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The Building Trades Internationals Not So Hidden Agenda –

Slave Workers

In a nutshell – facilitating construction and scuttling trade union practices, our MOVEMENT, for over 2 decades.

Labor Rising/Labor Combat has now worked with approx. 370 local unions/district councils; and approx. 650 total participants from veteran organizers/market reps to apprentices in organizing.

We offer this independent assessment of those trained. Since no one owns us – perhaps consider the following.

Those organizers/market reps selected on average possess the necessary passion to do the job. Even those political hacks selected to be organizers could advance unionism if properly trained and perhaps a kick in the butt!

However, the training provided by the trades is a reflection of the Internationals agenda being quite different than the Rank & File Unions, District Councils and members.

From 35,000 feet and connecting the “dots” the Internationals agenda look like this to Labor Rising:

  • 14 – to possibly 60 men have absolute domination over the strategy of the respective trades. Think – when in your lifetime have you seen a contested convention?
  • In every way structurally possible, the trades are co-operating with the world of construction on managements terms. From price, benefits and conditions – to tailor made requirements per management prerogative on their sites.
  • Members are now transitioning to employees of a technical organization/Building Trades whose entire mission is to maintain a “POOL” of employees for management, on their jobs and as needed. We are a temp agency with technical expertise – and if controlled, are a VALUE to business. As long as any and all endorsed labor unrest by the Internationals is window dressing for the troops! The huge and unprecedented recruiting of bodies to include people of color, women and veterans is to build/maintain that pool.
  • Members, now employees in the New Trades Order with approx. 20 years of service and more are to be minimized to the degree possible on jobs. They still think they belong to a free and democratic trade organization and are a threat to profits and control of the job by the major industries. They also have pensions and systemic withdrawal liabilities associated with a nearly 1/4 of all Building Trades defined benefits programs. In the New Trades Order, management has ordered that only a defined contributions system is acceptable to them. So the trades will jettison the journeypersons with pension liabilities to the PBGC – the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. They will possibly receive at best .30 cents on the dollar and a kick in the rear from the union. You see this every day in the numbers recruited vs. the number of existing members/employees unemployed. We continue to enroll new employees even in times of ongoing and persistent un/under-employment. With 20 years or more of service – those members are being systematically being replaced with lower paid and much more complacent employees.
  • Training of those charged with real and sustainable growth of trade unionist is undermined at all levels. The Brothers & Sisters are not the problem/issue – it is the willful undermining of proper training to achieve increases. That list is very long so we will present a few; and now because of research very easy to demonstrate. It says on their cards that they are PROFESSIONAL market development officers. Using Organizer on a business card is a no-no for a long time now – it offends management. And yet they have no professional development! IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT, IT IS BY DESIGN in our research and connecting the “dots”. Organizers/market reps do not know what SIC/NAICS codes are, and how to use them to develop a market. How to format it. Minimum skills in using technology and items like excel. Minimal understanding of Recognition and Secondary activities – so they are literally stuck in a loop that the lawyers know they are stuck in – WHY? Come on, you know the reason! Don’t even know the difference between research and opposition research and what it can do. Most Internationals use Lexus-Nexus – a medium platform which according to those hundreds we talk to is not user friendly. We agree and it is pricey. Internationals also use a form of the D&B reports. Some Internationals do basic bios of companies – and none are soft-ware systematic and research 13 separate categories with as many as 20 platforms of varying content. Minimal to no training in credit reports and how to read and use them. Minimal training to none in controlling the hiring of the non-union, and the case law that currently surrounds the do’s and don’ts. Minimal to no training in understanding Workers Comp. Minimal to no training in business math, cashflow, types of delivery, etc. A complete and total disaster in using aggressive and structured social media, communication platforms across the membership and real web-site development. These are just some of the PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT activities that is alluded to on the business card – but not taught! The Building Trades Academy basically teaches persuasive speaking and BTW, very poorly; and labor law that is diluted and fragmented, no wonder we fail in the massive numbers we do. The Internationals go 2 strategy is volume. Call 20 non-union companies, no vetting or use of credit reports – to get meetings with XXX number of companies – repeat year after year and organizer after organizer, aka, market development rep. This is acceptable to management. When frustrated put up rat and complain how unfair it is – repeat and lose more than we even get close to winning. Acceptable losses to business as a cost of being in construction – IF and when you run into this situation as a business, at all!
  • To all the loyal Building Trades loyalist out their – you know exactly the price of bringing a balance of labor unrest and sharp contemporary legal pressure, along with knowing how to ZIP IT – to bear on the world of non/anti-union construction. IT IS NOT TOLERATED BY OUR INTERNATIONALS, AND THAT OFFICER AND/OR GROUP OF OFFICERS IS MINIMIZED and taken to task in many different ways. There are plenty of YES men to make your road miserable, and time is on their side unless the Rank & File backs you up and means it! Very few unions left like this – we know this because we worked with them and continue to do so. Our mission!
  • Labor Unrest along with Uncertainty of project outcome is absolutely not tolerated by the world of construction and therefore not tolerated by senior leadership of the trades – to keep the good ole boy network and their constitutes employed only takes maintaining a large enough pool of bodies with access to skills. Case closed! Big time six figure jobs and no accountability to those who elected you – NICE! The burden of the responsibility of leadership as advocates of workers’ rights – window dressing and sound-bites and you’re good. The role of the once great Building Trades as balancing the power of capital and workers – to over-rated and besides that real work! A genuine lifting up of workers that a MOVEMENT would bestow on the workers of North America and even the world – hey I have power lunches, meetings and 4 Star venues here to attend!

Time for a true Building Trades MOVEMENT along with the necessary reforms are not that far away! With less than 12% of all workers; and more than 2/3 of our own members knowing they are widgets and signaling that they have had it with leadership. Take many of their pensions away and keep them on the bench and the stage will be set!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

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