we have with all the construction players, RECOGNITION is almost always demonstrated should management play the NLRB card. So, re-think Labor-Management outside of our own union contractors, including tripartite style meetings with respective industries to “UNDERSTAND” their needs and other forms of meetings. The ENDLESS loop of meetings we have, have placed ourselves in harms way because the other side doesn’t want to collaborate with us, they want to limit us legally and economically. We will discuss how to defeat this endless loop in upcoming Blogs.

 

  1. Put your non-union hat on. As a non-union contractor would you rather have meetings with the trades under the guise of collaboration or would you prefer concerted activities on your doorstep? The non/anti-union has systematically taught this to the mid- and upper-level contractors since 2004. The anti-union lawyers hold seminars all over the place. Suggestion for Brother IPs and senior leaders: go to one and see what they promulgate. Also, the non-union links the union to Recognition by learning what type of Organizer/Market Rep they are dealing with. When we sit down with any non-union entity, we by definition are seeking Recognition. We want a relationship (aka recognition), perhaps voluntary, but recognition none-the-less. Management gets an inside look at our training and safety programs as a bonus – a very big bonus! For the price of a safety award for Best Job or Foremen Award from CURT, for example, we are trading away our careers, pensions and future generations of Building Trades jobs on the cheap.

 

  1. Being played – the non-union increasingly only hires the trades for 3 things: time sensitive jobs, high density of skills needed on the job, and to fix the non-union screw ups and punch list items. Why the trades are fixing the non-union jobs’ screws up and then being shown the door is just plain stupid. We are way past the cliché of let’s show the bad actor contractors how good we are. We don’t even have the juice to secure a job from the non-union company that needed us to fix the problems. Let that job go and sustain the liquidated damages and loss of revenue due to the job not being done on time!

 

We are also being played by detailing what the tasks to do future jobs looks like in detail. On most big-time jobs our foremen write detailed accounts about every facet of the job broken down to specific tasks. Job site analysts under the BS of safety. More and more around the country anti-union construction managers are being used on jobs that were historically done by end -users and developers that previously used unions.

All facts if we just look at them without filters and ego.

Each new senior leader thinks they can be persuasive with the “junk yard dogs” of the construction world! ALL have been wrong and the non-union now controls 88% of the work.

We are seeing a systematic transfer of building trades journeypersons and union contractors thru hard core recruitment to the non-union. Retention of our union workers is in the red zone even with record amounts of construction. We are training the non-union and every number demonstrates this. There are more union trained workers in the non-union than in the union.

As part of an overall integrated strategy, Labor Rising/Labor Combat instructs on how to defeat being played in this endless maze and win! Once you understand this reality and also the work needed to analyze the market – then and only then can the trades formulate a strategy to win in the Compression Zone.

So, step one in a strategy is to stop talking to everyone about everything and distill the construction world market down to identify who we talk to and why. This is not getting a list and calling 20 non-union contractors to schedule meetings with 5 of them each week. That overused and nearly 2-decades old “strategy” is being used against us to beat us – get it!?!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising/Labor Combat

Part 1 – https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcg11WuG__2UPghknwB?e=rrJRB0

Part 2 – https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcg11NSofpusK8gPk2c?e=EIb1Qo

Part 3 – https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcg12UGmL4ILBxxEbYq?e=YlrblT

Part 4 – https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcg12a2PO8NqH2pnhcU?e=aqLjDT

Part 5 – https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcg13XA1pzP4ovULQ3e?e=fVhm4v

Build the Damn Puzzle – Part 5 Organizing –

So, some of you, approximately 150 or so, have done some work on SIC codes with the You Tube videos in the last blog. And approximately the same number have opened the master SIC/NAICS tables.

Now think about this – the You Tubes teach you how to find & use the numbers in the tables. Those tables are nearly impossible to get in the format provided in the blog. The industry does what is needed to suppress our ability to find them in internet searches. For some of the trades the words on the SIC table are in your constitution. It is also how jurisdiction is developed and disputed. All your contractors know about this because it is used for insurance and for banks – how risk is accessed, plus much more.

Then WHY haven’t market development reps in the trades been taught these? As we said, Reference USA and its sister company Info Group have extensive training guides.

Even if you just use Value on Display and top-down how do you know the market and especially the players lining up – mostly non-union in the near future. For those locals recruiting contractors from within then doing your market research helps you to target where those contractors can be most effective.

http://resource.referenceusa.com/training-guides/

Spend 5 hours on these and I’ll bet you get the vast info that is available for a good price.

And, for the record, Labor Rising gains nothing from any vendor we talk about, in any form – never have! Entities we recommend are always a consensus of what those who we’ve trained use.

Of course, there are some “know it all types” who say the market reps don’t need this level/type of information, or that the internationals provide good info. Really? Ask anyone who says that to give you specific times and dates of companies they organized. Because we at Labor Rising would say, “The system currently used by the trades to raise market share, in its entirety, sucks!” And the NET losing numbers of the trades have supported that statement for the last 30 years plus!

Here is a link to an old Excel spreadsheet used for our discussion today. These data bases and Excel spreadsheets are far more comprehensive today. However, we will only be able to scratch the surface here on what an organizer/MR can use these for. Call it Compression Zone(s) 101 research! You’ll come to understand what a Compression Zone is after you understand how to do market research.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AmKOi71GyLcg13f5oGgTvbQT2Zvq?e=tGtYJe    It is a Cement Masons market for our example. It is from 2014 – but will do for example purposes. Click cancel on window to get Excel table if window appears.

Understand that the research on the Excel spreadsheet reflects the areas requested by the organizer/MR. So, you will not see out of town contractors. To the extent we know them; both non-union and union, you’ll learn to add them and or expand the search parameters. That and the use of junior credit reports to zero in on all players in a market.

When you have command of what are basic and highly trainable skills of using your trades codes, then and only then, can you formulate and develop a comprehensive strategy to win.

200 to approximately 400 hours for a local/DC – and some serious research/training stands between you and a map of the market! This is the beginning of building the 1,000-piece puzzle. Sorting pieces and putting in the border. Moving info on the spreadsheet into specific categories which we discuss soon.  

BTW – these Excels are drawn from multiple sources of info including business filings, government, taxes, courts and far more — database groups compete on quality of info not always on price.

  1. Of primary importance, the info is on an Excel spreadsheet. In our experience, most current organizers/MRs can’t use this format to do the needed work. So back to school, folks, or you’re going nowhere! Internationals could teach this, but they don’t. They could teach online for easy and cost-effective access, but they won’t. This is a powerful tool for organizers/MRs, as they could have real and factual info to then have a true discussion on why we do specific actions with the players in the construction world! But they can’t have that when the Internationals have done deals outside of the R&F’s view! Internationals are imposing deals on Western/Eastern Canada and throughout the U.S. IMPOSING! Structured market facts mean nothing to them!

 

This database is totally searchable, transferable, downloadable, shareable, mobile and so much more! Just the terms above, once you have competence with them, would create functioning structure. This is a big deal. Most organizers/MRs to this day use a yellow legal pad and/or BS proprietary internal system that was obsolete the day it was rolled out compared to the customizing abilities of Excel. So, huge bucks have been allocated to develop propriety garbage that is completely subjective and wastes time with meaningless data entry.

 

  1. Date of records – not on this training model. It will be in the first column of current spreadsheets. You will see dates are in current times on any searches you run.

 

  1. Name of contractors, which is a huge wealth of info in this column (as in almost all columns). Multiple listed names of contractors are not an error. When you do your homework, you will see all/some facets of families of companies. So, maintenance, service, fabrication, installation, etc. In columns R&S are sales volume for location and company total. Small companies are in revenue buckets, depending on markets for ease of data formation. So, look at Line 35 – $157,000 with 1 – 4 employees. You’ll see most/all companies in this lower revenue range with 1 – 4 employees typically in a revenue bucket. As companies get bigger actual dollars are listed. Revenue columns can help in so many ways, space does not permit anything close to a full discussion. When revenue doesn’t match with other sources – red flag. In upcoming blogs Labor Rising will show you how to get specific info to resolve any reg flags! Was it a joint venture or under a different name, etc.? You are building the puzzle – so when you put your strategy together, you’ll know what you are doing.  All the BS stops once an organizer/MR knows how to use these features in Excel. Areas that have blank cells on the Excel, are red flags – maybe little or maybe big red flags. Incomplete info that doesn’t reconcile with sources are left blank.

 

  1. We get hard addresses not PO Boxes. Addresses, names, phone numbers and more can be cross researched. You will find union companies with overlapping info with non-union companies and far more. Can’t hide on an Excel! So, again all info like phone numbers, owners’ names, addresses, etc. – can be searched on Excel for any cells that have similar info in seconds.

 

  1. Employee numbers in Columns P&Q must be reconciled against what is seen in the field and on credit reports – real credit reports, not the reams of mostly worthless paper we get from our Internationals. So, for example, we see in reports that a company has 15 employees. However, in the field and discussion with workers we know they have approximately 26. How would you the reader account for the differences? Temp workers, 1099s, labor broker, illegal, cash and others. This plays into a fuller discussion of strategy of how to win with this company or send them packing. Also, for trades with licenses, expect to see names of union members with correct license numbers being used by the non-union for jobs. It is done all the time. Question – if a non-union job used fraudulent license numbers: what can an organizer/market rep do? This example market from 2014 does not have the menu items of license numbers. When you do your homework with these databases, you’ll freak out at how much and tailored the info you want is available. What other menu items are missing on this example compared to what is available? For example: what would the menu item of how many computer terminals a company has indicate to you?

 

  1. SIC code a company runs under is in Column T. Primary NAICS code is in Column Y. We can also check secondary codes – it is hard for companies/contractors to hide here. Banks, comp carriers, insurance and other companies do not like it when a company/contractor tries to manipulate these codes. You become the cop on the beat and the non/anti-union will know in short order you are. They are like bedrock by and large to them. We in the trades waste our time with government, with abuses of comp and misclassifications. Training from Labor Rising is effective in by-passing the BS and going right to the money and decision makers! Once we do effective and verifiable homework – things change. For example: Almost none of the locals we trained have ever done EXIT INTERVIEWS of stripped/recruited ex-non-union workers. My God, this is unbelievable! Structured EXIT interviews get needed and germane info on the company the non-union worked for. So, for example if they perhaps saw time sheets that listed workers as helpers who were in fact full-time workers on the job – big deal here. It is also firsthand direct testimony for misclassification & prevailing wage. There are so many items to learn in an exit interview on company and operations and relationships – AND WE DON’T DO THEM!?!

 

  1. Credit rating. Just a little thing – NOT! There are several types of hard-hitting credit reports. Internationals use the D&B report, which is good for risk formation – but they are hard to read without training (which the Internationals don’t provide) and many numbers don’t jive with real and full credit reports. Columns AA & AB provide real Experian credit reports as of date of records. This is 2 hours of instruction by itself and that’s just Credit 101: how to get; how to use; how to lay over other germane info. Just on this Excel – you the reader can get a glimpse of who a player is, and which companies are noise, based on their credit score. “NOISE” are contractors/companies that can’t stand on their own. It is the majority of those we try to organize – which is a big reason we fail. NOTE: a credit score of “B” IS NOT GOOD! A score of “U” – the trades win. Our guys and gals don’t know a given company and maybe even an entire market is vulnerable, and the company slides by. Most of our organizers/DCs have never run or seen genuine credit reports. So how the frick are you going to understand strengths/weaknesses? Pecking order. Creditors, payments, loans, bankruptcies and so much more! We in the trades are so underprepared to take on market development. We at Labor Rising know it is by the INTERNATIONALS’ design. They can teach this uniformly across their trade. But, THEY DON’T! Our guys/gals are not the problem, how are they expected to win? Show a written developed plan, not a GD BS mission statement. Our troops are not taught to do this across true market development.

 

  1. Many other aspects of the Excel spreadsheet we haven’t even touched on – germane to market development/organizing.

For example, on the Excel you see hundreds of small contractors. So, look thru the 326 lines on the example. Noise to the greater market. Phones are usually cells on the Excel, and most are working numbers. Organizers who come thru the program place an introductory call and then stay linked with a mass texting program. In some of these workers’ outreach/organizing campaigns, an organizer can talk to scores to hundreds on a Go 2 Meeting or Join Me video phone conference. Send along a link and small training video and many non-union workers throughout a region/state can be connected. When questions are asked, downloads with relevant responses and important info can be sent to them and all participants. Average organizer/MR cannot do this because of a lack of training, lack of info and lack of will in many cases.

So, in today’s blog a very small overview of some of the research needed to get to the next phase, which is BUILDING a SPECIFIC AND PRECISE COMPRESSION ZONE(s)! We will present that in our next blog.

A Compression Zone(s) is a hard target with actual contractors’ names to work on. It is researching that group’s relationships and establishing an order of targeted market development that has an excellent chance of winning. It takes non-union contractors and puts them in a situation to sign a CBA, regardless if they want to or not. It also identifies hard core anti-union contractors and their relationships to either limit or collapse their business model, and by extension, their work.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising/Labor Combat

The 1,000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle of SIC/NAICS Codes – Part 4 –

The cartoon shows the 2 pieces of Value on Display – the rest of the pieces are the market and what is NOT taught completely and by design to give an organizer or even a market rep the ability to win. Many of those pieces on the table would be the pinch point of the market.

Links to Organizing – Parts 1, 2 & 3 are at the end of this blog.

Standard Industrial Classifications developed in 1937 and the North American Industrial Classification System developed as part of the NAFTA deal to eventually replace SIC codes. It is a big deal!

SIC/NAICS table link – these tables listed side by side are next to never found on any search engine.

https://1drv.ms/x/s!AmKOi71GyLcgqzcIBPFf3RBJ1SJ8?e=7MtngK

Without knowing what SIC/NAICS codes mean to effective organizing and market development, and how to use them, the Building Trades are going nowhere.

Just like a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, putting the market together requires hard work, skill and patience. It will strip away all BS and opinions. It will lay bare the market, players and relationships. It is WHY you as organizers, and especially market development reps (MRs), are not properly trained to do this.

Let’s say, as the senior leaders do, that the Value on Display concept of professionally trained tradespersons is how to advance market share. THEN WHY AREN’T those MRs trained to know who to talk to and who to avoid? Who to qualify? Ownership? History? And much more – objectively.

You, as MRs, have been systematically turned into recruiters by design. You may be running all over the place with tools like blitzes thinking you are organizers. But at the end of the day you are bringing in bodies and NOT the non-union contractor on a CBA – you are a recruiter. If you as organizers/MRs have the skills to build the 1,000-piece puzzle, you will run smack dab into the pinch point of labor/management relationships and the disaster of capitulations and the race to the bottom as it has become. And you will know what the 82 organizers/MRs who have built their respective markets know: we haven’t been a labor MOVEMENT now for decades. It is why we at Labor Rising, and many others, refer to the senior leaders as running a business union – which by our definition is a temp agency.  

Attached are some very basic SIC code primer You Tube videos out of thousands:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=sic+codes#action=view&id=12&vid=e4a8951469d189b6d2a8c9e33490b635

Understand the key points made in this video – then put construction in the equation:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=sic+codes#action=view&id=19&vid=f9e61bcaef68f3751a94ebfea29439f6

SIC example – 4digit and 6 digits:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=sic+codes#action=view&id=8&vid=f0647d4b58a8fac395c71c123cd7c21a

Every sector of business and government uses these, including the winning unions such as SEIU, Nurses, Teachers, Flight Attendants, all of which are run by women presidents who train with and provide the modern tools to format organizing drives. Yes, ORGANIZING drives – they are back in the streets with a plan and not a blow-up rat!

Go through the You Tubes for approximately 20/30 hours and see how and why a SIC code is used, and a market is formatted. Ask yourself why tools like Excel and other technology aids aren’t mandatory training. Why aren’t SIC/NAICS codes used to thoroughly vet the markets and the players that make up those markets. Why aren’t we trained to understand credit reports and the use of opposition research?

The “good ole boys” have been compromised as LABOR LEADERS for a least a generation and all have to protect those past poor decisions of their predecessors and the fleas that have accumulated from sleeping with dogs.

Almost none of the right-thinking organizers, MRs, agents and R&F could care less how many fleas have accumulated on the senior leaders over the past few decades. They want the IPs to “MAN” up and MOVE! Get over themselves and become the leaders of workers, union or not. Be the junk yard dogs so they can take on the corporate junk yard dogs like our Founders did! Quit being victims! Yet again, at recent international conventions, delegates are falling all over themselves in praise of the great leadership provided. What kind of leader accepts that praise knowing the facts of getting their/our butts beat? We are and have been losing for decades – deal with it and move in a new direction – that’s leadership!

In the next blog we will dissect an Excel spreadsheet and see what it can tell us about contractors, those they deal with, the markets they exist in and far more.

Politicians with no solutions revert to age old name-calling – declaring Labor Rising as the so-called “building trades basher.” Yet every single number in our 205 blogs over the years has gone unchallenged because ALL the numbers come from the trades’ own filings and accounting in context – ALL!

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

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising/Labor Combat

 

Strategy Organizing to win:

Part 1 – https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcg11WuG__2UPghknwB?e=ax6xYC

Part 2 – https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcg11NSofpusK8gPk2c?e=Jzkyd8

Part 3 – https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcg12UGmL4ILBxxEbYq?e=yqiJEi

What You Don’t Know is Done by Design – Part 3 Organizing –

The local/DC organizer/market rep (MR) is under-trained by design. Conversely the trades have gone from organizing to market development to that of recruiting in one generation by design of the IPs! The IPs are using the strategy of VOD, which is not solidarity! It is that of a temp agency.

This blog and others will cover the work needed for Strategic Organizing. This section of instruction gives a local/DC a detailed and precise map in which to develop strategies and tactics. Warning: It will put a target on your back should you proceed in the current environment. At the minimum, a strong BM is needed – one who respects the IP but doesn’t fear them. Labor Rising knows this because the 82 organizers/MRs who have built out their entire markets are all gone! They have quit, been fired (because they are blocked from doing the job) or promoted up and out of the way. The Excel spreadsheets of these markets are in my possession. The picture the markets paint of the interaction of labor/management in the pinch point is very clear and I’m certain not what the clear-thinking R&F members have in mind that our internationals should be doing!

What the Internationals/Building Trades Academy teaches as MARKET DEVELOPMENT. It is so poor, to non-existent, as it accounts for nearly all the market losses for the past 2 decades from the perspective of union power and solidarity.

Let’s look at what needs to be taught to get you to a starting point of a strategic plan –

  1. Developing a Local/District Council’s entire market. For locals and DCs, depending on size of both membership and geographic area, approximately 200 to 400 hours of structured research. We must move and categorize large volumes of information. Skills are needed to do this. Excel – how to enter and organize data, use formulas and functions, build charts, and use other powerful Excel 2016 tools. Basic and solid knowledge of the ribbon/tool bar at the top of Excel. One Note or equivalent. A basic understanding of Word. Cloud computing, which lets you use and share files and applications over the Internet. Using virtual meetings, which connects tradespeople from across North America, regardless of their location, in using video, audio and more to link up online. Without these basic skills we are going nowhere. No International or Building Trades teach a comprehensive modern course on this. It is pure BS when they say they do! This can be taught online to save time and money by computer training centers across North America. The Market Development Rep/Organizer should have to pass this to move on to next level or even get the job in the first place. We do not teach Labor Combat to anyone unless they can show their structured markets and proficiency with the above subjects. That is how LR has obtained the 82 complete markets we now have. The consensus group many unions use is lynda.com once they acquire the basic skill sets thru computer training centers. Then they build additional skills – just like an apprentice moves on to journeyperson and master!
  2. SIC/NAICS codes – WTF are these? Exactly the question 95% of those attending LR classes have asked. Internationals teaching BS market development along with the Building Trades Academy and other consultants’ business branding strategies conveniently miss teaching us how to build our total markets objectively. Internationals prefer subjective type of market development like Value on Display and selling our VALUE. Occasionally, some low hanging fruit signs a contract, which is the exception, as long as organizers/MR stay out of the pinch point. There are a couple of locals that have solid organizers who use bottom-up effectively. However, for low density markets bottom-up is far too slow to turn a market.

Here is a link to the SIC/NAICS tables we at LR put together. https://1drv.ms/x/s!AmKOi71GyLcgqzcIBPFf3RBJ1SJ8   NOTE: if the Windows security box appears, click cancel and you should go through to the SIC tables. Until and unless a MR has a clue how to use these they are going nowhere in the big picture. The building trades mostly, but not entirely, are found in the 1500, 1600 & 1700 of column D on the right side of the tables under the link above. These codes are used by all business professionals in all areas to build comprehensive markets and data in near real time! So, insurance, workers comp, banking, government, census bureau, and everyone else, except the trades, uses them to know their markets. We in the trades teach ZIP – it is not the guys/gals that are failing – they are set up to fail because they are not given the tools, tactics and strategy in a structured way to win! Most trades use methods of categorizing the market that are reactive and that are incredibly labor-intensive ways of reporting what is almost totally SUBJECTIVE information of varying degree of credibility. When compared to a full market analysis, of the entire market, then and only then can you see the big picture. The Internationals say, “Hey LR you suck – we teach SIC codes.” But they teach 4-digit SIC codes. Without the 6-digit code you’re stroking yourself. Example: the 4-digit SIC code for one of the many cross-sections of building trades jurisdictions is 1711. If you run just 1711, you’ll have a nightmare of information. To find and research the specific contractors in a jurisdiction or combination of jurisdictions the organizer and or the market development rep needs the last 2 digits! It looks like this.

171101 HEATING SPECIALTIES

171102 HEATING CONTRACTORS

171103 SHEET METAL WORK CONTRACTORS

171104 PIPE THAWING

171105 PLUMBING CONTRACTORS

171106 PIPING-PROCESS & INDUSTRIAL

171107 SEPTIC TANKS/SYSTEMS-CLEANING/REPAIRING

171108 SEPTIC TANKS

171109 SHEET METAL WORKERS

171110 FURNACES-REPAIRING & CLEANING

171111 SOLAR HEATING CONTRACTORS

171112 HEAT PUMPS

171113 GAS BURNERS-SERVICE

171114 MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS

171115 HUMIDIFYING APPARATUS

171116 AIR POLLUTION CONTROL

171117 AIR CONDITIONING CONTRACTORS & SYSTEMS

171118 BOILERS-REPAIRING & CLEANING

171119 COOLING TOWERS

171120 VENTILATING CONTRACTORS

171121 GREASE TRAPS & SAND TRAPS-SERVICE

171122 GAS FITTERS

171123 TANK INSTALLATION

171124 DUCT SYSTEMS-AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING

171125 THAWING SERVICE

171126 REFRIGERATION CONTRACTORS

171127 AIR CONDITIONING EQUIP TEST & BALANCING

171128 DRY WELL CONTRACTORS

171129 HEATING SYSTEMS-CLEANING & REPAIRING

171130 AIR BALANCING

171131 ENERGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS & PRODUCTS

171132 GEOTHERMAL HTG/COOLING EQUIP/SYSTS-DLRS

171133 LEAK DETECTING SERVICE

171134 SEPTIC TANKS CONSULTANTS

171135 RADIANT HEATING & COOLING SYSTEMS

171136 REFRIGERANT RECOVERY

171137 ROOF COOLING SYSTEMS

171138 CONCRETE-SEALING & WATERPROOFING

171139 BOILER SETTING

171140 PIPE-SEALING SERVICE-INDUSTRIAL

171141 PLUMBING CONTRACTORS REFERRAL SERVICE

171142 PLUMBING DRAINS & SEWER CONSULTANTS

171143 SLAB LEAKS

171144 SOLAR HEATING SYSTEMS

171145 STEAM THAWING CONTRACTORS

171146 STEAM FITTERS

171147 HEATING & COMBUSTION CONSULTANTS

171148 COOLING SYSTEMS-MACHINE

171149 GAS FURNACES

171150 SNOW MELTING SYSTEMS

171151 SEWER LOCATING SERVICE

171152 SEWER & DRAIN CLEANING-SERVICE/REPAIR

171153 SEWER THAWING

171154 WATER POLLUTION MEASURING SERVICE

171155 AIR EXCHANGERS

171156 BOILERS-INSPECTION

171157 CONCRETE-SHOT CRETE

171158 WATER MAIN CLEANING SVC

171159 AIR DUCT SEALING

171160 GROUND THAWING & SPACE HEATING

171161 BASEMENT PUMPING

171162 HEATING SYSTEMS ALTERNATIVE

171163 LIFT STATION MAINTENANCE & REPAIR

171164 WIND POWER

171198 PLUMBING HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING  

This is across all trades in varying degrees.                 

Do you want to build a real market in near real time with solid info? Well, here is a quick primer, and it is just a primer as much more work needs to go into market building. Go to http://resource.referenceusa.com/ website. There are other firms that do this, but this is the consensus one those trained by LR like the best. Scroll down to the bottom of that page. Find About and click on Library Locator. Enter Zip. Go get a library card at one of the libraries listed. Use Reference USA website tools to literally build entire BT trades markets. All levels. This is not a toy! It has some limitations, which can be worked around. You need to know what SIC/NAICS codes go into the fields along with the area the Rep wants checked, including all of North America. And, Canadians have a version too. You will get data on an Excel spreadsheet with lots of information across many categories. Too many to list here. From 1099’s and low six figure independent contractors to the biggest multi-national construction firms. NOTE: for trades with licenses, you will see those license numbers that are stolen from our journeypersons and used by the 1099’s of the non/anti-union quit often! You can get all Construction Managers, Developers, GC’s, Fabricators, Maintenance, Service etc., all formatted on Excel. It is also researchable, cross researching, uploading everything, shareable, with endless ways to format. We use none of it; and BTW, all capable by mobile applications. So, for example a MR/Organizer, hell even a member, can upload pictures, videos, info from most sources to be entered into the file for use later, along with flagging. NO BT PROPRIETARY SUBJECTIVE & COSTLY way of doing it now even comes close. It is also a dynamic document to then pass on to future MRs and Organizers in real time with OBJECTIVE info. Most new MR/Organizers get ZIP when they start the job. The Building Trades have old and decayed courses on organizing still taught today. You know this by looking at our market share over the last 2 decades. A loser! And yet we still teach it! It is by design – so we DON’T play/understand those PLAYERS in the pinch point! So, when you know/understand SIC/NAICS codes and get comfortable using tools like Reference USA, you would enter info like this in the respective fields. What state(s) do you organize in?  Pennsylvania is the example – also can be several states/provinces and/or the entire U.S. or Canada.

If you are a local union organizer/MR list the counties you organize in and/or want researched:  In Pennsylvania –  Bucks  Chester  Delaware  Montgomery  Philadelphia  Lancaster  Berks  Lehigh  North Hampton  Monroe  Carbon  Pike  Wayne  Susquehanna  Wyoming  Lackawanna  Luzerne  Columbia  Schuylkill  Lebanon  York  Adams  Franklin   Cumberland  Perry  Dauphin  Juniata  Snyder  Union  North Umberland  Montour  Lycoming  Sullivan  Bradford  Tioga  Clinton SIC CODES:  1721-01  1721-02  1721-03  1721-04

Here is a test – what is the jurisdiction of the SIC codes in the example above? 1721-01, 02, 03 & 04? Use the link above and scroll down till you see them.

Once you enter the info at the library you will get an Excel spreadsheet. Some libraries limit the number of results, so you may have to go in and out of the system to get all the search results. Do we need the vendor to run them for a fee? Most libraries have subscriptions to this type of info and more – paid for by your tax dollars. And it sits there and the Internationals either know it and don’t tell us or don’t know it exists. Either way – not cool!

However, we recommend using a vendor. The menu of items, especially credit scores, are worth the price. Most libraries have solid current info but not the bell & whistles that give you in-depth look at the contractors and by extension the markets they exist in.

Once the organizer/MR can do the above, and only then, does the work of organizing the market begin. Approximately 200 – 400 hours. Once you separate and organize the information you are going to be dangerous.

Then and only then can we begin to build our markets’ Compression Zone(s) which are specific tactics to move/shape the markets of non/anti-union contractors in a direction we want. Some by carrot, others by stick.

I’ll leave you with this – the construction markets are and have been contracting and consolidating. The trades have a strong tail wind should we chose to use it. It follows that the non/anti-union with 90% of the market can be the net loser – especially if the trades with well-trained organizers put their thumbs on the scale of those markets. To date, we have let the contractors sort out the market and who survives and who is merged or “rolled-up”!

What a wasted opportunity and time is now limited to use this and other tactics within a greater organizing strategy. Without knowing the dynamics of a Compression Zone (which will be in the upcoming blogs), we are at the mercy of the players in the pinch point – sounds like VOD. It doesn’t have to be that way.

We can absolutely deal ourselves back into the construction game – but 14 IPs are hell bent not to change!? Why?

On to Part 4.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising/Labor Combat

The “Why of the Pinch Point” That Keeps the Building Trades Losing – Part 2 –

Here is the link to Part 1 – Specific Strategies & Tactics for the Building Trades to Win:

https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcg11WuG__2UPghknwB

To understand this “pinch point” is to understand why Value on Display (VOD) is only a TOOL, and why VOD has been such an abject loser to the trades for decades!

Put your organizer/market rep/officer hat on. Rank & File, you may want to follow along. Think of the hourglass concept as described in Part 1 in the above link. “At the top of the hourglass is the entirety of all those that need the trades’ services, including new construction, maintenance, service, residential, etc. How in the heck do the organizers, now called business development people, exist in that environment?”

The trades are always saying we must use all the tools in the toolbox – what tools come to mind that the trades use to organize/market to this huge group? Typically, the tools are top-down; some political pressure/relationships, if available; leverage of pension funds, maybe (this is its own disaster); and various types of limited corporate style campaigns.  

For example – Top down is used to impart to management that using skilled labor is in their best interest. The trades use all types of positive marketing (anchored by training) to get that point across. It carries a substantial cost when you see the budgets of the BTs. It is a mixed bag of professionals helping the trades market, along with some current/former officer(s) who need a job and become marketing gurus overnight.

Political pressure has been and continues to dwindle rapidly. Why? Because, we have minimal influence on politicians, which parallels our loss of market share. And relationships are just that – relationships which come and go.

Then we have some semblance of corporate campaigns. Why is this style of organizing just a semblance of a campaign? Because it is typically targeted to the customer of the end-user, which is a big NO to the senior leaders of the trades due to the unintended consequences it invites. More on that soon. I can count the limited uses of corporate campaigns that have a developed strategy/structure on two hands. So, the trades have few corporate campaigns to point to and even far fewer wins to celebrate! We are using a broad brush in the top of the hourglass, however the numbers clearly and overwhelmingly show that every construction sector in both the U.S. & Canada have smaller market share since the inception of VOD – to use business-speak, negative ROI vs. time/money invested – NET! We will explain why that is later in this blog.

Let’s jump to the bottom of the hourglass. “At the bottom of the hourglass are all the contractors providing services. This is another minefield. Huge numbers come and go. Others have limited financial credit worthiness – so who finances them? Many are subsets of fabricators and installers of specific systems. How do they get the work they do? So many more real questions that even a veteran organizer and/or market rep is unable to answer them using the current tool of VOD in a market-wide setting. They are hugely under-trained by the design of VOD.” More about these comments later in the blog.

What comes to mind for you as an organizer/market rep/volunteer/officer/R&F member when you think of increasing market share in the bottom of the hourglass? Bottom-up organizing; Top-down; putting up the rat; using the NLRB to pursue justice; relying on politicians and connections; hoping the obstacles go away; training members to become contractors (some upsides to this one, but with qualifiers); stripping; recruiting; contractors crack (aka market recapture funds); handbills; passing the responsibility to a higher level; pretending the issue is solved; blitzing (possible the single worse tool without a built out strategy around it – getting names and supposedly scaring the non-union contractor is NOT a built-out strategy); etc.? This is a Pandora’s box of losing! WHY? Stayed tuned, as we are getting to that.

“In the pinch point of the hourglass is the group that have a date-specific need, such as building a road or a new warehouse or office building. In the pinch point is the developer who can’t work in vacuum and has numerous vulnerabilities both in being the developer of record and then moving the project forward. Inside that pinch point is the CM and GC.”

While the overwhelming number of organizers/market reps are aware of this group, they have little long-term structural interaction or developed knowledge of them. This is where the BT’s senior-most leaders play and exist almost exclusively! This is where the “DEALS” are made between management and the trades. Think of all the trades’ various labor/management committees that exist, which by the way you pay for. The correlation is very strong that the more we talk to management over time, the more market share we lose over the decades since the mid 90’s to the present – trackable numbers that can be measured objectively if only the senior leadership would take off the “rose colored glasses” they have been wearing for decades. Management has taken the cooperation component of VOD and flipped it against the trades.

Numbers overwhelming show that management is transferring the trades contractors and workers to the non-union! Losing takes on many forms at this level. The concessions and capitulations on wages, benefits and conditions are very real to R&F wallets. However, it is the other forms of losing that senior BT officers try hard to keep out of view of the R&F that is of concern, for example working on jobs with the non/anti-union workers under various forms of specialty agreements; striking deals with anti-union entities, such as CLAC and others in Canada and various non/anti-union entities in the U.S.; being lied to blatantly by developers, CMs, etc.; bailing out the non/anti-union on jobs executed poorly by using union workers; using union pension dollars to build projects with non/anti-union workers; rolling over in areas of safety that transfer the responsibilities of an accident to the worker – and, this is NOT the entire list.

The pinch point of the hourglass is a PROHIBITED ZONE for sustained use to those in the locals who are charged with organizing and market development. The NUMBER #1 rule dictated by management is that no trade will upset the business models of those companies/contractors in the pinch point the trades deal with! Any actions to bring concerted activities/pressure on these entities’ clients, credit, carefully crafted perceptions and business models and profits WILL NOT be tolerated. Let alone can an organizer bring legal and lawful concerted actions that would put them out of business. Even when they can be shown to be anti-union as a company/contractor. The box the senior leadership of the trades have put themselves in – is killing us. The design of VOD prohibits the average organizer/market rep from affecting this pinch point in a sustained manner and in doing so, all in the trades lose.

The senior leaders of the trades have transformed a once proud MOVEMENT into a temp agency.

Let’s jump back to the last statement in the bottom of the hourglass paragraph. They (the organizers, now market reps/recruiters) are hugely under-trained by design of the VOD!

If those in the trades were trained to analyze a market properly, the organizers, now market reps/recruiters, would run smack dab into the pinch point of the hourglass and violate Rule #1 if they were to effectively organize! Effective organizing is a CBA, the true standard of organizing. It is taking both contractor/worker and imposing the VALUES of a CBA on them regardless if they want one of not. However, the senior leaders, especially since the 90’s, can’t have org/MR understanding that section of the market. It is where the rubber meets the road. So, by DESIGN, the organizer/market rep/recruiter is kept in the top and bottom of the hourglass – to keep them out of the way. If the organizer/market rep/recruiter had the ability to fully understand the market players, they would easily identify the relationships that have formed over decades between the trades’ senior leadership and senior management. And, that would not be a good thing for the BT senior leadership – NET!

If you can’t fathom that we are all being controlled supposedly “in our best interest,” then you believe that ALL organizers/market reps/recruiters in every trade, and in every part of the U.S. and Canada, can’t figure out how to use the TOOLS to increase market share. They’ll have a handful of wins here and there, but no sustained growth in market share and density! Even in periods of great work as is the case for the last few years. We the organizers/market reps/recruiters/R&F are being spoon feed information to keep us out of the pinch point by design!

All training currently available (except for Labor Rising) of organizers/market reps by the trades omits huge amounts of germane information necessary to win. Without a sustained and structured presence in the pinch point by organizers/MR the trades will continue to lose – NET!

Changing the duties of an organizer to market rep and now to that of a flat-out recruiter has been a masterful transition by BT senior leadership. Provide bodies at the cost that management dictates and maybe the trades can have some crumbs. Screw the middle-class stuff. The internationals get direct payment on the hours worked on the vast array of agreements and make it mandatory for most locals’ R&F to fund many other entities.

This could be an opinion, if it were not for the fact that starting in the next blog, we will provide support for the statements above. In doing so, we will educate those who want to learn how to win! In the meantime, the senior leadership is, and has been, the biggest obstacle for the trades winning in the trenches and restoring the middle class! It is also why Labor Rising/Labor Combat is not well received by BT senior leaders. We train on winning and to do that the organizer/market rep needs to work in the pinch point – an area too fragile and filled with skeletons to the good ole boys’ strategy of appeasement with management!

From 2007 to the present, with nearly 680 formally trained labor activists and approximately another 500 informally worked with, Labor Rising/Labor Combat (LR/LC) has continuously gone to school on the complete lack of training needed to win and we have filled that void. However, international level officers have made it clear that LR/LC is not the “strategy” of the trades!

See for yourself if LR/LC can clarify and make precise points on the above statements and NOT SELL you BS on an opinion and/or theory.

Are we so comfortable with losing and seeing the destruction of the middle class that we just roll over!?!

Right now, and for the decades leading up to this point, the answer is YES!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising/Labor Combat

Specific Strategies & Tactics for the Building Trades to Win – Part 1 –

For those in the trades who feel the trades are marked for death in our lifetimes – you are right “IF” we continue with the tool of Value on Display.

That is correct, VOD is a tool – nothing more. So, it begs the question of what the trades’ master strategy and tactics are, which are needed to win market share; and to again become champions of workers’ union or not – to be a MOVEMENT!

The next several blogs are for organizers, activists and officers tired of losing. The blogs will be detailed, and some may be long. We are way past the one-line solutions and pandering to those who want to be victims, blaming everyone but ourselves for almost entirely self-inflicted wounds.

We are not the Breslin-style BS or the pie in the sky trades labor academy with talking heads. Both have had their “day in court” and continue to lose.

Labor Rising/Labor Combat are in the trenches, with a plan built for the diverse environments from Alabama to New England to Phoenix to Calgary. With approx. 258 unions and nearly 670 organizers and officers trained in the US and Canada we know what is going on out there.

Since 2012, and built on nearly 5 years of research starting in 2007 – all of Labor Rising / Labor Combats’ blogs on strategy & tactics have been precise in that we always start with the clients’ credit and social footprint (perception) of those entities which are the money/decision makers in construction!

Typically, we do not care whatsoever about the contractor performing the work. There are some very specific exceptions; however, they are carefully crafted exceptions incorporated into the strategy.

Yes, you heard that correctly. The contractor and subcontractor are all put in place by private end-users, public bodies, developers and those that execute those decisions the bundled & unbundled Construction Managers & GC’s.

Think of an hourglass. All the sand flows thru this pinch point. Close that pinch point and zero sand flows through it. Now replace the word sand with money/profits/business opportunities. By closing and/or severely reducing the flowing sand/money – outcomes can be changed along with markets!

At the top of the hourglass is the entirety of all those that need the trades services including new construction, maintenance, service, residential, etc. How in the heck do the organizers, now called business development people, exist in that environment? They can’t, VOD thinks they can and in doing so open a minefield of other issues to understand, such as competitive numbers, consolidation of companies, contraction of hours lost to improving advances in construction delivery and roll-ups of local, regional and national players into mega companies. We will deal with those issues as we proceed in upcoming blogs.

At the bottom of the hourglass are all the subs and contractors providing services. This is another minefield. Huge numbers come and go. Others have limited financial credit worthiness – so who finances them? Many are subsets of fabricators and installers of specific systems. How do they get the work they do? So many more real questions that even a veteran organizer and/or market rep is unable to answer them using VOD in a market-wide setting. They are hugely under-trained by the design of VOD. A market can be work-specific, regional or national in scope. There are many other need-to-know specifics to even have a chance to effectively organize both company and workers. The current VOD method of selling entirely misses all of this. On top of VOD missing the mark almost all organizers and market reps do massive amounts of record-keeping (mostly subjective in nature) to satisfy a handful of administrators leaving them literally next to zero time to be effective in the field.

So, most internationals develop a list that goes to the local/DC organizers/market rep that quickly is outdated, and generally incomplete. It is from that list that they try to sell to non and even anti-union contractors! For example, they call 20 non/anti-union contractors and try to sit with as many as they can. And they continue to repeat this for approx. 20 years. This is the tool of VOD. A loser! All of this will be dissected in upcoming blogs in specific detail.

In the pinch point of the hourglass is the group that have a date-specific need, such as building a road or a new warehouse or office building. In the pinch point is the developer who can’t work in vacuum and has numerous vulnerabilities both in being the developer of record and then moving the project forward. Inside that pinch point is the CM and GC.

All of those in the pinch point, whether in a local, regional or even national market, can be distilled down to numbers we in the trades can deal with. For example, downtown Atlanta has a fixed number of CM’s in commercial buildings in a given dollar range. I don’t care how many CLIENTS may want the building and really don’t care how many subs and contractors they will play against each other to get it done; we know the money players! Who makes the decisions!

We want to SHAPE that business decision of MARKETS and not 1 off sub-contractors buried somewhere deep in the bid. To date, the VOD method is to talk the players to death, try to sell them, beg, capitulate on work rules, wages, benefits, conditions and generally roll over in any way necessary to get the work. And every number – get that statement – every number shows that even with all the capitulations and concessions in back-to-back to back record years of construction spending, VOD is a total loser to the R&F member, market share & density of the trades! May be a winner for the temp agency the 14 Internationals Presidents are running – but a loser none the less and not sustainable!

In the upcoming blogs we will develop the why of the “pinch point” and how the trades win.

To win in the pinch point – an organizer/MR needs to know Excel and other Microsoft tools along with Cloud sharing, developed knowledge of 6 figure SIC codes along with NAICS codes.  Information analysis and credit reports approx. 200 to 400 hours’ worth. Opposition research. Developing a Venn diagram to see where a strategy lies. Understanding Sections 7 & 8 in organizing. You will avoid most if not all of them organizing OUR way. Translation is we don’t use the NLRB to do our work as organizers. Understanding what Cyber-organizing is and how to use it. Use of cheap yet effective communication platforms for different purposes. Controlling the hiring by the non and especially the anti-union contractors in an area – which they will hate you for. And most of all understanding exactly where to start – not in theory but in hard contractors’ names in given sectors. BUILDING A COMPRESSION ZONE!

Do the above and a few more not yet listed; which Labor Rising will explain in the upcoming blogs. Then and only then can we blend in the TOOL of VOD where it can be specifically shown to be useful, and you have the beginning of a master strategy and the tactics needed to win.

Take care and PART 2 in a week.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising/Labor Combat

Mass Texting a Value Not Used –

We are going to lay out the comprehensive strategies of Labor Rising/Labor Combat training. It will be done in parts and is for organizers and activists to evaluate.

We have said since 2012 that what the Trades need to do in order to win back market share and restore Middle Class Values is to become a MOVEMENT and not a business union.

Let’s start with a component of the overall strategy that can be done, in a hurry, by senior leadership who continue to live in the caveman era of communications – mass texting platform to talk/instruct/educate R&F membership to take action. Mass texting is but 1 of 3 parts of an overall communications platform long overdue in the 21st century. The 3 parts are mass texting, e-mail & smart phone app. Various unions and internationals use some of these communication parts; however, none are used effectively. Without a mass texting platform by the respective internationals to directly communicate with the R&F, we are going nowhere in leveraging membership numbers.

The issues of the day are threats to the future viability of our Apprenticeships using the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs the anti-union wants, the NLRB cannibalizing workers’ rights, putting shared FACTS into members’ hands in a timely fashion and being nimble to stay ahead of the curve in education and activism. The senior leaders of the Building Trades are HOPING that the new proposed rule doesn’t find its way into construction. Hope isn’t a strategy to anyone but the trades senior leaders! These are just SOME of the avalanche of issues pressing the trades today – and, they exist by design from anti-union forces with non-union forces taking the ride too.

So, the trades’ primary way of pushing back on these attacks is to use passive forms of communications in a world of instant communication. Let’s look at the very real attacks on the Apprenticeship programs. While our training is the flagship of training, our ability to advance and defend it is still in the cave person era of communication!

The trades as a group have senior leadership that relies on members sending emails or signing petitions that are presented to them thru passive communications methods.

They use passive forms of social media, such as Facebook and others. They are passive because someone posts it and it is HOPED that members take an action. It is the old mentality of build it (social media platform like FB) and they will come. How many have actually signed the petition is measurable and those numbers are next to zilch compared to the total membership number plus everyone they know.

Enter an International level use of a mass texting platform. Quite literally the entire membership can receive a mass text delivered to their phone requesting action. This is NOT a group text which we all hate. The mass texting platforms have been long established and are readily available to use and they are cheap given what they can deliver. Translation is the trades DO NOT need a customized BS mass texting platform built by someone’s crony at high dollars and long timetables. They are available as in NOW!

Since the unions have most members’ phones numbers, they can be dumped into a main data base – landlines can be removed from the phone numbers through automation. The unions and R&F depend on cell numbers to get work and provide information. So, the odds that we either have or can continue to get nearly 90% – 100% of members’ numbers is excellent. Mass texting is a one-way communications platform typically. However, internationals can get feedback, if they want, by including a poll and/or a questionnaire. There is zero politics in a properly designed mass texting platform.

This is a proactive, cost effective and timely means to address very important issues, such as getting massive amounts of signatures signed for a petition.

Since most texting services limit number of characters, or even worse split the message into several frustrating parts, the trades, just like any good user, can add a link to a mobile website or landing page; so needed information can be provided and acted on!

Passive FB communication reaches approximately 5% – 10% tops, per the analytics of interaction/clicks. On the other hand, mass texts have the real potential of reaching nearly 100% if the member doesn’t opt out. According to the numbers we have seen, and we’ll provide those numbers from the few locals that use mass texting, most members not in the mass text system opt IN and very seldom opt out of the platform. Should the action requested by senior leader help ensure their ability to earn a living, the likelihood of action, such as signing a petition or responding to a call to action, is high.

Mass texting can be custom tailored to the audience, so the mass texts do not inundate/spam the members’ phones. It can be tailored by group, category of member, zip, area code, county, state and more; and for the most part any subset. For example, in the case of signing the Apprenticeship petition, potentially 2 million members, all retirees and ALL of their contacts can be informed and asked to consider signing the petition in one direct proactive way!

For example, the mobile website contained in a mass text can provide the direct portal to submit comments on in why a member supports a real apprenticeship program. And this link can be sent to millions of members, retirees and friends vs. putting a post on FB and it soon disappears on the timeline. Get it!

Now that is power in numbers – and yet for over a decade, the internationals will NOT do this! Cavemen! Texts would be approximately .01 – .04 CENTS per text, a number that depends on the number of members and components of the message. If we in the trades are paying more than that, we are not too smart. And we are not being smart because as of this blog the trades continue to use mail and/or PASSIVE social media platforms at the same or higher costs with next to zero in performance.

Today’s mass texting platforms are incredibly powerful ways that groups with numbers like the trades can leverage their collective power. Businesses and politicians will certainly take note of this ability – as will the anti-union without any ability to counteract!

Retirees and member on the road can still be a powerful force because they have their phone in their pocket.

Mass texting has huge benefits for an organizing department and also for a marketing department, and yet we fail to use it in even one international. We will teach you in upcoming blogs.

The fact that NO internationals use mass texting and/or any membership-wide proactive, structured communication platform to leverage our numbers is suspect to a big degree. We will discuss that in the future blogs.

There are literally scores of other good uses of a mass texting platform, like scrapping emails and keeping membership information up to date. No more calling someone in the office to do this. This is and has been automated for decades.

Next blog will deal with the structure of raising market share and will be very detailed.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo

Organizer

Labor Rising/Labor Combat