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R U a Badass Union Member –


It is far more than a cool shirt, pin or sticker. Those that are content with them will have a job and not a career. It is actively participating in your local/DC even when the deck, right now, is stacked against you in most cases.

The deck is only stacked against the R&F because of lack of participation and education of the mechanics of their local/DC and international. Kind of like when we were apprentices and had to learn the tools of our trades. Exceptional, transparent union governance is exactly the same – learning and using!

Did you know that the local/DC union floor is the strongest single domain for a R&F member to advance true reform; or help bolster a great R&F local leader? Correspondingly, it is the most neutral position for a presiding officer – “IF” you know how to get, hold and advance motions and issues.

Those senior international leaders and their minion’s with power are not going to empower R&F education and reform, so why are you so surprised? Is it a surprise that we still have local/DC meetings in an age of technology?  Don’t be so naïve, when members don’t show up educated to play the game (which it is now in most cases) – you forfeit your rights. It is by design!

Should you be fortunate enough to have as your local/DC leadership, leaders such as John Penny, Joe Pozzi, Greg Lalevee , Hart Keeble, James Tosh, Richard Carr, BC Smith, Ben Chisholm, Chris Hollfelder, Rory Washburn, Randy Thornhill. Officers that inspire the R&F – then you’re in the minority.

Turning a minority of local leaders into the majority, and again having senior leadership serving the R&F is totally up to R&F. US! No more comments that it’s hard, don’t have time, we trust our leaders, they won’t listen, they are excuses instilled in us, by culture and practice. They CAN BE changed fairly quickly! However, we have to be man & women enough to do it! Are you reticent to step onto the battlefield – you have cause to be! Soldiers beat generals – but only when they work for a common purpose and not a self-interest. The “I’m lucky to have a job” is for those that accept their fate!

Do you want a secure career, instead of a job, for you and your family? Do you want to be part of the negotiations and improvements in your career, instead of a specialty agreement shoved down your throats? Do you want to work as close to your family as is possible given we are tradespersons, instead of on the road and dictated too? Do you want and expect a pension in your lifetime, instead of shoring up unfunded liabilities and some facing insolvency?

Badass members have these qualities:

  • You have attended regular union meeting.
  • You decide issues on their merits, and not what zone you sit in during union meetings.
  • You agree or support a motion even though you don’t like the journeyperson making it.
  • You speak to a motion and go on record.
  • You actually have a working knowledge of a thing called your trades constitution and by-laws.
  • You know that the Constitution is the governing document and it can be manipulated by politicians because of an inactive, uneducated (when it comes to union business) and divided membership.
  • You come to understand that the DOL (Department of Labor) only will support an Active R&F in large groups (maybe) where abuses of the constitution are cited. Translation is the DOL gives benefit of doubt to union senior leadership, when the Constitution is involved. Union Rights trump Constitution, BUT only “IF” you understand how to put them in play!!!
  • You as a Member know that keeping a strong and dynamic CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) serves all R&F in a local – all! This alone should help memberships that are politically polarized united under a common purpose.
  • You know how to get and read the LM-2’s of your local, District Council and International.
  • You know how to get Form 5500 for H&W and Pension.
  • You know your local’s by-laws and use them to benefit the R&F and not yourself.
  • You know Robert’s Rules of Order and which one to use at your local to advance issues.
  • You know to reconcile the International Constitutions Rules of Order for a local/DC vs. the convention.
  • You learn how to get and hold the floor at meetings; and record and get approved in the next meetings the minutes.
  • You use the floor to mandate the use of advanced communications platforms such as mass texting, aggressive and structured social media.
  • You do not share rumors and BS.
  • You participate in R&F forums such as FB and disseminate vetted information. Whining is kept to a minimum and solutions are center of attention until achieved.
  • You put your name on actions that are right and not necessarily popular.
  • You quite trusting leaders that are then worked by the International to bind them to International decisions. Translation is you keep good local/BM leaders accountable (which BTW they want) and the R&F can dismantle ass kissing, good ole boys and give –a-ways of R&F wages, conditions and benefits for higher office!

Next Blog will discussion in a fair amount of detail – Building Trades Constitutions – what they are, how to stay within them (even when their off course) – and how to transfer power of the R&F to a union floor for good governance and/or reform.

We will learn all actionable documents in a union and how to use them.

Please vet all comments from us and discover for yourself if we are R&F, or BS!

Also Google your respective trades International Constitution. It will be in a PDF and for most of us – the first time we have ever seen it!

Buckle up!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

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