Labor Rising Logo
Call (630) 373-0774

D-Day on Building Trades Pensions –

Here is a link to what may be happening today on Capitol Hill regarding the underfunding of our multi-employer defined benefit pensions.

The number of plans that are reported by the Department of Labor is that more than 600 plans are in “critical or endangered status”. Even with the warm and fuzzy relief of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which may not be extended now as part of the legislation not advancing; many of our plans are in the crosshairs and why the 2nd part of the equation “Solutions Not Bailouts” is also floundering.
Most Taft-Hartley Funds have 1 or more of these activities actively going on now and some of these are not fully understood by the membership.

• Approx. 120 to 600 of the 1400 total Taft-Hartley funds are “critical or endangered”

• Having to put additional contributions and even take money from the check and/or other funds to shore up the unfunded liabilities present without any real benefit improvements. Minor window dressing of a benefit improvement so-as to mask the real need of the contributions is still unfortunately done.

• Having to make benefit cuts prospectively

Modern Era Trustees are not the problem and in fact offer the only hope of turning this around.

However they are tethered in many cases thru relationships, politics and culture to the old guard, which got us here in the first place.
At the core of the problem is a complete lack of organizing and maintaining our markets thru the 70’s, 80’s & even early 90’s.

Then when we did get religion and re-engage market development – the trades pursued almost entirely the “Branding” and “Value on Display” approach to market development.

Now some unions are again going back to the worker campaigns, essentially lurching back and forth between bottom-up and pressure campaigns and top-down/Breslin tactics.

All the while our lawyers sit back and continue to bill us as we go from “RECOGNITIONAL” activity to recognitional activity. We are in a box of slow moving campaigns and secondary activity which all means – we can’t win in enough numbers to offset losses to technology and modularization along with no strategies to attack the non/anti-unions contractor’s clients, credit & social footprint and always their profits.

The comments I still hear overwhelming is lets pursue ULP’s and show them we are here, lack any underlying developed strategy past the 1st move. The non-anti/union know exactly where we are on the battlefield at all times – and it is no more than a cost of doing business to them and that’s it!

The 2 activities that hurt us the most which are measurable and correlate highly is that the Building Trades talk entirely too much trying to sell ourselves & educate, thinking that some party doesn’t understand the bad contractor they hired along with the endless meetings.

The average market development rep/organizer is in every kind of meeting which begs the question – when do you have time to sustain the organizing effort?

It is not the market reps and/or organizers which are in a box – it is the strategy which is the issue. Change that and the same troops will win!

Organizing and only organizing can produce a win/win scenario regarding the pension crisis – full benefits, especially the promised ones, and a growing market for the BT.

Labor Rising has a plan and so far 539 agents/organizers agree. Have to break the status quo and NOW! Time to hit the beaches!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

In Solidarity,
Danny L Caliendo


This entry was posted in Labor Rising and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.