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At the Kids Table –

A Brother Tradesperson ask me on Facebook what I thought of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I know as a worker what my response will be along with all the reasons why. I will strive to show him that I understand the subject matter and can speak to it intelligently. I will endeavor to show a balance of fairness and an understanding of the global world we live in.

And to be crystal clear with you the reader of this – it will be all talk, and carry no more weight than a single workers thought’s that has limited use of social media to beat his drum.

Whatever form of T.P.P. passes I will bet some serious dollars that workers in every way will be the “net” losers not only here in North America but worldwide. Workers will be played against workers – and until workers and organized labor puts a stop to it, will move forward.

Why, because we are powerless to do anything about it, when NAFTA passed in 1992 it should have been a final warning to organized labor, especially after the PATCO disaster of 1981. But it was not – only talk and rhetoric – just as today.

Capital and the BS that is the Free Market will continue to run workers over and we are nothing more than worn down speed bumps to them. Capital is doing its job and that is to make as big a profit as they can literally get away with.

Free markets can only work when organized labor is strong enough to balance out the equation. We are seeing in real time the difference between middle class & working poor. Organized Labor is the reason why that distinction can be made both here and abroad.

Labor Risings Blogs these past 2 years has put structure and numbers which clearly and overwhelmingly shows a dying North American Building Trades. In almost every case the numbers used are the Building Trades own numbers.

As 2015 dawns the combined leadership of the Building Trades is not up to the task of providing any kind of challenge to big capital especially on our own turf of construction.

I have seen what I know are good men & women move into leadership positions all across the country and many go on to Washington – only to see any potential energy die once there.

What does it say that most of the jobs that our General Officers pass daily on their way to power lunches thru-out the Washington area, are mainly non-union? In sports, if a team cannot win at home than it’s usually a sure bet that they will not go very far in the post season.

The “prevent defense” is what the Building Trades has now been playing for over 30 years. We are trying not to lose and in doing so continue to give ground on a wide spectrum of wages, conditions, benefits and issues.

We have just finished the Christmas season and many of us had the family over for dinner, and where do we put the kids? At the kids table of course, to be seen and not heard.

Well Brother General Officers, after 5 plus years writing a book and thoroughly and as objectively analyzing the direction of the Building Trades, I can unequivocally say we have been at the little kids table for some 20 years or more now.

The parents (CURT) know every move we are going to make and they strive to control the outcome at every turn. It is on us to show some back bone and challenge the status quo and demand a seat at the grownups table!

During 2015 our Blogs will provide solutions which are taught in class and have transplanted out in the markets of unions all over the country.

The existing strategies, or rather complete lack thereof – along with being content and/or accepting sitting at the kids table is what this year is all about.

It is time to find out once and for all who the leaders are and what drives them!

It is going to be an interesting year – because if it is not, this version of the Building Trades will be gone!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Buckle Up Building Trades –

In Solidarity,

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising Group

Pix of Little Kids Table

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