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Dominos Not Falling The Building Trades Way –


A week after the Keynote by Brother Sean Mc Garvey speaking at the National Building Trades conference, reality confronts his speech & strategies.

Understand that Brother Sean reflects the General President’s vision, or rather their continued misplaced confidence of the wholly failed strategy of Value on Display. Perhaps new General Presidents Rigmaiden, Sellers & Dean will consider the overwhelming numbers, and not sentiments, and move in a bold and dramatic new direction far past words.

The current, and long standing “plan” that has been used is Value on Display. The 2 critical weaknesses of this strategy are:

Number 1 – Value on Display used with either business or politics puts the outcome of “our” futures and that of the entire middle class in another parties hands; which is the key difference between a Movement & a brand. The unintended consequences of Value on Display have both legal and business consequences.  Case closed! The “environment” in which Brother Sean refers to in the keynote – is of our making Brothers & Sisters – OUR MAKING!

Our Founders back in the 30s and 40s, and even if they were around today, would never cede their responsibilities of putting their hats in hand – and go beg politicians, business, construction end-users and regulators to do our mission. Labor forfeits its true value when we do not confront capital in a capitalistic society. That’s our entire mission, both for workers and our respective countries.

Labor independent of all parties, other than the workers whom we represent, sets its own agenda and does not always and continually knock on everyone’s door – hoping that it works. The endless mantra of we need them – is exactly why we have ceded our heritage and are in this position. Relationships based on politics and business interests, which continually change, is kicking our butts. Knocking on everyone’s door is NOT what our Founders did. They created the situation thru organizing and defending workers of having business and politicians knocking on our door. That is a huge difference, and hope is not a strategy. Union politicians beg (they call it meetings) – leaders set the agenda and make those interest respond to us – not the other way around. The continued notion that “they” need to be educated is a sucker’s play and nowhere in the NET numbers anywhere in the last 25 years has that worked. Drawing us in close and going to school on our strengths and weaknesses is why they win! Wouldn’t you do the same “if” the situation was reversed? Be dumb not too.

Number 2 – The strategy that the Building Trades uses to advance market share is EXACTLY the strategy the anti-union uses to defeat the Building Trades. You may want to reread that. The RTW, ABC, CURT, ALEC, Heritage Foundation, Hard Right Wing Republicans and anti-union lawyers & consultants all depend on the information provided by us – to limit us both legally and thru business relationships; to defeat us over time. This isn’t that hard to find and you may want to go to an anti-union seminar and read some posted position papers from those respective groups.

With Value on Display as our strategy, our continued and almost exclusive way to handle every situations is “let’s talk to them”. Them is every form of entity that across the board from construction to politicians “bring us in close” and then uses the very info provided by us to limit the Building Trades in growing. In every arena, information is power and uncertainty is the kiss of death.

The very definable difference between the Labor Rising approach, which is based wholly on hard core research and numbers is that going forward, unions only engage with very limited end-users, CM, CG and non-union contractors based on what the unions Compression Zone(s) indicate. All others have to earn that right, as do the Building Trades. CBA’s need to be imposed on the construction world regardless if they want them or not – our Founders never gave them a choice. Value on Display does, and is why it is an abject failure. We win a few, and lose the overwhelming majority. Value on Display correlates to a maximum degree in that the more we talk – the more we loss. Do your homework leaders.

Uncertainty in construction favors the Building Trades very strongly and upping the ante by understanding our targets clients, credit and social footprint is a game changing outcome. Add in some labor activism and concerted activity across the board and the Building Trades market share will grow exponentially.

 “if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising Group

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