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4 ½% and Value on Display –

This is a very solid number and represents what 20 plus years of Value on Display has provided in return as the primary strategy of the Building Trades.

Currently most valid and credible sources place the total market share of the Building Trades @ approximately 12% maximum nationally.

As you do your own research into your local’s numbers, review your locals list of signatory contractors. Labor Rising used a little over 200 locals lists of their signatory contractors. What the consensus number for that sample showed is that approximately 7 ½% of the 12% of current existing contractors that are signatory with the respective Building Trades locals – HAVE BEEN signatory prior to 1995. Included in this number are successor and surviving union contractors.

1995 is a consensus date as to when the combined Building Trades Internationals started to advance the Value on Display concept of selling the Building Trades as a brand & product.

Back then the thought was that the Building Trades was the “best kept secret in construction” and that surely if we went to the non-union contractors, construction managers and end-users and sold ourselves, that the construction world and those using it would beat a path to our locals and sign Collect Bargaining Agreements right & left.

Well that number of non-union contractors which have been swayed by Value on Display is approximately 4 ½%, which is the difference between the existing union contractors signed to a CBA prior to 1995 and today.

So 20 years later and over 100 million dollars of money, endless meetings, re-structuring, advertising, labor-management collaboration of every form and fashion, concessionary bargaining, specialty agreements of every type all based on the premise of Value on Display as a primary strategy; has yielded 4 ½% of new contractors over a 20 plus year period.

What may have started as a good faith effort to arrest collapsing market share has now been fully vetted in all market and economic conditions.

Value on Display is a tool to be used inside a greater strategy. So then my Brother & Sister leaders what is that specific greater strategy?

The non/anti-union forces have a very determined and so far effective strategy to both limit and in fact dismantle the Building Trades as founded by our founders.

We will highlight those areas here and run those specifics in our posts for the balance of the week:

  • Labor-Management working for who?
  • How CURT would destroy the Building Trades
  • National Right to Work
  • Reverse recruitment – we are training for the non-union
  • Know your anti-union law firms and consultants

To some politicians in the Building Trades, the above facts and figures which go unchallenged are bashing of the Building Trades. This is not how I, and most of the members I know grew up have come to understand both a free and democratic America and labor movement. History is clear,that not questioning failed policies and providing real alternatives is exactly why we fail. We call it being loyal to a fault and falling in-line. So why the hell are we continuing to do a strategy that has so clearly and universally failed?

The Organizers and Agents are not the reason we are losing market share, it is the strategies – or rather the lack thereof.

Labor Rising has provided a very specific plan with specific detailed strategies & tactics to win. Unions have to know their respective Compression Zone(s) and only then can they begin to apply strategies and tactics that will work for their market. A one size fits all approach is not and has not worked.

It is long past the time to quit mouthing the words of equity at the podiums of union halls and job sites, and again move to performing the necessary actions to deliver to all workers what a free and democratic labor movement provides when it has a mind too! A living wage, benefits and fair working conditions and impose them on the construction world regardless if the construction world likes it or not! The day we stand tall and quit begging for the crumbs from the corporate task masters is the day we again renew the middle class and snatch it from becoming the working poor!

Chart is from CLRC – Construction Labor Research Council. Google for more information.

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising Group

CLRC Chart

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