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10 Reasons why the Building Trades need a New Strategy –

10 Reasons

  1.  Major end users, CURT (Construction Users Roundtable) affiliated companies, are major contributors and muscle behind increasing anti-union laws, legislation, lawyers and consultants. Big Business” is exactly who is putting the Building Trades out of existence. Every single sourced number measured over time, which is the “net” number, confirms this. Do a little homework and see who provides the $$ for the RTW legislation, ABC, ALEC, Heritage Foundation etc… We are collaborating with the very entities that want to put us out of existence! How does this make sense in growing the Building Trades?


  1. Many Building Trades Internationals backed the recently passed legislation allowing for retirees and vested benefits cuts. Understand their where NO good choices, however allowing for potentially tens of thousands of retirees benefits to be cut, while the Internationals pensions for officers is untouched is why reform is long overdue.


  1. Organizing and the very word – not being used for now 3 years at the National Building Trades Meeting in DC and Brother Sean McGarvey’s keynote speech.


  1. Value on Display has not worked as a “go-to strategy” – ever! Building Trades “density” is at its lowest point ever, any way it is measured. In 2015 – 1.5 Trillion dollars of construction work was put in place, a new record and the Building Trades will slip in market share when the numbers for the BT are reported for 2015.


  1. Behind the scenes is the largest pot of totally legal cash of all time – the Rebuilding of America. The Republicans will do everything they can do to put off the infrastructure needs of this country.  They are starving out the Building Trades unions. When the infrastructure needs of America starts to move through this next most likely, Republican Congress – every type of anti-union legislation will be attached to it.


  1. Substantial numbers of union trained, skilled construction workers are employed by non-union firms and/or self-employed as 1099’s. Many others act as brokers for labor needs. I Hire Building Trades, 1 of several recruitment firms which specializes in recruiting union members with operations, estimators, senior management and field operations skills for non-union construction companies successfully recruited thousands last year from our ranks. Building Trades workers are on the road far too much and when their own towns have substantial work in their own hometowns – however it is non-union. Brutal decision!


  1. RETENTION of journeypersons is top priority of Internationals, all the recruitment is not deterring that. The Internationals are mandating that anyone and everyone being given a book, regardless if there is a job or not. The locals are prudently trying to bring non-workers in – but have few jobs to give. Every number says we are training the non-union – using this open ended tactic.


  1. Concessions borne out of fear & weakness trying to compete with the current price for non-union workers in construction is a “race to the bottom”. Today, as you read this, concessionary bargaining by the union to compete with the non-union price has not worked over time anywhere. 100% of the time low wages = low market share!


  1. Building Trades are mostly irrelevant to our younger generations. Career choices are seldom, if at all found on Google searches. You Tubes advancing Building Trades as a viable career path are not found because few if any exist; and the few that do exist are not formatted to be found on searches. Building Trades have solid to good quality videos and You Tubes that have been created for public consumption, however they are not properly shared to maximize their impact in communities and the American public. Our union websites and the vendors that created them are fossils in format and content, almost no one in the trades leadership knows of such basic tools as Google analytics which used properly can make union websites formidable tools for members and to advance our respective trades. Virtually no unions Blog and exert authority over the types of work they perform and especially in the fields of Green & Sustainable. Use of the “Cloud” is feared by the Internationals, which is understandable. However with encryption and other safety measures, Cloud based technology is here to stay – we can’t stick our heads in the sand on technology and not expect to go the way of fossils.
  1. Virtual unions are on the rise and Leadership may feel they are nothing to fear. Understand that workers, non-union workers are banding together to have a better wages, conditions & life. The ones I am aware of talk in every way like union members. However these virtual unions what nothing to do with the Building Trades so far. When they become identified as fighters for workers in the field and establish themselves, the chances that they can and will zoom right past the Building Trades is absolutely possible. A whole new and energetic labor movement will establish itself and the dinosaurs will die off quickly. Building Trades workers, union or not, are looking for defenders of workers; and not business partners to capital.
 “if you see a good fight – get in it”

In Solidarity,

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising Group

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