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10 Reasons Why the Trades IPs are the Punks of Management –

  1. Zero accountability to membership. It is even worse than the present state of politics in the U.S. and Canada. Politicians at the highest levels of government in North America can and do lose their jobs. When have you seen an International President of the trades lose an election? When have you seen them even have competition for the job? Members can go an entire career and never see this occur. We don’t have the best officers forged from the cauldron of ideas and risk taking. We have the old stale and pale leaders chosen behind closed doors of the “good ole boys” club, who have never missed a check! And we wonder why we are losing!
  2. Sold out to management. Can’t “sugar coat” this any longer! Since the early 70’s, and especially in the last 2 decades with the strategy of Value on Display, has this been clear. Not my opinion – fact! Every way that VOD can be measured it has failed “NET”! The IPs have capitulated to management to secure hours across the board. The IPs have sold out wages, conditions, benefits, rules, classifications, pensions and working alongside of non and anti-union workers.
  3. The continuing collapse of market share and density is taking a toll on Building Trades’ pensions. The term that a local is at full employment underscores market share collapse. Full employment today is nowhere near what full employment of 15 years ago. Those lost hours, due to lost market share and technology, are the primary drivers of the under-funding of insolvent pensions. Overly rich pension benefits given decades ago and not supported by hard dollars is also a big part of under-funding. A rising stock market, and members subsidizing underfunded pensions for a decade or more, are the only dam left in place. Even if the market retreats to just average historical returns for a time – the pension dam will still have far too many holes to keep it from breaking. Should the market go on a prolonged downturn – goodbye pensions! How about membership money used, for the last decade to now, to subsidize/prop up existing benefit levels? Money off the check – maxed out. The membership is reluctant to take any more money from their annuity. Money available from new negotiations – slim to none. Look at the current trend of management dictating that if they sign a PLA and/or other specialty agreements with the trades – they are OUT of contributing to an underfunded pension.
  4. New classification of BT workers. Like ALL other tools deployed by the old stale and pale bunch thru today has it failed. Being competitive is the language of losing in the trades. Whole generations of organizers, agents and members think that being competitive with the non/anti-union will again restore the trades’ market share. New classifications, market recapture/target funds, extended apprenticeships, PLAs, specialty agreements of every type, just to name but a few competitive give away “TOOLS” that have eroded BT market share. Every one of these “NET” over time HAVE NOT WORKED!
  5. NOT ORGANIZING! This word has been so misused for so long that it no longer has any meaning. Organizing at its heart is imposing worker’s collective rights on a company and those companies around it. Nothing else! It is precisely how the middle class was formed in North America by our Founders. It is as relevant today as it was at any time in the history of North America! OUR IPs will not IMPOSE the rights of workers on non/anti-union companies. The IPs will not put an anti-union contractor and those entities which hire them “out of business”! With VOD being the strategy of appeasement, the IPs have long recoiled from the very concept of putting the most aggressive anti-union groups down. Totally possible, but the internationals will not do it. So, when the term “sold out” is used, this is at the heart of why – allowing the anti/non-union to progress unchallenged over the rights of workers. That is selling out! Organizing is NOT recruitment, salting, stripping, subsidizing wages, partnering with community, waiting for legislative help, blitzing, selling values and training, concession of every type, hoping for a Hail Mary, etc., They are at best tools “IF” used within a greater organizing strategy which imposes workers’ rights on companies. WITHOUT IMPOSING OUR WILL TO SECURE A CBA – THE ABOVE TOOLS ARE LOSERS! Our Founders did 2 things, control the workers AND, more importantly, control the means of production. They went after the company and imposed themselves on the company. They didn’t ask permission and try to sell themselves!
  6. Being victims! OMG Becky! The drama here is Oscar worthy. The internationals blame everything but themselves for the near demise of the trades and then continue with losing strategies. FYI members: Our Founders organized and imposed themselves on countless companies. They were killed, they were beat, they were blacklisted, they worked like slaves, the politics and laws were against them, public support in most cases wasn’t to be found, next to zero money and no rationalization of the circumstances. And despite all of this, and more, our Founders controlled the means of production – and imposed workers’ rights on every major company then in existence. And the “men” for the last 50 years up until today have played victim. They blame everyone for their abdication of the oath they took. Kind of sounds like Trump.
  7. Market development and the complete lack of it in training. Labor Rising has trained more than 700 BT organizers/agents and 95% of them did not know what SIC/NAICS codes were. That’s a big deal and that is entirely on the internationals’ senior Lead Organizers. The entire business world, along with government entities, rely on SIC/NAICS codes to secure information & build info and markets. For decades, our organizers have been set up to fail without being provided formal training. No formal training in how to use and read various credit reports. No combing out and separating the prime players in a market and the noise of a market. Zero training in how to build the non/anti-union market flow business charts. Who is the senior most decision maker/company in the entire chain of construction and funding? And, securing germane opposition research on the narrow and competitive markets into which the trades want to grow and expand.
  8. Next to zero use of proactive and structured technology. It is a sad and long list of disengagement found nowhere in modern society except the senior leadership of the trades! No use of a membership-wide mass texting programs. Mass texting with mobile websites can deliver every type of info to the members, from general info to specific actions tailored to the circumstances and members’/markets’ needs. There are plenty of business applications that can be readily adapted for the trades use, fast and cheap! For example, with mass texting programs can be used to obtain members’ emails. Can deliver major documents like newsletters, Pension/Health & Welfare info, etc. Can provide links to union Apps and vendor Apps. Can be used for cyber organizing and coordinating and facilitating efforts of organizers to work with substantial numbers of non-union workers. Can do worker outreach and conduct mass meetings with meeting platforms such as Go 2 Meetings. So, if an international, DC or union has a mass texting program and the non-union workers’ cell numbers, communication and education becomes fluid, effective and private. But, without full use of pro-active and structured available technology, the trades have zero ability to advance items such as opposition websites of bad actor anti-union companies. Cannot create the website with truthful info and send a mass text to hundreds/ thousands of members with info on what to do. Cannot put the anti-unions’ worst secrets in plain sight and advance them to the top of the search results with membership clicks. Cannot become a “sales engine” for our existing contractors and those that want to become signatory (now that’s selling a benefit far past training). Cannot capitalize on marketing social signals that are the gold in today’s business world, and the trades are sitting on a powder keg of social signals, unused! (Pull out your phone. Google how to have a job/career as a plumber, electrician, HVAC, welding, painting, etc. Add your location such as Boston, Chicago, Seattle. Look at the search results on page 1. The search term of Apprenticeship is seldom used by young people. How many show the trades training? Few to none. So, the trades want young people to consider the trades over college but do next to nothing to “OWN” the 1st page of Google to get them to call us over the non-union!) Cannot post YouTube videos of 2-minute snippets of the various subsets of trades training with maximum effectiveness. Cannot send the apprenticeship link to the membership via a link on a mass text where we can effectively control the message of apprenticeships, although it is totally possible to own substantial social real estate in the shortest time possible and inexpensively. Career fairs should have an I-Pad for prospective apprentices interested in a trade to enter their cell numbers and other info, so an auto-responder will keep in touch with them. Nothing on this list is being used membership wide at the international level effectively! The internationals still practice the build it (technology) and they (the membership) will come with passive and unstructured social signals. Losers!
  9. Complete lack of practical legal organizing training. So, what is the practical real-world pros/cons of Recognition per the law. 90%, and perhaps more of the organizers, reps and agents Labor Rising has trained, do not know this. Not their fault, this is ON the training provided by the senior leadership of the internationals. Without knowing the pros/cons of what, when, how and degrees of what Recognition means, organizers/reps continue to put themselves and their respective unions in legal boxes that favor the non/anti-union. Translation is we lose continuously, and from multiple levels of organizers set up to fail. What is the definition of Secondary activity? Again, the organizers don’t understand the intersection of Secondary and Recognition and what it means to the outcome of a successful campaign. Huge numbers clearly don’t understand that keeping your strategy and game plan confidential pays big dividends. Our organizers talk far too much and to far too many players, and then wonder why the non/anti-union are prepared for us and win! The confusion between 1st Amendment Free Speech rights vs. when the NLRB has jurisdiction is staggering. Hiring is another area where our trades’ organizers are without training. Strong laws exist even today in our current anti-union world regarding hiring, and Organizers are literally clueless. A few examples: at what point do you as an applicant become covered under a law with some teeth? Go to a typical anti/non-union website and see if they have an open application tab/link under jobs/careers on their website. You, as a union organizer are looking at “GOLD” if there is a link available and don’t know it because the internationals will not train you! Control/affect the hiring of the non/anti-union and our winning percentages will go through the roof. No BS. Fact. Civil disobedience and coloring within the lines loses 95% of the time. Can you imagine MLK, Mother Jones and other successful winning activists/organizers alerting those they were protesting that they were coming? At what time!?! And securing permits and staying within planned barricades!?! The entire point of civil disobedience is to change and challenge status quo. It is to correct bad laws. It is to grab those entities by the wallets until they hear us; and do it entirely on our schedule and terms.  At one time women couldn’t vote and slavery was legal. VALUE ON DISPLAY, and being predictability civil, has been a totally failed STRATEGY! Think of this equation. The entire group of organizers/market reps from all trades and from every area suck! All the BS of “got to use the tools in the tool box” is pure BS. So, NO ONE throughout 2 countries and in every trade and area has figured out how to use the tools to win. Talk about the biggest fraud perpetrated on the membership – this is at the top. It is the strategy that has failed not the troops. So, if you are only supposed to recruit and/or sell VOD, even as a passionate advocate of labor, you are set up to lose advancing the middle class. You, my Brothers & Sisters, are securing enough bodies to secure enough hours for the temp agency formally known as the BT! The closest analogy I can think of is that you are trying to win a football game with only the use of running plays between the tackles, and you are starting on your own 5-yard line every time. And every other player, from every other trade, from every state/province has the same losing plays! The defense can beat you 90% of the time, or more, all things being equal. As an Organizer you DO NOT have a full play book because the INTERNATIONALS will not train you in building one, much less allow you practice it! By our numbers at Labor Rising, approximately 75% of those trained by us have either quit organizing, been fired or promoted up and out of the way. They are told we have a Lead Organizer and we do it his way. Play ball or else.  And his way x 14 trades, along with those that preceded him in the past 50 years, have been losers – “NET”! Totally measurable.
  10. It is mid October 2018 and Trump will sign RTW anti-union legislation soon along with more anti-worker carnage. The Supreme Court is stacked against workers’ rights even if the D’s win back some seats. The truth of the situation is stark! Will the International Presidents of the trades continue to be the punks of business? Will they continue being a temp agency appeasing the world of construction at every turn while talking smack at our conventions and meetings? The DNA that our Founders had in building a trades MOVEMENT is nowhere to be found by this “good ole boy” club! The fate and legacy of the trades now rests on 14 old men with weak backbones!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle –

Karl Rove’s (The Architect) masterful use of party partisanship is a political game that few in Washington can play. His plan was to build a permanent R Majority in the Federal Government. What he understood was that the U.S. has historically gravitated towards the center, with most citizens tilting right or left but not far from center! A few examples using labor legislation – In 1916 Congress passed the Keating–Owen Child Labor Act (left), the first national child labor bill. The American Plan of the 20’s (hard right), which deemed unions to be “un-American,” resulted in anti-union efforts of employers that decreased union membership and efficacy until the 1930s. The Norris Laguardia Act (left) passed in 1932. It banned yellow-dog contracts, barred the federal courts from issuing injunctions against nonviolent labor disputes, and created a positive right of noninterference by employers against workers joining trade unions.

More examples – The Wagner Act of 1935 (left), which greatly increased the authority of the federal government in industrial relations establishing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to execute this program and strengthened the organizing power of labor unions. The TaftHartley Act (right), which became law despite President Harry Truman’s (1945–1953) veto. Also known as the Labor-Management Relations Act, it passed Congress in1947 and established guidelines to correct unions’ unfair labor practices and to restrict the activities and power of labor unions.

For my Brothers and Sisters who want to see fully what our FOUNDERS did to get us to this point, here is an educational link that is a timeline of labor issues and events: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_labor_issues_and_events

Notice how the activities of unions drop after the Federal Air Traffic Controllers began a nationwide strike. Most of the 13,000 striking controllers defied the back-to-work order and were dismissed by President Reagan on 5 August 1981. The union(s) then, in the 80’s, and continuing to NOW, have had NO sustained strategy unlike our FOUNDERS who knew how sustain pressure and win!

The point here is that Rove knew that by keeping all Republicans acting on sharp partisan votes, the perception that the Democrats are also a partisan party would emerge. We are talking about developing citizen partisanship in the extreme.

Turns out Rove was far too nice. His version of “extreme” was still “establishment Republican” and not really all that extreme. However, who was paying attention to this strategy was the Tea Party, which started in early 2009. The legislative arm of the Tea Party is the Freedom Caucus – funded by the Koch Brothers. Many of the most extreme Tea Party members were borne out of Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America in 1994. The Tea Partiers concluded that the Contract with America failed in part because the political partisanship wasn’t extreme enough.

Along with extreme partisanship that the Tea Party used in saying NO to both D’s and establishment R’s, they masterfully infused fear-based politics. So “primarying” establishment R’s and vetoing any legislation that is not 100% consistent with their narrow agenda is their MO!

Ironically, if the D’s had developed a similar/identical strategy, the U.S. would still be in the exact same position – HUGELY POLARIZED!

 

American politics, and even politics throughout the world, are in a state of devolution. We used to vote for a favored politician and his/her positions. That gave way to voting for the lesser of two evils. To what now has moved huge percentages of voters to flat out voting against a politician because of the alternative. This is pure fear-based politics on both sides. Forget who started what and what now exists, which is a full range of extreme rhetoric to flat out lying. Americans are expected to vote for positions that are extremes off the center, controlled by parties that refuse to build consensus or even compromise. Too bad NEITHER is not a choice on the ballot.

Our political environment is one of neighbor against neighbor, using hyperbole to get a super narrow agenda passed. Poll after poll measure positions that are increasingly opposite ends of the extreme. Nearly 50% disengagement of the electorate tells the story of the citizen voter. It’s fine with the extremes that ½ of our citizens sit it out, or in the alternative, they fan the flames of fear and discontentment – and they win! So, we end up with a government in the extreme either to the right or left, which is a true minority government.

Tolerance of each other IS NOT acceptance. But in this hyper-state we are told it is. Most issues that effect the average citizen have a consensus, compromise, or pragmatic solution available if the parties would work to achieve it. For the last decade or two, this has been nearly impossible because of political fear replacing integrity. We are now at a point of either/or in a country of realists who instinctively know that such dualistic thinking creates impossibilities in a nation of 340 million people with 40 religions and 140’ish nationalities.

And the Trades, whose members politically represent American voters probably better than any other group, have been sitting on the sidelines for approximately the same length of time. Why? Because of a strategy of concession and appeasement to get any crumbs they can get, along with the totally failed strategy of Value on Display!

The Trades have ceded their role as a MOVEMENT and as champions of workers. The trades have abandoned being a balance to organized capital. Capitalism works just fine, SO LONG AS THERE IS ORGANIZED LABOR. Subtract the latter and it is “Katy bar the door” in the U.S. and Canada.

The trades being absent in the fight for so long, and in fact, working with management, has helped the extremes take root. Organizing is taking management on – directly, and in some cases in a no-holds-barred fashion to force management to the table to come to a consensus or compromise. The trades and labor are that important. Workers’ rights, pay inequity, safety being transferred to the worker, building unsafe working conditions, limitations and destruction of benefits, collapsing market share and density numbers, which are all measurable, rest on the shoulders of current and recently former trades senior leadership abandoning the roles the FOUNDERS built!

When WORKERS’ pockets are full, and they see a balance of labor and management, they don’t fall for the extremes and talk in much more measured tones. We all benefit. The extremes, be they right or left, can go jump in the lake! When workers see lives collapsing around them, including those of their kids and other family, they become susceptible to fear.

Our International Presidents have settled for being a temp agency. Finding bodies and doing what they are told by management. The strategy of “HOPE” is an unproven strategy so hoping for infrastructure to change the trades lot has not worked out. The trades are in fact losing market share even in record years of construction. Similarly hoping that the millennial’s who have polled strongly in a pro-union direction are taking a flyer on joining the trades in any kind of numbers. This group are strong in their beliefs. As they mature as great activist will (our Founders) they will not want to be a part of “union” with old, stale and pale men leading them – not happening! A MOVEMENT is energy in an organic form. Knowing right and wrong, and the haves and have nots. Being a part of something grand and providing the balance of ORGANIZED workers to take on organized capital.

Instead of our internationals trolling FB for political discontentment, they should be aware of the huge groups of workers forming in social media forums around union principals. They have in fact wobbled jobs, and some big ones at that. And they are not only not calling us, they are on record of saying we are part of the problem with the concession and appeasement.

Is there some solidarity out there – small pockets, yes! However, it is very possible that a new trades movement will develop before long and jump right over us.

Put this Genie back in the bottle IP’s – because history is hard against you and will reflect it!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

The Building Trades Have Been Losing for a Long Time –

50 Years of Shrinking Union Membership, In One Map

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/02/23/385843576/50-years-of-shrinking-union-membership-in-one-map

The Building Trades have collapsed disproportionately during this period as compared to public sector unions – steady and consistent loss of market share irrespective of the economy and political administrations “NET” over decades!

Robert Georgine, who was the Building Trades President from 1974 – 2000, was particularly effective in capitulation and conceding to management at the national building trades level. Many of the specialty agreements now used had their roots when Georgine was the S/T (1971) and President (1974) of the National Building Trades. The Oil Embargo of 1973 collapsed construction for several years. The path of least resistance to management was Georgine’s way – give the work away under specialty agreements! This was also the era of the expansion of the “good ole boys” club. Georgine never funded organizing and we became the “country club,” turning away all those on permit then in (1973), on a doby, white ticket or temporary worker status. Most credible numbers put that at 50% of all Building Trades workers back then. It was like putting the non/anti-union on steroids. The anti-union component was composed of those with many years of work on temporary workers status who then got screwed out of ANY type of pension. ERISA was passed in part to establish pension vesting rules, and not just the failure of the Studebaker Corp. Georgine’s poor leadership not only didn’t get him fired – he was awarded additional responsibilities as the CEO of ULLICO in 1990, a union owned insurance/investment company. You may want to Google Global Crossing to see the scandal Georgine et al was a part of. Almost single handedly he wreaked havoc with two labor entities during his tenure. He created a culture of appeasing management.

The trades were at a crossroad in 2001 and had a choice of which direction to take after the disaster of the Georgine, et al, Era. The Carpenters pulled the pin and disaffiliated with the trades to pursue Labor/ Management Carpenters’ style – which BTW hasn’t worked either. Others, like Brother Ed Hill, came to power when he was appointed General President of the IBEW. His interests were the same as memberships, in that he saw numbers and markets being lost from the Georgine Era. In what I believe was then a decision made in “good faith”, the IBEW, et al, had a decision to make on a strategy to raise numbers. That decision would become the earliest form of what we now call Value on Display (Business Unionism to many). To his credit, Brother Hill was the only person at the national level to have a plan. And, as the IBEW went, so did most other Building Trades in making this fateful decision. It isn’t that Brother Hill didn’t care – actually it is quite the opposite – he did!

Collaboration with management and selling a value back in 2001 was a legit strategic decision – to sell the value of training, skills and availability of workers at prices/conditions in line with competition that the non/anti-union exerted over the construction market through 2001.

Brother Hill and most of the rest of the IP’s bet the farm on Value on Display by the early 2000’s. Working with management in a collaborative spirit in “HOPES” of raising market share. This was also the beginning of the Breslin Era of selling and being “professionals.” However, his and the IPs’ definition of that concept, is very different from that of the Founders.

Around 2003, Standards of Excellence were adopted, as was a position of softening the actions and titles of Organizers to that of Market Development Reps. This meant a kinder/softer strategy of NOT rocking any management boats at almost any level. Market Recapture/Target funds to buy (and subsidize) work come into being. We call it contractors crack. Hard core concerted activities (including labor unrest) was replaced by persuasive speaking classes. Some trades developed proprietary, subjective measuring and tracking tools. Salting gave way to stripping, which is now recruitment. Funding labor/management groups became mandatory and was prime language in most CBAs. The CBA gave way to PLAs; and new worker classifications along with rolling over to most of management’s demands. And now pensions are threatened because of increasing management demands to NOT pay into them because of the funding levels.

The issue wasn’t: “Is this strategy going to work or not?”  It was tracking and critiquing/measuring the effectiveness of Value on Display as a strategy over time and in varying economic cycles. Can’t fault leaders charged with strategy development in 2001; however, EVERY number across the board “NET” clearly indicates that Value on Display is NOT only a disaster – management uses it AGAINST the trades! The strategy of VOD has reduced the trades to a temp agency and works in almost all circumstances to benefit management while the unions get crumbs!

Some comparisons: The Dow on Dec. 31, 2001 – 10021, now 25,790, an approximately 150% increase, including all crashes from then till now! Population of U.S. in 2001 – 285 million, now 330 million, which is why the trades’ density number is a joke! Value of Construction Put in Place in 2001 – 863 billion (Source: U.S. Census). The Value of Construction Put in Place, total in 2017 was 1.2 trillion and has been at 1.2 – 1.6 trillion for 3 consecutive years (Source: U.S. Census).

Union Building Trades in 2002 – approximately 18%; in 2017 it is approximately 14% (U.S. Census). Many other sources have it as low as 10%. ALL Private Sector unions in the U.S. sit at 10.6% today (Source: U.S. Census).

Membership numbers for 2002 & 2017:

Carpenters in 2002 – 531,839; 2017 – 424,826

IBEW in 2002 – 722,095; 2017 – 671-076 (ask the IBEW how many are inside field construction)

Laborers in 2002 – 840,180; 2017 – 576,75 LIUNA leaves the BT in 2006 to join CtW (Change to Win) (Source for all numbers above: The Internationals’ own LM-2)

AND BTW: we are giving books away at cut rate prices and losing. The Trades do not understand that those that want to be union – want far more than skills and training. THEY WANT TO BELONG TO A MOVEMENT! As Senator McCain, RIP Brother, said, something bigger than themselves. We are in the right place in history, but with the wrong strategy and leaders!

The above 3 unions each has its own version of Labor/Management cooperation – all have gotten their butts kicked along with the rest of the trades “NET” with any version of Value on Display!

When held up to money in the economy, growth of population, growth of construction – DENSITY/MARKET SHARE of Value on Display has been an absolute DISASTER. Even factoring in tech advances in construction delivery, VOD has reduced us to near extinction!

With the rise of potent anti-union Hell-bent on putting the union trades OUT OF BUSINESS, along with a sound strategy of transferring our union contractors and workers to the non-union, we are systematically being shut down.

ORGANIZING is taking the non-union CONTRACTOR and imposing a CBA on them regardless if they want one or not. It is giving anti-union their wish, which is they would rather go out of business than work with a union.

Our Founders did far more than control the work force – why they were successful is they went after the customer, owner, end-user, developer, contractor and imposed themselves on clients, credit and markets (now public perception of the company). They also had a detailed strategic plan of what, when and where. AND, they always kept their MOUTHS SHUT, except at the CBA table. AT ALL TIMES, no one (from management) ever knew when they would show up and what they would do!

Here is a link to what the Building Trades need to teach to get back to building a “middle class” of workers instead of being complicit with wage stagnation and the rise of “working poor”! https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmKOi71GyLcgkRDGsNrLWiSeduGk This is the Labor Rising Foundations training outline that the trades at the national level will not allow Rank & File to develop and execute! Losing appears to be in their DNA – not ours!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

Infrastructure and P3s – The Final Nail in This Version of The Trades –

P3s are Private Public Partnerships – and, the trades are in the wrong place with the wrong strategy if P3s are the primary way we (re)build infrastructure going forward. Just because there may be endless amounts of work in no way ensures that union trades will be doing the work with a P3.

Right now, the senior leaders of the trades are working deals to use union pension money to fund investment vehicles for P3s. The trades’ senior leaders are working thru some complex deal making and evaluating how to deal with the financial risk regarding the viability of the projects and profit.

Value on Display has been a massive failed strategy during its entire use as the go-to strategy of the trades – and the P3s are going to eat this strategy up (use it to their exclusive advantage). Yes, use it to their advantage. P3’s is in no way the way both the US & Canada has built infrastructure in both D’s & R administrations until now. What is even more disappointing is these types of P3 projects would be hugely susceptible to organizing. Any disruptions to the for-profit construction of P3’s would give labor leverage on both non-union contractors and workers. However, we will sell and talk our way into even lower market share relative to the work and let the GREED of management proceed with the trades complacent! Lots of rhetoric but complacent actions deferring at all times to management!

The trades have limited pension dollars to risk on funding/investing in for-profit infrastructure. Those few pensions healthy enough to invest in them will be limited in the dollar/percentage amount available for allocation – typically 10%.

The P3 investment world is going to recruit our Pension Trustees/Agents/Senior Leaders to be partners in infrastructure. At best, we will be a junior partner in most of the deals (with little to no leverage).  An example is The West Deptford Energy Station, which is a $1.5 billion redevelopment construction project. In 2016, ULLICO Infrastructure Fund (UIF) completed a $78 million equity investment in West Deptford Energy Station. ULLICO is a Union owned insurance/investment company. ULLICO will have approximately 5% of the project to buy jobs and take on the risk of the deal making money OVER TIME! It is a highly illiquid investment and the returns hover around most Taft-Hartley assumptions of approximately 7%. We will go to all the collaborative meetings with management and teach the end-users et al how to do the job, especially the highly technical parts. The trades will bend over backwards to facilitate initial and advanced training. And, on top of putting our dollars in the project and teaching and training, we will still take cuts in our pay packages to get “HOURS”! And the old and tired mantra of “lets get on the job and show them what unions can do” will still take place. IT HAS NEVER WORKED!

Many, if not all, P3s will increasingly opt out of paying into a Defined Benefit Pension Fund as we move into the end of this decade and into the next because of the underfunding issues of so many pensions – yep, the very Infrastructure Funds that are soliciting our Pension Funds to fund their P3s. An irony, but this will be true. The trades will get a sliver of the total infrastructure work and be kept on life support by the corporations to milk every ounce of total benefit from the organization formally known as the free and independent Building Trades. Every number and trend indicate that the union contractors and blue-chip union hands are being recruited to the non-union, by design! BTW, good luck getting your pension funds back once invested. These are long-term investments, be it closed or open-end funds, separate account or pooled, equity or debt funds. Any takers on this? The comment section is open for all, including senior BT leadership and/or ULLICO folks.

This collaboration/capitulation to secure hours is Value on Display on steroids! So, the trades will PAY for the privilege of being put out of existence, at least this version. Labor Rising has said for 10 years that our research and trends demonstrate that the anti/non-union are transferring the union contractors and workers to the non-union. A very smart strategy since time and 90% of the market is on the non/anti-union side. Given a complete lack of leadership, the trades are set up to fall and pay for it all at the same time.

During the last 30+ years the Building Trades history is crystal clear. We concede huge amounts of wages, benefits and conditions, while helping the customer learn how to efficiently do the project and typically are then shown the door in upcoming phases. We do all the heavy lifting and concessions and still lose the job and market. “NET” across all trades – the loss of density of market has been a complete catastrophe with Value on Display which is void in GENUINE ORGANIZING! The trades have lost market share in EVERY sector across the board, even factoring in advances in construction delivery due to technology.

It is no coincidence that anti-union legislation/NLRB/Supreme Court/Congress/RTW are lining up to deliver both public and trades unions a decisive, and if things don’t change, a fatal blow to any type of workers’ rights. P3s will be exempt from Prevailing Wage/Davis Bacon laws. In short order, PLAs will be gone, too, for all intents and purposes.

The trades have relegated themselves into being a temp agency to the construction world, in that they do the “recruitment” and training of workers. Recruitment IS NOT organizing. And the retention rate of nearly 1:1 throughout the trades means we are training the non-union and losing our best hands. The dogs and our legendary comp case workers stay and hide behind union rules. Blitzes are a worn out and failed strategy and yet we continue to use them now for “recruitment” – got to find bodies. It is called organizing – but it is NOT! Weak organizers use it in lieu of decisive tactics and strategies.

P3s are for profit. Think back to the advent of the contemporary Construction Manager in the 80’s, this is when BT market share started to decline rapidly. Why? That’s where the money is! Think of the role the construction manager plays on the job – to save the end-users’ money. However, think of this, the CM is a “for profit” company. So, riddle me this Bat Man – how do you save money for the end-user and pocket sizable profits for the CM (typically north of 20%, depending on type of CM and their role and relationship)? The answer, through gouging union CONTRACTS/CBAs, and off the union workers’ backs. Add in the Value on Display catastrophe for giving away workers’ wages, benefits and conditions by selling (out) the trades; and the trades have been on a losing streak in market share and pay ever since. The Race to the Bottom started in unions, and because the trades have been conceding at every turn, this has affected the entire workforce. The charts showing loss of union wages = loss of all workers wages for the past decades.

Well, P3s are today’s version of the CMs from the 80’s until present day. P3s turn a “PROFIT” and at the same time save money on total project cost! The workers, especially UNION workers contracts/CBA’s, will once again be the way the two objectives described above can be accomplished.

Every time the trades participate in their endless labor/management collaborative meetings and “let’s all love each other PARTNERSHIPS”, they’ve lost ground across the board – “NET”!

Now that the Rs are calling the shots, P3s will be the biggest pot of legal cash ever for management! The rebuilding of North America! However, this time around workers will not participate in a fair deal because our senior leaders have long abandoned any semblance of a trades union for workers. It is all about hours and being a temp agency! The trades are responsible for the worker class now forming and have long abandoned being the champion of the “MIDDLE CLASS”! The sheer numbers of the concessions over decades by senior leadership is verifiable and felt in the families budget.

On one hand, Trump (our President who couldn’t pass a lie detector test to save his soul!) is playing the trades like a fiddle – making promises that otherwise discerning grown men are believing! And on the other hand, Trump is allowing every non-union Executive Order and legislation through with his signature. With the addition of a very conservative judge, the Supremes will rubber stamp most, if not all, workers’ rights issues negatively.

All of this because the Trades WILL NOT FIGHT & ORGANIZE! The Trades will not train their Organizers  how to formally build a market; format sectors; learn SIC codes; separate non-union and anti-union companies, end-users, and construction managers; develop specific strategies and tactics for each; understand recognition and secondary law, hiring and application law; use mass communication with the R&F; use membership as a sales engine; do formidable opposition research; learn how to use opposition websites; learn to shut up; learn to quit selling and represent the interests of workers; impose a CBA on all companies, regardless if they want one or not! No scorched earth tactics. Methodical structured strategies researched for the trade. These are what our Founders did, and what is included in Labor Rising’s & Labor Combat’s instructions. But, the Internationals shut us down at every turn, even though they have a totally failed strategy and no strategy to win past losing! Labor Rising is said to be BT BASHERS – the overwhelming bad numbers of the Trades performance is the basher – LR just reports it! Our Founders would kick their butts big time!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door for Government/Private Sector to Run the Table Against Unions –

And these “leaders” listed below, and their immediate predecessors, sit and wait like a deer in the headlights to get run over!

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

EVERY piece of verifiable information, from all quadrants of business and government, indicates that the trades are going down! And yet the above leaders insist that Value on Display is working, and as Trump does quit often – doubling down on being collaborative (complicit) with management.

Consider the Supreme Court decision as a prelude to an avalanche of upcoming anti-union legislation.

Long before the mid-term elections the R’s Freedom and Heritage factions will submit legislation for PLA’s, RTW, prevailing wage reform to outright repeal – stripping organizing rights and making a bad NLRB even less effective. There will be NO help for insolvent trades’ pensions with this group. MAYBE a coalition of commerce type R’s working with D’s for pension help – but betting money is against that – and the history of the hard-right beating the traditional faction of the Rs supports that bet!

Right now, many trades are “securing” deals for their own trades with many diverse players on infrastructure. Those deals/partnerships aren’t even worth the paper they are written on! The trades are in the every trade for themselves mode. This is like climbing a greased pole, and yet even though the trades have NEVER climbed that greased pole of Value on Display – they continue to try. Being partners. Being chumps!

Huge amounts of the upcoming infrastructure will be public/private funding. The R’s have created legislation to strip those jobs of PLA’s and other union initiatives.

Many companies are launching efforts to train skilled workers – using the trades training info, but not the trades themselves. I’d say stealing the trades training info – except for the fact that we GIVE it away. I was particularly interested in the current Exxon training commercial, which is running in select markets and highlights the training of the UA. Exxon is partnering with others on this initiative!

And yet we continue to recruit and call it ORGANIZING! We protest (in talk) and passively (staying behind the barricades) – and we complain about how unfair it all is!

Activism is on the rise in both the U.S. and Canada, and yet the trades – despite EVERY number(s) across all measuring categories showing that for more than 3 decades of losses – continue to sit and capitulate!

The trades as a temp agency can not even survive as a temp agency if the shell as a union is gone!

Leaders my butt – they are rolling over on their responsibility to ensure the future of the middle class and that of all workers, union or not!

These leaders wouldn’t know a good fight if it bites them on the rear –

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

Our Building Trades Pensions – Updates on Relief – “IF” – “WHEN” – “HOW MUCH” –

As articles #1 & #2 below point out – Pension Reform of the multi-employer plans is now on the table, and time is quickly running out! As you read the news snip of #1 & #2, pay attention to the wording used. ALL parties will compromise in dealing with pension underfunding solutions – if any solutions are achieved at all! The caveat is WILL the anti-union legislators support at least some reasonable compromise. No sure thing!

Also, in NO plan which is trying to address this underfunding to date, is the participant/member made whole. Whole is defined by what the participant/member was told they earned towards retirement before they find out about being in an underfunded pension!

Two different funding issues are at play, both are no wins for participants/members and in some cases retirees, dealing with an underfunded pension. So, if you look at #4 below – these are the funds in various stages of underfunding with Critical and Declining being those most troubled. ALL of “our” funds come under the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC – https://www.pbgc.gov/)

The first pension issue is that the PBGC insures our funds – BUT only to a point! The formula is approximately 30 cents on the dollar. The PBGC is also severely underfunded itself – translation being that the PBGC CANNOT even pay the 30 cents on the dollar they cover. So, the PBGC needs a loan from a source. Enter the U.S. Congress and efforts to secure loans in order to shore up the PBGC to pay even the 30 cents! The PBGC is currently $65 billion short of paying the 30 cents to those troubled plans and participants/members! Read the above link from the PBGC to see how and who gets paid.

That leads into #3 below and the 2nd issue – the 2014 Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA). For pensions that can NOT pay even the retirees what has been promised, MPRA was passed. This is draconian for retirees/participants/members of pensions that will flat out run out of money in the not so distant future. Our Internationals/District Councils/Locals have zero choice in participating in this reform.

What they do have is choice in what strategy they pursue. The choice of Value on Display has dramatically hurt pension funds “NET” since inception! Pensions are heavily dependent on 2 key provisions. The first is hitting a bogey called an accrual assumption. It is typically approximately 7% for Multiemployer Pension Funds. So, our funds must hit the bogey to break even on commitments to promised benefits. However, hours have a big impact. Full employment in most Locals today IS NOT what it was even a decade ago. Those missing hours loom large and the bogey is then also negatively affected.

Value on Display has taken what was mostly a self-inflicted wound by greedy BT Trustees, and put not only the trades’ viability in doubt, but also the pensions of participants/members.

How were the issues of today’s underfunding mostly self–inflicted? Men of my generation said almost unanimously for nearly 30 years, starting in the mid 70’s, to PUT THE MONEY ON THE CHECK!! For 30 years they didn’t fund their own retirement through contributions. Then, as they neared retirement they put almost all new contract money into their pension funds. “If” those contributions had gone forward through a policy of funding prospective service, from that date forward, we wouldn’t be dealing with this problem today. But, it did not. Pension calculations went back 20 and even 30 years to pick up past accruals. Do the math – you cannot put 3 -5 years of contributions in, and then when you retire expect that money to support 30 years of very rich retirement benefits, to be paid in the hundreds of dollars per month!

Weak union politicians blame the government. To be sure the funds had rules to GIVE benefits once funding levels hit approximately 120% of funding. Good/great trustees back then had little issue following the rules and NOT getting into underfunding problems.

Greedy Trustees wanted the increases even though they were part of the “put it on the check” crowd, misrepresenting the consequences to participants/members. And, what participant/member turns down a great benefit increase? This mess is not the members’ fault. They did NOT know they were building their own coffin in those plans!

Past the help from the loan, if it materializes, how will the trades go forward? With Value on Display we are by design by the IP’s a temp agency – selling training and bodies for hours. Many future employers will no longer pay into a mostly failed pension, which is what they are demanding in negotiations more and more!

The flip side is ORGANIZING! Not recruiting, not selling, not apologizing! Organizing both workers and companies. Imposing a CBA on contractors regardless if they want one or not! Then and only then will there be the foundation for restoring our pensions. And effective organizing would do more than that! It would restore the Middle Class and current underfunded pension funds will begin to realize surpluses! Any IP in the privacy of their own office and working with pension pros can see that path.

We can Organize our way back to a seat at the table and solid pensions through hard work and the passion of a Labor Movement – not a business organization! The numbers work out!

I’ve been at this for a long time. For your consideration, many of us worked with U.S. Representative Earl Pomeroy in 1998, long before the ERISA Committee, on a summary of a plan that he not only acknowledged but advanced. This plan, along with other initiatives and organizing has many intersections. The “good ole boys” of the Building Trades – from the seventies through today have wreaked havoc on the Membership, Middle Class, Organizing efforts, market share of the trades and our underfunded pensions! The same cadre of senior leaders and their loyal to a fault minions have wreaked both Organizing and Pensions! Our Blogs are based on numbers and solutions grounded in experience and not politics.

So here is a new spin on a tried and true concept: Organize your way out of these issues or die! When these participants, members and even retirees start missing checks all the BS PR spin will not help! Some funds have already gone to the PBGC and are securing applications for MPRA! Time is running out!

  1. Multiemployer pension reform effort launches in Washington BY HAZEL BRADFORDMARCH 14, 2018 2:57 PM Pensions & Investments

http://www.pionline.com/article/20180314/ONLINE/180319935/multiemployer-pension-    reform-effort-launches-in-washington

  1. Multiemployer Pension Reform Principles from the S. Chamber of Commerce – Wednesday, March 14, 2018 – 8:00am

https://www.uschamber.com/report/multiemployer-pension-reform-principles

  1. Pension plans that have applied to cut benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act

              Pension Rights Center – Date Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2018

http://www.pensionrights.org/publications/fact-sheet/pension-plans-have-applied-cut-benefits-          under-multiemployer-pension-reform-a

  1. Department of Labor – 2017 Critical, Critical and Declining, Endangered Status Notices – Critical Status Notices & Endangered Status Notices

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/public-disclosure/2017-funding-status-notices#2017-c-and-d

How to Obtain Employee Benefit Documents from the Department of Labor – 3 pages.

https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/publications/how-to-obtain-employee-benefit-plan-documents-from-dol.pdf

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer/Trustee
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

 

 

The Construction Chart Book – 6th Edition – and this means what to me!?!

People ask all the time – how do we at Labor Rising/Labor Combat get the numbers that are contained in our research and blogs? One of those sources is The Construction Chart Book.

The Construction Chart Book, now in its 6th Edition, started in 1990. Here is the link: https://www.cpwr.com/publications/construction-chart-book

The Chart Books are a LAGGING indicator and the 6th Edition, which has been recently released, deals with info thru 2015. Although history to some, for any organizer/market planner it is invaluable information to use to see where we HAVE BEEN, so we know where we ARE GOING!

This is “our” book of Building Trades specific information, dealing exclusively with the trades in North America. And yet, it is not released or widely shared throughout the trades. So, as President of North America’s Building Trades Unions and Board Chair and President, CPWR, where is it Sean? Is it in a black box under your desk at BT HQ? As far as we know, Labor Rising is the only entity that has shared it with Rank & File members, agents and organizers! We have shared the 4th, 5th & now the 6th Edition on our dime!

The consensus of those who attend Labor Rising/Labor Combat training is that there are two primary reasons these Chart Books ARE NOT shared. First, they have continuously painted a crystal-clear picture, in detail, of the trades’ continuing demise. ALL numbers are vetted and researched, paid in part by OUR per capita participation as dues paying members of the Building Trades!

Nice! Great info to build intelligent strategies for truly expanding market share, and it sits, as it always has, hidden in plain sight from those R&F Agents and Organizers who can make sense out of it.

Second, the locals and district councils are to be kept in the dark about how to format true actionable organizing and even marketing strategies. That is and has been the sole providence of the senior leaders for decades. The Trades could teach hardcore market development, but they chose not to. What they teach is BS fluff and how to be victims! Reading the entire contents put the sleight of hand that the trades are winning in perspective. So, for example “that in 2015; and union market share reached 42% to 50% in the Heavy Civil/Industrial sector”. Well in 2017, it continues to fall. Hold that number up to residential, commercial, maintenance, sector leaders and the rest – and you’ll come to understand why the trades collectively hold approx. 10% total – “NET” market share and an even lower Density number as compared to 1990 when the Chart Book began!

While the troops fail in the trenches and chase their tails, the IP’s have made deals to service the big sectors – capitulating on wages, benefits & conditions for decades. We are, by design, a TEMP agency – by the design of our own IP’s – case closed!

So, read away. These are just SOME of the wonderfully formatted and researched work done that you may have no clue about! Here are just some of the sections to visit in The Construction Chart Book (6th edition). Forward, Detailed Contents: Industrial ClassificationMain FindingsIndustry Summary Payroll Establishments and Employees in Construction –  Nonemployer Establishments in Construction –  Construction Spending: Private and Public Sector –  Private Residential and Nonresidential Construction –  Demographics of Business Owners in Construction and All IndustriesCharacteristics of Construction Businesses –  Labor Force Structure and Definitions –  Worker Age in Construction and Other IndustriesAge of Construction Workers by Union Status, Hispanic Ethnicity, Type of Employment, and Occupation –  Foreign-born Workers in Construction and Other Industries –  Hispanic Workers in Construction and Other Industries –  Hispanic Workers in Construction OccupationRacial Minorities as a Worker Group in Construction and Other IndustriesWomen Workers in Construction and Other Industries –  Temporary Workers in Construction and Other IndustriesSelf-Employment in Construction and Other Industries –  Employment Costs in Construction and Other IndustriesWages in Construction, by Demographic Characteristics, Unionization, and Region

The above links are but a few of the total contents of The Construction Chart Book, 6th Edition.

“IF” the Rank & File Agents, Organizers and Market Development Officers had this level of information at their disposal and the training to put it all together – say like that provided by Labor Rising – the Trades can win! Understanding the information, were to get it, market analysis of SIC codes, reading credit reports, doing opposition research, blending in cyber organizing, having a relevant communications platform; and leveraging that into social media and as a sales engine to recruit and retain union contractors and the trades win going away!

It is NOT the guys and gals in the field who are failing! Because if that were the case, we would be capitulating to the belief that throughout the entire North American continent, across all trades and areas of the entire continent and for decades, we couldn’t and can’t win market share! It is NOT THE Organizers/Agents which have failed, but rather the massive failure of Value on Display as a strategy which has! But what we know to be true is that we don’t win because: 1) We have abandoned being a MOVEMENT; and 2) The senior leadership decided decades ago that they will decide the future of the trades! That future is as a BUSINESS ORGANIZATION – a temp agency – providing labor under terms and conditions entirely set by management.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

Coxey’s Army?

Today is the anniversary of “Coxey’s Army” arrival in Washington on April 30,1894.

The story of “Coxey’s Army” is written by Joe DeFilippo and performed by the R.J. Phillips Band, a group of Baltimore musicians. Joe DeFilippo: vocals, bass and acoustic guitar; Bill Phelan: lap steel, 6 string electric and 12 string guitar; Patrick McAvinue: fiddle; Leslie Darr: background vocals; Bill Pratt: drums, organ, background vocals. Produced & recorded by: Bill Pratt @ the Bratt Studio, Baltimore,MD.

Enjoy the music – https://soundcloud.com/user660132316/coxeys-army

Music has underpinned workers protests for decades – it joined all in support!

Coxey’s Army and other activist are the “shoulders” the current “Labor Leaders” of the trades stand on. So, when members post what has labor has done for North America workers. These are the types of Brothers & Sisters that fought in the trenches in the past, that helped secure our rights today.

Those workers “Rights” are in full retreat with the Value on Display strategy that the Trades have pursued for decades. As we said in last weeks Blog, our Founders are turning over in their graves!

So, what was Coxey’s Army? Coxey’s Army was a protest march by unemployed workers from the United States, led by Ohio businessman Jacob Coxey. They marched on Washington D.C. in 1894, the second year of a four-year economic depression that was the worst in United States history to that time.

The activism which grew directly and indirectly out of the activism of these protestors spawned future civil and labor rights protest in the US.

Coxey’s Army – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coxey%27s_Army

The protests of Coxey’s Army are the basis for the Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum. The one watched on TV!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

Trades Founders Must be Turning Over in Their Graves –

Under the premise that we must “organize or die,” our Building Trades unions have invested heavily for the last 30 years in the following efforts (note that I am not calling these initiatives strategies, because they have proven that they are not):

  • Market as a brand
  • Sell a product, placing control of the Building Trades’ future in the hands of businesses and politicians
  • Refer to the construction community as our customers
  • Abandon all economic pressure on anti-union entities (i.e., end-users, developers, construction managers and GC’s), including strikes, controlling the means of production, legal civil disobedience and other forms of legal labor unrest
  • Negotiate with emphasis on concession after concession – “being competitive”
  • Operate as a business organization (e.g., TEMP agency), de-emphasizing the trades as UNIONS and in many cases, quite literally running away from the U word

But the ironies are striking – we’re not talking about recruit or die, top-down or die, collaborate or die, or marketing development or die, or even business unionism or die! We’re talking about our unions NOT ORGANIZING, so we are dying!

Organizing is putting the non/anti-union companies under a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), regardless of whether they want to be a party to it or not. It is also granting the anti-union construction entities their wish – which is to go out of business rather than sign with the union. Organizing the company and their workers adds market share and DENSITY (a far greater measure), as all jobs going forward will be done with union trades, and the companies necessary to achieve that goal.

Recruiting is not organizing, it is adding more workers to the rolls without the corresponding increase in contractors in the market. Recruitment is selling out union principals on the cheap. It betrays the ultimate union value of making workers’ lives and conditions better. If workers want to yell and protest, sue, call OSHA and engage in more passive activities, anti/non-union can easily handle this. It is no more than a cost of doing business. Until and unless the trades have the ability (when needed) to IMPOSE a CBA on a contractor – our Founders will continue to roll over in their graves! Quit selling – impose workers’ rights!

A CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) is earned by controlling businesses’ bottom-line –  Organizing! Organizing pays big time attention to the end-users, developers, CMs’ and GCs’ clients, credit and social perception – those who ultimately sign the checks. Their wallets need to be grabbed and grabbed hard economically via their revenue – not that hard to do in the 21st century if a union concentrates on the betterment of workers’ lives, union or not!

As our Founders learned – it’s all about how the money gets divided. If we continue with the passive “please see our value” approach, plead with politicians to “please help out a brother”, and do the inane passive Facebook postings about all the benefits labor has provided when the modern generation of senior leadership has transformed the trades into a temp agency – then the non-union workers are just going to take a flyer, and sit tight for the time being.

When the non-union currently has 91% of “all” work (especially when you look at DENSITY), and that number is growing, it’s not hard to understand that the non-union doesn’t want to jump on the Titanic. This isn’t bashing our International President Brothers. It’s the reality that has confronted the Building Trades now for at least 3 decades. It is why no senior leader has EVER confronted Labor Rising’s BLOGS and facts. Because they are exactly that – FACTS – all garnered from the trades’ own filing and internal documents. It is why no one will go one on one with Labor Rising in union forums – we’d eat them up with facts and figures, along with the BS structure of leadership’s decisions that got us to this point. After several years of working directly with hundreds of agents and organizers, we feel strongly we have pieced together this business unionism puzzle.

As the Titanic sinks, we will all be asking ourselves in the years to come: “What role did I play?” Just because you got in a lifeboat, that doesn’t obscure the fact that on your watch we hit multiple icebergs and went down. So, to our leadership we say, “Enjoy your awards as ‘man of the whatever year,’ but know that history is going to judge us very precisely and harshly. The senior leadership for the past 30 plus years have nothing in common with our Founders! ZIP!

Maybe in future writings, I’ll begin to lay out a map of where all the “dead bodies” are buried should we continue to see market share, density and pensions fail in the upcoming years!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

Value on Display – A Disaster

Value on Display – A Disaster

The Annual Building Trades business meeting is in session. The closest the trades got to be a Trades Movement last year is when #Resist Building Trades members were in attendance. Hopefully they are there, and in bigger numbers. Perhaps vocal this time!

Below are the Trades’ membership numbers in 2017, 2016 & also the highest number since 2000.

As you review the numbers, know that there is a lot of massaging of the total membership numbers, which you’ll find in the LM-2’s. Some of the inflated categories under membership include: life, special limited, early retired, retired, limited, withdrawal, honorary and superannuated members, and agency fee payers. And, notice that there is a steady decline over years despite the last 3 years of $1.5 trillion or more in construction spending.

  • IBEW 671,076/372,223 A Card – 2016-666,602 – 2001 -740,869 LM File# 000-116
  • Laborers 576,475 – 2016 – 581,477 – 2003 – 840,180 LM File #000-131
  • BAC 73,411 – 2016 – 73,770 2002 – 101,823 LM File #000-034
  • Insulators 22,188 – 2016 – 22,427 – 2005 – 36,292 LM File #000-090
  • OPCMIA 43,588 – 2016 – 39,900 – 2008 – 43,885 LM File #000-132
  • IUPAT 110,027 – 2016 – 109,724 – 2008 – 133,997 LM File #000-035
  • Carpenters 424,826 – 2016 – 445,870 – 2002 – 538,431 LM File #000-085
  • UA 341,844 – 2016 – 336,021 – 2009 – 346,882 LM File #000-111
  • Ironworkers 127,991 – 2016 – 128,327 – 2008 – 140,406 LM File #000-052
  • Operating Engineers 380,596 – 2016 – 377,263 – 2009 – 408,658 LM File #000-159
  • Boilermakers 51,002 – 2016 – 53,287 – 2002 – 79,892 LM File #000-074
  • Elevator 27,620 – 2016 – 26,491 – 2009 – 29,613 LM File #000-197
  • Roofers 21,726 – 2016 – 21,354 – 2007 – 23,816 LM File #000-135
  • SMART 202,402 – 2016 – 204,279 Note: UTU and Sheetmetal merge in 2012 LM File #000-073

Read the LM to discern numbers of R&F Sheetmetal in the field.

If you want to check these numbers yourself, go to the US DOL Union Search Form – https://olms.dol-esa.gov/query/getOrgQry.do  Put File # in top box.

The business model that has turned the Trades into a temp agency has done far more than shrink membership numbers. The tremendous loss of wages, benefits & conditions for years has hastened “the race to the bottom” of the middle class in the world of construction! Concession after concession.

Scores of pensions are facing or are insolvent. Below is a link to the list. NOTE: New zones were created and pay attention to the ZONE of “Green but Red in 5 years”. The insolvent list will grow. Department of Labor 2017 Critical, Critical and Declining, Endangered Status Notices:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/public-disclosure/2017-funding-status-notices#2017-c-and-d

So, here we are, the “men” that have watched over the demise of a once great MOVEMENT – listening to spin and soaring, mostly self-arrogant speeches of a job well done. What a joke and shame all at the same time.

Perhaps members of #RESIST and others know that the business model of Value on Display, in practice for decades, needs to go! Maybe this BT Conference will break the chain of BS status quo!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer
Labor Rising/Labor Combat