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Inevitability – meet the “good ole boys” –

The construction of healthcare & senior housing, low-income housing, commercial office building to 30 floors, multi-floor residential condos to 30 floors, student housing, hotels and a few more types of buildings are going to be constructed on an industrial level of modularization before the end of this decade. We know some of the above sectors are NOT typically classified as commercial; however, Warren and others are going to do it anyway. Buckle up buttercup! Labor Rising absolutely expects residential family construction to be on this list at some point soon, per the reported news in this arena. Other disruptors already have their eyes on residential.  

A timeline for this inevitability was provided by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway press announcement on modularization. Berkshire “expects” returns within 10 years. Other disruptors will have to keep up with that bogey; and we expect BH will buy up any of those that can’t.

With over 100 billion on the balance sheets – BH will meet those goals! Warren’s track record reinforces that prediction.

Berkshire is going all in on construction via modularization in the above markets as a core component to the BH portfolio.  

So, what are the international unions’ plans to replace those hours lost to the industrialization of modularization which, again, is well on its way by the end of this decade?

In 2019 U.S. construction total was $1.3 TRILLION.

Each local and district council has different mixes of construction. How many hours can the trades “NET” lose before our local/DC pensions become permanently underfunded? This is NOT hyperbole – this is what is going down.

What is the “game plan” of the senior elected representatives of each trade? Has anyone seen and/or even heard of anything that resembles a game plan? At conventions, agents’ meetings, industry meetings, marketing meetings – anywhere?

The word Titanic comes to mind and the “good ole boys” at the steering wheel appear quite content to sail into a field of KNOWN icebergs without a clue of how to come out on the other side!

The trades cannot take even a 10% hit on hours without a major interruption in job availability and a devastating impact on pensions. Even a great infrastructure package will not repair the kind of hours that will be lost. All reports have modularization reducing field hours by 60% and more. It will also eliminate most skills now needed. And keep in mind the modularization and miniaturization of industrial work is also ramping up.

Decades ago, Brent Emons and the Milwaukee Building Trades demonstrated the way to address this inevitability with a Construction Manager solution.

Labor Rising and others have reproduced those documents several times in many blogs. Certainly, they were way of ahead of their times – but if used today, they’d be spot on!

The “good ole boys” keep ignoring this strategy. The Construction Manager owned by the trades can be a strategy to get through the icebergs, fund both rank & file jobs and keep our pensions funded until we transition out of them. Hint – hint!

In the next blog, we will once again examine the Construction Manager idea in a light that will produce the hours and jobs needed.

There are no more status quo tomorrows for the trades. What is happening to EVERY industry in North America is here today for the building trades – technology driven construction modularization.

We cannot leave it to the “good ole boys” unless they can produce a plan – not a mission statement, not a rah-rah power point, not political commentary, not a blame game! A real genuine plan!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo


Labor Rising

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