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Building Trades Members, their Skills & Contractors are Being Transferred by Design to the Non-Union

The anti/non- union would need a plan to do this – right?  Below we offer excerpts from our years of on-going research that validate the statement above. Value on Display has opened the flood-gates to the developed strategy listed next to each bullet point below by the non/anti-union. Why? Because the trades WILL NOT impose a CBA on the non-union contractors and put out of business the anti-union contractors per a structured strategy – case closed! That is Organizing! Only Labor Rising/Labor Combat has a developed strategy that incorporates strategies to do this. It is called building and using a Compression Zone. It reshapes the business market of contractors and by extension increases union BT market share. Our Founders understood that controlling the workers is NOT enough to win market share and control the market. They knew you HAD TOO/IMPOSE the “VALUE” of the Middle Class on non-union contractors to sign a CBA – any strategy missing this aspect of development has not and will not work! Value on Display has proven that! It has been a disaster! The “value” – little v of training is chump change compared to the “Value” capital V of middle-class values! One is a temp agency and one is a MOVEMENT!

Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) and their surrogates would need to:

  • Have a primary starting point along with a structure and strategic plan. Labor Law Study Group started in 1965. In the fall of 2000, the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) came into being, which speaks for the top end-users of construction, and is part of the Business Roundtable. This direct and unbroken lineage has as its mission the transfer of the union contractors and skilled membership and training of the Building Trades to the non-union. A great white paper for you to consider is:!5539&authkey=!AKaDcmNj84oZMSI&ithint=file%2cpdf

  • Reorganize and centralize the construction industry. Enter the Construction Manager working at all times for the end-user in the late 70’s.  The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) started in 1982 and is the dominant association with 29 chapters & 14,000 members thru-out all of construction.
  • “And the enforcement mechanism used by the Roundtable was the threat of its enormous purchasing power which it held continually, though usually silently, over the heads of the contractors. They intended to gradually establish non-union contractors to undercut the economic position of unionized employers and through the strategic use of their purchase orders, the large consumers would insure their control over the contractors, both union and non-union.” JC Turner, General President of the Operators
  • Quietly make new friends on the Hill – what we now call the Right to Work Committees and Groups, ABC, ALEC, Heritage Foundation, Tea Party, etc. providing both direct and indirect funding.
  • Form Government Relations & Litigation Committees to vigorously fight every pro-worker form of rights at the bargaining table.  We see the fight to repeal Davis-Bacon & court decisions limiting our right to picket, giving union contractors the right to set up non-union companies and the right to repudiate their collective bargaining agreements and much more. Right to Work is a huge time-consuming fight for unions that fear it. RTW was something the Founders lived with, they didn’t fear it, they organized workers anyway!
  • Empower and use to CURT’s purposes and ends groups like the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and Construction Industry Roundtable (CIRT) (this is not CURT, but a quasi-relation). Google this entity, go to the “About” tab and look at the pull-down menu under “Members”. Most of our unions’ big partners’ construction firms are there! WHY?  National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have actively opposed the use of PLAs, particularly for government projects. 21 states ban PLA’s with another 20 working hard to get there, and 9 states encourage some form of use. Not good numbers for the unions.
  • Transfer union contractors via double breasting and strong enticements with purchase orders, bid shopping and other strategies. While technically stuff like bid shopping et al is illegal, it is rampant and uncontrolled.
  • Openly recruit solid journeypersons with skills and leadership to the non-union via hard core recruitment firms, such as ihirebuildingtrades, Tradesmen International, Trillium and several others which all are growing. These are recruitment side of these firms, not the temporary side, many can be both – which are transferring skilled trade’s members who are unemployed, underemployed, not in the political click or working on the road for long periods of time. Many seasoned union skilled tradespersons are faced with one or more of the above scenarios due to contracting work opportunities and hours!                
  • To transfer those skills, and to know those union members who the non-union recruits by name, they need information gathered by the construction manager or a surrogate involved in the jobs. Add to this the fact that union Building Trades have all their eggs in very few baskets, especially those gated and controlled jobs which require big time info on all aspects of the tradespersons on the job, especially their work history, credentials and temperament. How do you think the recruitment entities know who to precisely go after? Those recruited are then a pathway to other union tradespersons and the clients of the union contractor!
  • Leverage modularization and technology advancements in construction delivery. Significant areas of construction are both contracting in hours needed to do a job and the number of contractors needed (minus 1099’s) – despite $1.5 trillion of construction spending in back to back to back years. The construction industry is also consolidating due to successful union and non-union companies being “rolled-up” into regional and national firms. The overwhelming majority of these parent roll-up firms are non-union.

Let/drive the Building Trades unions to handle most of the recruitment, training and HR on a host of hiring issues for the transfer of the “blue chip” hands – from minority, women in the trades, local hiring initiatives, veteran’s preference, drug testing, professional standards, etc. Then, due to the contraction and consolidation of union job opportunities, along with rising non-union market share, the non-union contractors recruit directly and thru recruitment agencies workers who have been trained and vetted for placement. All the HR activities have been conducted and paid for by the union members one way or another. We are continuously told what is needed, so we do all the heavy lifting. This is a great deal for the end-users to then recruit and transfer those targeted workers.

And…for decades women and people of color where kept out of the Trades by policy. Now the Trades desperate for bodies for recruitment, embrace women and people of color to save their checks. Historically women have been the backbone of Organizing for unions. The unions which are clearly moving ahead TODAY are all run by women Presidents! SEIU, Nurses, Teachers and Flight Attendants. So, you’re telling me that the quintessential “good ole boys” club has changed? The Trades, void of any women right up to now – suddenly have changed? And BTW the women get the lower PLA and specialty wages that the “good ole boys” have capitulated on for decades! Women will be joining when the Trades have and are giving every dime of concessions to management! Lower pay – same work!

  • CURT understands the legal and business consequence of collaboration and relationship building, with the endless meetings to discuss “what they need & will pay for”, dictated to us because of the inferior (for unions) one-way relationship and declining market share.  Labor-Management co-operation, CURT’s Tripartite Initiative (CTI) and other alliances for the purpose of collaboration are ruses and in the hard numbers, of NET market share development over the last 2 decades. If Knowledge is Power – then this is the gateway into the inner workings of union decisions. It allows anti/non-union to dilute/derail actions of the unions in the form of professional relationships with legal constraints, mostly in the form of recognition and enforceable secondary limitations that have legal consequences and constraints. “If” it was the 2-way win/win relationship they describe, our “net” market share would be stabilizing and/or increasing. EVERY single sector that CURT represents has ingratiated themselves at our meetings, giving us awards, and plying their silver tongues, while every sector continues to erode with a “net” overall decline of unions on their jobs. Even in British Columbia & the Gulf Coast, what appeared to be sustainable union BT jobs are being eroded already.
  • Win constant give backs. Starting in the early 70’s with agreements such as the National Maintenance Agreements et al, to the present with new classifications and major modifications, have not arrested the decline of market share. Mergers of locals, underfunded pensions, trades infighting, aging of the work force in unions are all substantive erosions of the Building Trades’ future viability internally especially if all we have is Value on Display and letting the customer ultimately decide if they want to use the Building Trades.
  • Removing General Contractors from many bigger jobs in several sectors, using bundled delivery systems like Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) or others. The General has had the CBA with many trades, and as they go bye–bye, so do the CBA’s.
  • Maintain a stable of anti-union law and consultant firms. We may not want to acknowledge them, but the dozen or so that operate very successfully are also on point when needed, either pro-actively or reactively. When anyone needs to lawyer up, they have a blueprint to work from. These groups, CURT and the Construction Managers have been using our strategy of Value on Display and collaboration to beat us since 2004.
  • Produce books, consultants and lawyers who train on how to be even more professional, create a Brand, and collaborate.  This puts the future of the middle class and our families solely in the hands of management. They ultimately decide “if” they want to use the union Building Trades or not! For example, Breslin’s 127-page, 14 font, double spaced fluff piece on business strategies was published in January of 2003. You may want to reconsider whose business strategies this approach has served?  Recently a Tweet on “failure is a great teacher” – so how long and how often does the entire trades have to fail before it moves on past the disaster of Value on Display? Contrast that to our 474 pages of research, some of which is before you. Also, if you saw the timeline of dates from 1965 till the present, no right-thinking person in the Building Trades leadership can ignore its structure and probable outcome should we continue the status quo of VOD or marginal changes to a failed strategy.

There is ZERO hope that the newer General Presidents of the IBEW, UA, SMART, IUPAT, Insulators and Ironworkers will reconsider how their organization raise market share. We are a HOUSE of CARDS and CURT et al knows it! And work is good now and we are losing ground. What happens when the market faulters, interest rates raise, infrastructure is public/private ventures, etc…?

Are we working hard – when it comes to Organizing; not even a little? However, zoom out to 35,000 feet and for the last 20 years we have been giving ground everywhere NET!

For those that feel that we just must educate more, or we are the best kept secret, or it’s just going to take a little longer, or how the non-union is impressed when they learn more – snap the hell out of it. Every number says we are being played – case closed!! And it is more than management playing us!

Legally and lawfully imposing the “VALUE” of a middle-class MOVEMENT on the customer, end-user, developer, construction manager and GC’s clients, credit and social footprint will reverse market share decline! That’s what we do here at Labor Rising!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo


Labor Rising/Labor Combat

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