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Actual Union Building Trades Members on the Job –

This is part 3 of 3 posts.

The first part challenged any notion that Value on Display is working as stated at the Washington National Building Trades Conference Keynote address

Dominos Not Falling The Building Trades Way Blog –

The second part gave our own numbers from 2002 – to today, the top-down/Breslin Era as it will be remembered, which are our own facts and numbers, so if we are going to dispute them – then it’s all BS – and there is a hidden agenda which now must be examined.

The Real Building Trades Numbers Blog –

The third part is this Blog. Actual Union Building Trades Members on the Job –

Labor Rising examined 122 Health & Welfare Form 5500’s – (look it up on Google) which is barely a small sample size of all Building Trades unions in the US. Our Canadians have a different way of reporting.

When we showed the Real Numbers in part 2 above, we thought it might prompt some questions which it most certainly did.

The top question was- these are all dues paying members, and we know many pay their dues even if their working non-union. So is there a way to find out actual working membership?

There is – however it will be a lagging indicator of working members, so 2013 & in some cases 2014 LM’s are available. To do this you need your locals/district councils LM-2 which are available online. This government document requires the union to list all members who pay dues. You will also need to get the Form 5500 of your unions H&W plan, which is also available, and see who is eligible for H&W per the H&W rules and do a little math reconciling the 2 documents. So for example your union’s rules may be set at 1,000 hours to have H&W coverage. When the union workers are covered by H&W it is a strong indicator as to the true numbers working full time, or close to full time in a local.

SO BIG NOTE: This is a small sample we ran & studied. What we found is that 21% of what is listed as dues paying members on the LM’s are not eligible for H&W coverage and therefore not working enough hours – including banked hours – to have coverage.

We have to be careful when we say a given union has full employment, because full employment before 2008 is in almost all cases, more than full employment today, as shown in the Real Numbers of the Building Trades.

Should our SMALL ACTUAL SAMPLE of 122 unions be an indicator of actively working members, then the true Building Trades numbers MAY be 20% or more south of the dues paying members. So even less market share and density than is thought. I’m confident that our Internationals know this and sit on this info.

Should we also consider unemployed and underemployed members along with the above members who stick their card in their boot, then the dynamics of our ability to grow out of this situation rests entirely with organizing. A word that the General Presidents have not let Brother MCGarvey mention now for 3 years in DC.

Organizing is taking THE NON-UNION COMPANY, not just the workers, regardless if they want to or not, and get them under a CBA. Traditional bottom-up organizing moves far too slowly, and the way to dramatically increase non-union companies and market share, is to legally and lawfully go after their clients, credit & social footprint.

Grab those non-union contractors by their wallets and the rest will follow. Time to act!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising Group

Time to Act

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