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The Jail Break of Market Share –

Jail Break


The Jail Break of continued losses of Building Trades market share is very evident with our union contractors throughout North America.

Once secure markets just a decade ago are collapsing in real time and show no sign of stopping should the trades continue with the status quo of Value on Display as a Go 2 Strategy?

As part of its program at the 2015 International Roofing Expo in New Orleans, the NRCA Union Contractors Council (UCC) handed the microphones over to the audience for a first-ever “open forum” discussion. While there were a smattering of positive comments about apprenticeship training and Project Labor Agreements, the overall tone of the conversation was surprisingly and decidedly negative”.

“The anger and frustration in the room was palpable. The contractors in attendance let International Roofers Union President Kinsey Robinson know in no uncertain terms that they are not “happy campers.” Speaker after speaker complained, often quite bitterly, about the serious disconnect between the feel-good rhetoric emanating from the International Roofers Union and the harsh realities union roofing contractors face at the local level”.

Here is a link to the full article for complete context –!6016&authkey=!AB7JEliDmQAc2mU&ithint=file%2cpdf

These sentiments expressed at the Roofers Expo are widely shared throughout the Building Trades contractors from all the trades. The anger and frustration once shared behind closed doors between unions and contractors in now in plain evidence everywhere.

The complete lack of structured and aggressive organizing has taken such a severe toll that it now threatens the remaining contractor base. The word ORGANIZING isn’t even mentioned any longer by top Leaders which has been evident at the last 3 Building Trades Conferences in DC.

ORGANIZING is taking a non-union contractor and their workers and signing them to a CBA regardless if they want to or not – case closed! It is going toe to toe with the anti-union contractors and giving them their wish, which is that they would “rather go out of business then sign a CBA”!

It is not whining to the world and politicians about the plight of unions and hoping THEY change it! That is our mission – ours! No different than our Founders. Hell they didn’t even mention the word union in the Democratic debate. It is on us to emerge as champions of workers and the rest will fall into place with the use of a BIG Velvet Hammer!!

Bottom-up does not work fast enough to reverse market share losses and is laden with many obstacles at the NLRB. We win 1 in 7, can’t usually secure a contract the majority of the time when we do win and are up for de-certification within 2 years “IF” we can perform the first 2 steps. It’s a tool for sure, however it needs a veteran team to use it in construction and win. Those organizers are few and far between.

Top-down, Breslin, Win-Win, Collaboration, Value Centric along with the never-ending mantra that our Apprenticeships are the key to increased market share and all other versions of Value on Display are “NET” big time losers as a Go 2 Strategy – now for over 2 decades. Every single number shows this, and yet we persist in using it! A tool at best, however it can only be used in limited ways, and not open ended.

“Local Union leaders bury their heads in the sand, banking on vague hopes that things will miraculously “get better” … Roofers Expo.

Our union contractors need us in the trades to take on the anti-union contractors and sign most of the non-union contractors in a given market so that all bids are on a level playing field. Also we in the trades are playing patty cake with the end-users, construction managers, developers and general contractors that enable the non-union subs in markets throughout North America. We continue to think they are our “clients and customers” and that we are a BRAND instead of a MOVEMENT!

The entire construction world knows our moves, which by the way are hugely predictable and carry with them both legal and business consequences – and yet we persist in doing them.

Labor Rising/Labor Combat strategy is integrated for use in the 21st century and exclusively targets the client’s, credit and social footprint of especially the segment of the construction world that sign the checks – the end-users, developers and construction managers. Grab them by the wallet and rest will follow.

Blend in laser use of controlling the Hiring, Opposition Research, and Communication for both internal and external use, modern day Contractor Marketing and the use and training of credit reports and more. Add to that structured strategic development of total markets to build a union’s Compression Zone and we WILL create the dynamics that win!

Recruitment without winning the hearts and minds of workers is a band-aid and numbers show not an effective one on top of it. We are getting 2nd and 3rd tier non-union workers by and large as the top non-union hands are not coming our way any longer. The non-union market share comprises 87% of ALL construction jobs and if and when they come our way it is most likely for training and sometimes benefits for a short duration.

Retention rates of the trades is dropping and we are seeing workers leak out the back side trained by us. Also the reverse recruitment of top level Building Trades workers is fully underway transferring our union workers to feed the increased jobs in the non-union. These numbers are all available.

PLA’s – those that think these are the pathway to increased market share need only look at the segments of the industry they are used in. Every one of those segments is “NET” lower market share and we now work in many of those facilities alongside the non-union. Weaning us collectively off our CBA’s is a priority mission of CURT. Construction Users Roundtable. We have very few eggs in any baskets and those remaining eggs increasingly are PLA’s – easy to walk away from compared to a CBA – ask our attorneys?

Time is no longer a luxury that we have, and adding to the loss of market share is a collapsing and very angry union contractor base that needs us to ORGANIZE and level the playing field!

We have 6 new International Presidents in the Building Trades, and should they continue with the status quo – the Jail Break of market share losses will continue to a very bad end.

On our watch the Middle Class turning into the Working Poor! On our watch!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”


Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

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