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Work to the Rule –

This is for those members and agents feed up with being dismissed in most if not all decisions regarding their very own futures, and that of their families and union!

As such, this is not for the politicians in the R&F. It is for sober tradespersons to pursue and enforce on the job. It is not for piss-ant journeypersons with an axe to grind at a personal level with someone in leadership, be it union and/or management. Journeypersons who otherwise don’t like each other need to set aside those differences for a time to reestablish a lost MOVEMENT! This is for jobs where the membership has been sold out in every way. Dictated to by the International as to what wages, benefits and conditions will be.

Create a workers Safety Committee on the site and educate on the exact rules. DON’T NEGOIATE! Don’t fall for the seat at the table BS. What is it you want BS from management. All setups. Then it is a job action! It is coercion and possibly more!! Shut the F*@* up and simply enforce managements specific terms for safety until they change. Have the same response management has – Zero accidents are what we are all about! Control the safety of the job per managements own legal documents.

Work to the Rule is but one strategy for the R&F to inject themselves into the job site conditions. More to come in upcoming blogs.

You may want to Google what a “work to the rule “campaign is? There are various forms. This is strictly safety – at this time – until we have a level of education to do more!

Work to the rule campaign has a new meaning in this era of construction.

Management and its consultants are using Zero Accidents to either make money and/or minimize any settlements with injured workers. It is the dark side of the noble pursuit of safety. Kind of like when we see legislation that sounds noble and then you read it – it isn’t!

When we at Labor Rising say work to the rule, we mean it literally. Do your jobs on the jobsite exactly as the management has committed you to doing them. Do those jobs to the letter of the safety rules and NOT to the “sprite” that great journeypersons have historically done.

For the last decade “YOU” have increasingly been held to a standard of safety few are aware of. During orientation and the on-going required safety classes and meetings – YOU are being held responsible for the actions leading up to an incident – YOU! Not management – you. READ – those damn papers/binding contracts that you signed, that were shoved in front of you in endless amounts of meetings/classes. In many states and construction sites – if YOU can be shown to be responsible for 51% or more of the incident/accident – you and your injuries, along with earnings are in flat out jeopardy. This is an over simplification of the legal documents now been stored and used against you, and to some extent union contractors.

That is why journeypersons to this day comment – what’s with all the safety people? The job could make more money if all these people and inconsistent practices where not on the job – and in many cases paralyzing decisions journeypersons then make – IN GOOD FAITH – and then are responsible for if an incident occurs.

However, the top issue is money – what a surprise! Everyone always talks about the warm and fussy of protecting the workers, morale and productivity on the job and beyond.

But it comes down to money and even more specifically who gets the saving on one side, and pockets the profit on the other side. Well the answer to this are the Sponsors, Owners & Contractors for Large Construction Projects typically 75 million and larger.

Construction Wraps, come in different forms and serve different entities, a Wrap-Up is more formally known as an Owner Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP) when sponsored by the project owner, it can be a Rolling Owner Controlled Insurance Program (ROCIP) when the owner covers multiple projects under one program. Or it can be a Contractor Controlled Insurance Program (CCIP) when the General Contractor or Construction Manager sponsors the program”. Google OCIP and CCIP and read away.

Since the inception of Wrap Ups, which parallels Zero Accidents BTW, an increasingly strong correlation can be made of Construction Managers beating up on workers, union or not and union contractors regarding insurance. Because that is where the biggest spreads/profits are!

So, workers – both union or not are increasingly held accountable directly for accidents. Less drain on profits for management doing what they do best – shift responsibility and screw the workers!

Subs and contractors are now being hit with “incident” penalties – which are mostly hard dollar penalties to the sub when a worker gets injured. Management makes money off garden variety injuries with a minimum of effort on their part, perhaps a nurse – MAYBE – on the site!

Subs and contractors get a “CREDIT” on insurance – while the owner of the OCIP/CCIP pockets big hard dollars on insurance.

How much – how about profit/savings that may be more than what is made on the construction itself.

So, my Brothers and Sisters – work to the rule. It trumps everything. What is everything. Can’t be fired! In the real world, maybe – but then you must fire the entire jobsite workforce. Also, many lawyers will take this case.

Can’t be written up – only given rewards like a drill at the safety meeting for DOING YOUR JOB as you signed on to do it.

How about the BS – IO’s, BM, Agents, company stewards, Building Trades execs that gave the job away for hours in return for massive concessions – all on the members backs –  can’t do a thing. Management can’t do a thing – it’s their rules!

So, think. For example, let’s say you are using a JLG. Then use it precisely as the rules state. If ground is uneven, what are the rules? For inspection, how often, condition of the equipment, etc. Get a written variance, not a verbal one. That’s most likely covered in the RULES too! What do the rules state regarding if sparks, open flame, etc. interact with a safety harness? Most are to be replaced immediately? Apply the RULES to the entire job as it pertains to our crafts. Literally!

I look forward to the comments sure to come from those with 6 figure checks – unions will lose the jobs. We can’t lose many more and be a trade. With all the new IP’s in the trades – two things have remained consistent. First, Value on Display is the strategy of the day – STILL! Second, good old boys culture is only concerned with managements needs and will do whatever is necessary to appease them! We are an increasingly low wage temp agency.

So, for those reform minded R&F and the handful of BM’s with any guts – work to the rule is a big-time play.

For my few Organizers left in the trades – Work to the Rule campaigns need to be taught to the non-union workers and that interaction is at the heart of what a MOVEMENT – not a business should be all about.

Time to shift gears and workers reasserting themselves at work and in their unions, or continue complaining about the crumbs and how badass we are!

A door swings both ways!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Combat/Labor Rising

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