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What a Labor Activist Looks Like on Labor Day –


Brother Les Orear – 103 years of integrity in labor representation. Here is a link to one of many articles which appear after this activist/leader passed away.

He was a mentor, friend and co-worker. We are standing on the shoulders of giants like this.

The last Labor Rising Blog sparked several comments from modern day Labor Leaders who felt that their integrity was being questioned. With 11% of the market and dropping – it long has! Here is a link to that Blog. Rope a Dope Even Ali Would Be Jealous of –

One of the many things I learned from this mentor, and discussed quite often was a term I think he created for the times – cultural integrity, and the lack of it at unprecedented levels in leadership.

Simply stated, it is looking the other way when a leader at any level; knows to question, and if necessary actively oppose an action. He went further in his council – did they go on the record with their voice, vote and possible consequences for their actions? Translation would be – did they get blacklisted, suffer a loss of ranking in the pecking order – or be put in the penalty box. Did they put their well-paying jobs on the line? Bottom line is did they protect an interest of their own – or the Labor Movement and the careers of the Rank & File? The definition of that in his experience was, is labor growing and being a balance to organized capital. If not, then it is not only a lack of cultural integrity but also a lack of personal integrity. Numbers for the last 40 years overwhelmingly show the lack of cultural integrity and at best the supposed “good faith silence” of men regarding their constitutional and moral responsibilities! Either you have integrity or you don’t as senior leaders!

Some of the discussion points Les pointed out as a lack of Cultural Integrity – aka – cultural malaise are:

  • Compartmentalized leadership – it’s not my job – so I can look the other way.
  • I’m part of a team, so that excuses my actions. I take care of my area.
  • A yes man that trades their integrity for title, status and $$$$$.
  • Get along to go along.
  • The political angle predominantly supersedes the integrity of action.
  • Not recording a dissenting vote on the record.
  • Signing documents such as PLA’s & specialty agreements without R&F input and knowledge.
  • Failing to take responsibility for signing documents on behalf of an International, District Council, Building Trades. Or even worse is the we had to do it to keep union jobs regardless of memberships education and decisions.
  • Rationalizing that what your doing is in the “best interests” of the R&F.
  • Looking the other way, or benefiting from the pension greed of a few officers in the 80’s and 90’s – and sinking the membership in those funds facing insolvency today.
  • This list is so freaking long that I, Les and many others discussed. Many of the R&F have adopted most of the above attitudes. Membership reflects Leadership in all organizations as a rule.

Have a great Labor Day to the Rank & File – time for Labor to Rise and get our own house in order.

Constitution, By-laws, LM-2’s, Form 5500, Roberts Rules and more; all coming to the Rank & File! With an education on what is likely to happen to “YOU” in different venues when you process information which is power over our futures, and that of your respective organizations.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising, Labor Combat

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