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Dear Building Trades Presidents –

This is the continuing research by Labor Rising of approximately 483 connected union individuals and groups. It appears that the major end-users are, among other goals, looking to dramatically reduce labor costs in order to increase their profits. They are also working to strategically capture the skills, for pennies on the dollar, of a percentage of Building Trades workers sufficient enough to man their jobs and train future non-union workers.

Union leaders and Rank & File should go to CURT’s website @ and familiarize yourselves with their Mission Statement and CLMA, Construction Labor Market Analyzer, as well as other aspects of this site; I’ll leave it to your judgment as to what these documents & site means to the future viability of the Building Trades.

Consider the following:

  1. Major end users affiliated with  CURT, (Construction Users Round Table) may be compiling multi-year demographical information on our skilled Building Trades workers to include, but not limited to:
    1. Time on the road
    2. Skills, credentials, licenses, training, etc.
    3. Age, background, work history, attendance
    4. Temperament
    5. Flexibility and multi-craft abilities
    6. Union tendencies, i.e., calling Reps, grievances, knowing their rights, etc.
    7. Financial and credit strengths and weaknesses
    8. Many other diverse aspects of employment
  • Major end users, such as CURT affiliated companies, are major contributors and muscle behind increasing anti-union laws and legislation
  • Anti-union consultants and attorneys have been busy training not only anti-union contractors on union avoidance, but also have increasingly focused on union contractors becoming double breasted and/or union free altogether.
  • Community colleges and vocational training facilities programs are the single largest growth component in post-secondary education, with a substantial increase in training of Building Trades skills.  CURT’s purpose has been to “Empower and enhance the effectiveness of Local User Councils throughout North America”.  Local CURT User Councils have a strong level of interest in the skills training of the community colleges as it relates to building trades training.
  • Labor-Management cooperation has afforded CURT, which was formed in 2000; a clear and concise look at the inner philosophy of Building Trades unions, including the personality and habits of individual union leaders – all the way up to senior union leadership.
  • My research indicates that many union contractors claiming to be “going out of business due to the economy” may be planning a legal absence to satisfy legal requirements related to CBA and ERISA fund laws. Many of these former union companies will re-open as anti-union surrogates and/or contractors, with a still intact book of business of clients and contacts, to launch anti-union business initiatives to a welcoming CURT clientele.

I believe their exists a three to six year window that will substantially change construction as we know it, (union vs. non-union) if we ignore our current environment.  Waiting on politicians and/or cooperative agreements will only result in further market share decline. In addition having increasing number of jobs that have both union and non-union workers on it does not favor the building trade’s position.

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising Group

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