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True Union Organizing & The Dow @ 26,000 –

The strong correlation between the rich getting richer and the decline of Organized Labor has been evident across all sectors for the past 30 plus years. In our capitalist society, the balance between labor, management and government is needed to ensure that all have a seat at the table. Management serves a mindless piece of paper called a corporate charter whose religion is profits – pure and simple.

Government regulations and taxes are needed and the debate about the form and reach of those regulations and taxes is healthy. However, government oversight, once agreed to, is tantamount to a door locked to keep an honest person honest. Money interests buy every loophole!

One of the critical components of a free capitalistic society is organized labor. But, Organized Labor, and especially the Building Trades, have been an oxymoron for the better part of 35 years. In the Trades, it is clear that we have decided to co-operate with our own demise, working with the strategy of Value on Display; collaborating with the very institutions that seek to put us out of existence. Every number “NET” regarding growth of the trades – clearly and overwhelmingly demonstrates this for the last 3 decades! Everyone!

Complaining about big money is useless without concerted activity to FORCE management to share the profits. Our strategy for the past approx. 30 years has been 2-fold.  An over reliance on politicians to advance labor’s rights; and by appeasing and cooperating with big business. The “let’s not make waves” approach in dealing with these “junk yard dogs” is exactly why we are drowning in the water.

Now, either the current and immediate former International Presidents for the past 30 years are afraid of big business or they are complicit with them! Neither is good! After 3 decades of continuous losses of market share, wages, benefits and conditions – what else can one conclude? None of the current IP’s have jettison the Value Centric model. And the losing “NET” continues, even with 3 years of record construction spending. The Trades are losing market share even with a massive wind of construction spending to their collective backs!

A CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) was once the vehicle that provided labor peace on a job. Brothers & Sisters, no one signs a CBA willingly. Management signs for one of two reasons: either they are forced to do so, or they must in order to gain entry into a CBA controlled market. Since we have very little control over any market, the second is dead on arrival.


Only a strong and pro-active labor movement will keep the American/Canadian middle class in the game. Our approach in dealing with management should be the 21st century version of concerted activity, which would include large doses of labor unrest and civil disobedience all channeling workers’ outrage into action! A “leader” does that! A politician talks about it in meeting after meeting.

If concerned about what impact concerted activity will have on our image, ask most normal independent minded Americans how they feel about organized labor. Yes, those polled say they want a union in the US, however, they certainly don’t want the existing Trades Unions presented to them. Numbers across the board demonstrate that! The response will not bode well for labor. At the end of the day, Americans/Canadians like winners and respect those workers with the integrity to advance all workers’ lives lawfully!

If we, as Organized Labor, continue down the path of being victims, we will not advance labor’s rights and will continue to get less and less.

The Middle Class is becoming the Working Poor over the last 35 years of trades leadership!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising

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