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Labor Secretary Marty Walsh & Prairie Dog OS2 –

Brother Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston, just could not be a better pick for Labor Secretary! I like Bernie, but Walsh is better. I really like Sara Nelson, but Walsh is better – especially for the trades.

Here we have to use the word BUT: But the trades are in for a transformation of the construction world, which will be dramatic and extensive, and OS2 (operating system 2) will be the driving force. From everything we can tell in our research, OS2 is in beta testing on multiple sites even as we write this blog. Fancy way of saying that the kinks are being worked out and OS2 is being taken for some dry runs with real jobs today before it is rolled out to the entire construction world in North America in 2021/2022!

So, let us at Labor Rising clarify what we mean. The CIO side of labor, along with the professional unions, are poised to run up some market share numbers with Secretary Walsh at the helm. Understand the Labor Secretary can only create a level playing field in which to organize and he will do this in a timely manner. Also, the CIO and professional unions are geared up and have a depth of experience with REAL organizing. Some unions in those universes have advanced unionization even in the era of Trump anti-labor America so they will have game with Secretary Walsh.

The management side of these respective industry sectors all are using OS2, OS3 and even some big-time companies are using OS4. So, labor and management are living the changes brought about in the workplace due to operating system changes. From automation to integrating information of every type, labor and management are dealing with real world situations using current operating system platforms. The trades and the WORLD of construction in North America IS NOT! OS2 IS NOT BIM, Lean IPD and a few other modern “PATCHES” made to the existing construction process to shave hours off. OS2 is completely NEW system for construction.

The trades senior leaders (again on the wrong side of strategy development) will be compelled to deal with OS2, which is more in line with how the world works today. The Pro Act, huge infrastructure spending and even Brother Walsh cannot stop construction from the adoption of OS2!

With real life projections (revised up from 50% reduction from the first Labor Rising blog 1 month ago) now projected at approximately 60% to 70% reduction of field labor along with skill levels per how OS2 will affect the construction industry. Life for the field construction industry (union & non-union) is facing a TOTAL transformation. OS2 will add back some of those lost jobs because the construction industry will be capable of doing approximately 2 ½ times the workload when that level of work is available. Jobs are going to be nearly full modularization and miniaturization in almost all situations possible going forward with OS2. Construction management using OS2 will use as few field/outside tradespersons’ hours as is possible using this operating system.   

Who is Prairie Dog? This is from the CURT website:

“Value Creation Through Effective Industry Alignment – The capital projects industry is unsustainable for many sectors of the global economy. Many capital projects either lack new technology, effective management, or both. Current processes are not agile or flexible enough to accommodate change and lack the foresight to envision the operating reality for years in the future. ‘Plan the work, work the plan,’ doesn’t work”.

“CURT and CII (Construction Industry Institute) believe the solution is Operating System 2.0. This vision is a multi-industry, collaborative, research-supported effort that aims to redesign industry procedures and standards and replace them with a standardized, technology-enabled platform that accommodates future changes and makes capital projects more financially viable and sustainable.”

This video is the OS2 presentation delivered by Pete Dumont, CURT President and Stephen Mulva, CII Executive Director on February 12, 2018 at the CURT National Conference:

This video is from the OS2 presentation delivered by Stephen Mulva, CII Executive Director on August 1, 2017 at the CII Annual Conference:

You can also go to and tab over to Resources and click and scroll down to OS2. Pay close attention to the charts used later in the presentations. Organizers, activist, and serious trades members can understand the direction of OS2. Listen to the couple of comments about labor’s use and role, which is extremely limited!

Notice the dates of the videos and contemplate the info needed to do a presentation of this level. This is NOT a fluff piece. And from the 2017/2018 timeframe of these presentations to beta testing in 2020/2021 is a formidable push for adoption.

You may want to also look at the Members list of both CURT (Construction Users Roundtable) and of CII (Construction Industry Institute), which are the prime drivers of Prairie Dog and OS2 adoption.

Why is Prairie Dog emerging now?

The consensus of industry experts about the nexus for OS2 is 3-fold:

  • Stock market valuations of construction firms. See The Construction Index for composite stock numbers: As the speaker in the presentation states, when Snap-Chat has a valuation of 3x that of Fluor Construction, a top worldwide constructor, who wants to own Fluor and BTW the other top constructors?
  • Stuck in history. Using the analogy of the mid 1900’s way of building is exactly correct. “Plan the work & work the plan” is at least 50 to 70 years old and has never really worked – as in ever.
  • And the top reason is that the constructors and even end-users are terrified of the future, which is already HERE! When every constructor is in the same boat, fear is a powerful motivator. The speakers in both videos, along with others we have seen, are terrified of a DISRUPTOR such as Elon Musk/Jeff Bezos becoming builders – them or one of a few dozen or so other disruptors eyeing up construction. So, it is change or die for the constructors!

Have the trades known about this? YEP! You just do not roll out an operating system overnight. Hell, some trades’ marketing groups are even Association members of CURT.

All the recruiting to keep the trades’ active workers’ level near or at 1:1 is also going to hell. The pensions are in a direct line of fire – even with the bailouts(grants) to restore funding to underfunded pensions. Add approx. 125 BILLION to the figure now being discussed and you may NOT still be at the money needed for CURRENT/2020 underfunded plans!! With the real prospect of fewer hours – underfunded plans will grow substantially. Green to red in less than a decade. Also fully funding the entire underfunded amount promised tradespersons compared to funding PBGC is completely different.

Bottom-up (which BTW rarely works for field construction) and top-down are already useless and with the rapid moving adoption of OS2 will be next to zero. Secretary Walsh cannot change what IS happening. Nothing illegal about it. The trades may have some organizing opportunities for fabrication and manufacturing of the components of modularization. However, these jobs will be completely different types and classes of jobs, pay, skills and benefits. Most likely they will also be the installers on site.

The pyramid style of running construction projects (as it is called now) is soon to be dead, to be replaced by a flat, thin or blockchain way of running construction projects.

Since 2012, Labor Rising has taught to go after the wallet/money of the senior-most decision makers of construction. The senior leaders WILL NOT go after the wallet of management; and in failing to do so have placed the trades in a death vise.

There are still two plays, as we at Labor Rising see it currently – for the trades to stay viable.

Labor Rising will present these in upcoming blogs as we continue to understand OS2 to the degree necessary to formulate a strategy.

The fact that the trades compose approximately 11% of construction, which is just a joke caused by Value on Display, has one benefit.

IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME TO HAVE LOW MARKET SHARE – THIS IS IT! Only the union sector can grow market share with the advent of OS2. Barely! Value on Display has to go, in its entirety – who are you going to sell too in the era of OS2? Labor-Management meetings with the bigger players – be they end-users, developers, CM’s, tripartite and the lot are by and large DONE in the era of OS2!

The big problem here is that the trades senior leaders are without an actionable strategy for something THEY knew is coming!

Labor Rising is begging – can we get some Executive VP’s and other senior leaders to step OUT OF LINE!?! Can SOMEONE PLEASE LEAD!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo


Labor Rising

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