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Building Trades Constitutions Serving Management –


The IBEW ran a warm & fuzzy commercial during the start of the World Series last night. The IBEW also just concluded their convention last month. The total membership they reported at convention was -Total Voting Strength: 614,163 – Unrepresented Membership: 17,853 – Total Membership: 632,015, down from 722,095 in 2002. Thank you Brother PS. It has trended down “NET”, since 2002 in every environment. And BTW, we are in now back to back years of record construction spending – not good!

A waste of membership money compared to what that membership money could have bought – YEP!

The IBEW is not alone in spending large $$ and getting zero return, in contrast to what that same money would have done developing the infrastructure of the entire membership with an effective mass communications platform.

While the trades battle each other endlessly in jurisdiction, the trades share one common feature. The trades Constitutions basically mirror each other when it comes to managing the R&F; and serving management. The number of revisions to all Constitutions in the last 20 years attest to this.

Current senior leaders are administrators to the Constitution. They continue to perpetuate a losing strategy with a document that serves the “good old boys” network and especially managements demands.

The IP’s and senior leadership of the trades have forfeited the right to champion the rights of workers, union or not; and the middle class of 2 countries. That mission now passes to the R&F of the respective trades to restore a free and democratic trade MOVEMENT!

It will take place on the floor of the Local/DC union meeting. Leadership is a behavior and not a title or political calculation. Members must learn to secure the floor of their unions/DC’s via the rules laid out in our Constitutions. We as the trades can’t even begin to organize and grow our trades numbers unless and until we organize internally.

The minutes of the meetings are perhaps the most powerful tool available to the R&F. Being sober, level headed & organized to advance issues on the floor is a close second. ASKING for things doesn’t work with most union leaders. Properly formatting a demand – does! No single member should stand alone in this endeavor. The case is clearly laid out before you. Either be a temp agency worker with 2 bosses and zero input, or undertake the fight that restores who’s International it is.

The time is upon us and some memberships are installing new leaders in the last 2 election cycles. Those leaders need the full support of the R&F. However, for many other memberships this will be an uphill battle. Especially where the Local leaders say all the right things and yet never act on what they say. I would rather deal with a straight up “junk yard dog” type of local leader than these slick MF’ers.

It becomes easy to spot these type of MEN – their mouths are moving!

In watching the last round of several conventions – one only has to listen to the nomination speeches of International level officers at the conventions. Most are available on You Tube or in the trades FB forums. Compare the soaring BS with the actual numbers in their own record, along with the sheer liberties they take in proclaiming themselves leaders fit to grow a labor organization.

So, next up: Parliamentary rules to use with “good ole boys” and that universe. We can win; however, we can’t go it alone! So, study your Constitution and Roberts Rules. Organizing internally within one’s own International. Union tradespersons can ALWAYS reassign who they want to represent them – ALWAYS. So, for example – entities created  by the Internationals and under a current CBA – can reassign who they want to represent them. And their votes are binding on the contractors in that area. So, lower paid classifications and International unions set up to serve management and price and profit can be REORGANIZED into your local under YOUR CBA. We will learn what 8f and 9a means in the US and if this applies to Canadians at the provincial levels. Work to the Rule campaigns for when contracts are shoved down a local’s throats. Most effective. Referendum section of our respective Constitutions, banding together those locals that have jettisoned the “good ole boys” and want to co-ordinate their actions at the International level. This is binding and the quickest way to change existing Constitutions in favor of the R&F. Study the Referendum section of the Constitution!

The “good ole boys” have never been confronted with this – so when they are, will do all they can to preserve the status quo. The tighter the game plan by the R&F, the quicker the “good ole boys” go bye-bye.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

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