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Dancing with the Devil –


The Labor Combat/Labor Rising group started their research in September of 2007. In May 2012 we produced our White Paper with a state by state assessment of how that state should proceed with Organizing and the prospects for success.

In that White Paper we stated that there exists a 3 to 6 year window for the trades to dramatically change from our existing Go 2 Strategy of Value on Display – to a strategy of targeting the clients, credit and social footprint of the end-user, developer, construction manager etc. Translation is quit playing around with the lower tier sub-contractors and grab those entities above by the wallets. Force them into using union labor on their jobs and quit being played like fiddles.

Since we continue to Dance with the Devil in thinking that these construction world entities are our clients and we can raise market share by appealing almost entirely too collaborative efforts of selling ourselves to them – 3 ½ years have eclipsed in a heart-beat.

We have been asked numerous times how we calculated that time frame.

The short answer is the Pension Liability of our multi-employer pension plans of the Building Trades.

Meanwhile – in the trades, we are in search of a successful plan which will raise market share. All strategies used in the last 2 decades have failed and will continue to do so.

In the last couple of years the trades have turned to recruiting as a primary way to increase membership with in turn is HOPED will increase market share. Should the trades now turn to this as a strategy – we are playing right into the hands of the non/anti-union and the Construction Users Roundtable. CURT

How? The non-union will be using our own pension funding crisis against us on a very structured time-table. In the link provided here, which is one of many articles just released. The Teamsters Central States Pension plan is cutting retiree checks and actives accruals in substantial amounts to avoid becoming insolvent!

What does this have to do with recruitment of the non-union workers to become members in our respective trades?

Everything! Consider that right now the non-anti/union has 87% of all construction work along with those entities that run it. They have the jobs. Consider that we are only getting 2nd & 3rd tier recruits from the non-union when and “IF” we can get them at all. The overwhelming majority of the non-union with skills are NOT looking at coming to the trades via recruitment, apprenticeship, new classifications, tiered systems, etc. NOT INTERESTED. We cannot keep them working and when we can it is usually on the road for protracted periods of time. They may come for short periods of time to get skills and benefits.

The RETENTION RATE of keeping membership continues to drop and is the single largest concern of the top brass!

Also, the non-anti/union are in full recruitment of OUR people and not the other way around. The CURT end-users are providing the names of skilled tradespersons that they are very interested in for recruitment, to recruitment firms to contact and retain! Which is to say, they are working from a systematic plan at our demise.

CURT and other entities have long known about some of our pension plans which are severely underfunded and some close to insolvency and have been biding their time to set what will be a final trap to get rid of the Building Trades, or at least this version of it.  How? TIME!

The TIME has arrived that those plans which are on this list HAVE TOO deal with the issues of being severely underfunded in the next couple of plan years, or else – case closed!!!  2015 Critical Status Notices

The PBGC, which is the insurer of last resort for these underfunded plans on the list that MAY have to dramatically make cuts to benefits. Problem is, is that the PBGC is itself broke and does not have anywhere near the funds to cover the liabilities of these underfunded pension plans. And on top of that – “IF” they had the money, would only be required to pay a portion of what the member has earned. Approx .30 cents on the dollar. So by example, if you have/had a benefits of $1,000 dollars the PBGC would only pay out approx $300 dollars. They don’t have it!

So Taft-Hartley/Multi-Employer Plans have been allowed by a law recently passed to now make any necessary cuts to benefits including retiree benefits. Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014

So this is going to be draconian to those memberships and retirees.

AND… the non-anti/union world is going to parade those failures around to the world of the construction workers as to why you should not belong to a union. Groups like RTW, ALEC, ABC and many others are going to beat us over the head with these failures. It is going to be a PR and recruiting nightmare. The PBGC has said that 50 to 80+ funds of the 181 funds on the list above – will face these cuts. IF ONLY HALF OF THIS IS CORRECT – good-bye to any chance of recruitment. Those in those funds will be the most vocal about their losses and given maximum credibility.

The trades are being played like a fiddle by CURT et al, and walking right into a trap that any leader can see coming – the huge issue is, is that we are led by politics that cannot see what is so clearly imminent. They must believe that they can manage this and it will not affect how unions are viewed and how we secure workers.

That is where we get the 3 -6 year timeframe in our Labor Combat/Labor Rising White Paper. This has been given a weighting of 60% in our calculations of the demise of this version of the Building Trades unless we change hard and NOW!

“OUR” program can and will change this, we do not claim to alter the underfunded status of both those funds and to a higher degree dropping membership and market share.

What WE do claim is that we can and will sign non-union contractors and their workers to a CBA by affecting the bottom-line of the end-user, developed, CM and GC., regardless if they want to or not.

We do claim that we have a structure and plan to go toe to toe with the anti-union and win!

We do claim that increased HOURS are the ONLY way to save these funds and stop others from becoming severely under-funded.

The Labor Rising/Labor Combat training is still training handfuls of Organizers when we should be training 50 at a crack every week till we get everyone trained. We should be doing Train the Trainer classes for the respective trades and transferring this ASAP. We are ready!

The International President’s truly are given what appears, one last chance to get this right.

The remaining 40% of OUR calculation on how the predominantly non-anti/union world of construction has us in their sites is the content of most of OUR Blogs.

Time is no longer on our side – it’s time to go big or we will be going home!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo


Labor Combat/Labor Rising Group

May want to share this and finally deal with this because time is out –


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