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Building Trade Owned and Operated Construction Management Company –

A brief history: Nearly 30 years ago the Milwaukee Building Trades Council put into place a Construction Management Company called CCM (Complete Construction Management). It was designed by Brother Brent Emons to combat the rising use of construction managers then coming into being.

A construction manager’s entire purpose is to reduce costs to the end-user/clients they are working for, along with making a very substantial profit themselves – adding yet another layer to the total cost of the project.

Take a guess where the money comes from to achieve the 2 purposes above. If you guessed union contractors and union wages, hard numbers and facts say you are right! This is a big reason why we continue to have all the specialty agreements along with the increased use of PLAs (Project Labor Agreements).  For decades, the trades have conceded more and more concessions and have continued to lose market share. The strategy of Value on Display ignores this reality completely.

This concept of CCM was nearly 35 years ahead of its time and is still very viable today. In most Building Trades Councils that Labor Rising visits, it is the for-profit construction managers that are squeezing the unions off the jobs acting on behalf of their clients. The “good cop – bad cop” games played between the end-user, developer, construction manager and the general contractor are consistently pitting one union against another, and union vs non-union.

CCM was created by Brent to get union contractors and union workers on the job in Milwaukee. CCM also acted as a PLA for the job long before PLAs were around and provided craft integrity and jurisdictional resolution. It would be the construction manager of choice for any union pension-funded jobs. Many real estate managers take union pension funds and build quite a few projects with non-union. That has been going on for decades. CCM would be a force to bid public and private funded jobs of all types. It was fully implemented, up and running and hated by the for-profit construction managers.

CCM was in the “black” by its third year. It sent a clear and powerful message to the construction managers then coming into business and their clients. 35 years ago much of the construction was performed union in Milwaukee – so a deal was made to suspend CCM, because it truly would compete with for-profit Construction Managers on just too many jobs with which unions had a relationship.

Jump ahead 35 years and few relationships exist, and ALL that do are driven by $$$$ – hence all the concessions, which BTW we are still losing on!

If the Building Trades leadership resurrected this strategy for areas that could use it, the for-profit construction managers’ business model and profit margins would be in jeopardy. This matters, because the for-profit construction managers represent a big part of the cost of the total job cost to the end-user/client! The Building Trades with substantially lower profit margins would become competitive with the for-profits construction managers.

CCM is a for-profit company; however, early on could minimize profits in favor of securing jobs. The medium to large construction managers cannot.                                                                          

The for-profit construction managers are going to hate this; however, in a lot of areas throughout the country this is the only vehicle available to use to get unions on a job NOW! Many other areas need a competitive tool to market unions and their contractors in entire regions and sectors. Value on Display has clearly not been able to dent these markets, much less hold onto former union markets!

This is not theory or “what if.” The documents exist intact to provide the platform to move quickly and decisively to implement CCM in today’s environment. Building Trades Councils and/or national/regional unions can be construction managers if done properly.

It thwarts nearly all anti-union initiatives at all state and federal levels because of its structure! RTW and most of the current anti-union legislation is thwarted and can go to hell!

CCM falls under corporate law and NOT labor law – hopefully, the readers understand this – it is huge!

As profits rise and CCM eliminates non/anti-union competition, many benefits present themselves. Top of the list is that underfunded pensions would be the clear winner with a union owned construction manager. More hours paid at top dollar with little threat to their very existence. Those underfunded pension plans need money and hours asap. Even if all D’s sweep into office in November, at best the pensions get a bailout and not a long-term sustainable solution!

The trades could be a temp agency and dispatch workers for any number of situations.

As to how to fund CCM, look at our current budgets for political activity, labor/management relations, the use of contractors’ crack (aka market recapture funds, won’t need them any longer), representational and market development activities – all which have NOT led to increased market share “net”. All or part of these budgets can be redeployed “if” we develop union construction management entities. Now that is a real value-added concept – a WIN/WIN scenario for all but the non/anti-union construction manager. Someone IS LEAVING the construction world in the upcoming decades – either the trades or the existing for profits construction managers. Senior leaders – Brent Emons and The Milwaukee BT – gave you a way out of this disaster. Can we please quit standing on the RR tracks waiting to get run over!

We have enough contractors, supervisors, workers, funding and clients to do this. Any non-union contractor that would want to bid on jobs would HAVE TO sign a CBA.

The frosting on the cake may be that CURT would be interested in this concept because right now they pay for a dumpster being moved on a job. The paperwork and costs are off the charts to end-users. We could set a negotiated rate far more competitive than what the for-profit construction managers’ CURT uses! And we could pay real packages. This is not pie in the sky – it can happen.

The “sword” cuts in both directions, and what is a dying Building Trades relationship with all industries could flip very dramatically. We have been on CURT’s jobs for decades and know every nook and screw up. If our numbers are well below those of existing construction managers – well, it is all about money and a job done well and on time.

The entire legal framework exists, which is hundreds of legal hours necessary for CCM to be viable – done and still viable per the lawyers who have reviewed them! They are being made available by Brother Emons, through Labor Rising for the last 8 years, to again provide a forceful, real world solution to increased market share before we are dead. The Building Trades at the local, state and national levels can be our own legal construction managers through consortiums of regional and national unions and building trades! Think of the Gulf States with a Building Trades CCM and many other parts of the U.S. The lawyers would have to chime in on whether or not this can be done in Canada.

Why are 14 International Presidents & the President of NABTU still refusing to do this even in heavy non and anti-union areas and industries? What the hell is going on? They keep saying they want to do something BOLD & GAME CHANGING – well here it is!

The CCM document includes:

A complete Business Plan. Statement of Purpose. Business Philosophy. Policy & Goals. Overview of the Business. Operations. Timetable & Funding. Competition. Promotion Strategy. Management of Company. Organizational Chart. Strengths & Weaknesses. Complete Market Survey of Target Area. 5 Year Budget.

Thank you, Brother Emons, for the vision.

The Articles of Incorporation are completely done and living.

It is a potent weapon for those Building Trades Councils aggressive enough to pursue it, with minimal downside risk.

Articles of Incorporation –!4091&authkey=!AOLovtNorbitcQ0&ithint=file%2cpdf    

 Business Plan of CCM –!4095&authkey=!AC5adMs3LjYq448&ithint=file%2cpdf   

 Bylaws of CCM –!4096&authkey=!AH1pjd4PrdA50II&ithint=file%2cpdf       

Shareholders Meeting of CCM –!4093&authkey=!AHd1LEVzccM0_Bw&ithint=file%2cpdf  

Meeting Notes of CCM #1 –!4097&authkey=!AK4LcK9Whc4I2ec&ithint=file%2cpdf   

Meeting Notes of CCM #2 –!4094&authkey=!APLnoyRadbraz7g&ithint=file%2cpdf   

Meeting Notes of CCM #3 –!4092&authkey=!AGDOJj0T-UAEmfk&ithint=file%2cpdf

Share with Building Trades leaders in your area & state. You may have to cut & paste links.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo


Labor Rising/Labor Combat


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