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May Day – As a Person of Labor, If You Do Not Know the Significance of This Date, You Are a Poser

Work 2 Rule – building to a day of reckoning in the trades.

Management does NOT own the job – nor the senior trades leaders – we, the workers, do!


  • Measurable market share over the past 50 years has continuously declined “NET” across the trades.
  • Density of trades workers vs. non-union workers is worse than market share and is the better measure for senior leadership’s failures over the same 50 years.
  • Organizing via the protocols of the trades IS NOT organizing. It has devolved into recruitment. The standard rank & file organizer who attends either that trade’s in-house organizing or the Building Trades junk, even including marketing training, is limited BY DESIGN by our senior international leaders. Should an organizer build a “war room” and bring heat on the alliance’s contractors’ non-union jobs, that organizer will be derailed and/or shut down. Organizers and marketing reps at all levels (including international organizers) are to be kept busy and out of the way! The sheer number of hours in meetings and generating reports mitigates against effective organizing & marketing along with ineffective training and turnover. How is it possible that the current international organizers, and the prior international organizers since the late 70’s, have ALL failed so spectacularly? If a contractor should be signed, it is more a matter of being in the right place at the right time than a result of the efforts expended. Low hanging fruit contractors that are signed will not be enough to raise market share – check the actual numbers of your trade and locals and you’ll see for yourself that 92% are making no progress improving their numbers.
  • Pension underfunding is growing. The once fair way of trying to zone a fund, i.e. Green, Red & Yellow zones, has been totally prostituted. Hours and return on investments drive the health of the pension – and you need both to stay well-funded. Investments and hours evolve and can be smoothed out, but that ship has sailed, especially on the hours side of the equation. The government, both D’s & R’s, have added layers of restructuring debt via legislation, so our funds look far better than they really are. More specifics in upcoming blogs – warning, details are a bitch!
  • Modularization, miniaturization, roll-ups, consolidation & contraction of the construction industry as we once knew it is rapidly changing with technology finally coming to construction via block-chain and other industry advancements in construction delivery. By the end of this decade, because it is ramping up that fast and all things being equal, hours will continue to be eroded and mega jobs will take a fraction of the hours to build compared to yesterday and even today. These changes are already here folks and most rank & file field journeypersons, and even apprentices, see it!

The bullet points above can be objectively measured when all the subterfuge of our internationals peeled away. Our Building Trades are not unions any longer – they are businesses that are mostly controlled by the management alliances to facilitate the jobs they do. A rank & file member has close to zero input as to who their senior leaders are. The Building Trades are far from a democratic free and independent trade movement!

How many examples of our internationals rolling over to the alliances do the rank & file need?

Here’s yet another one dated 01/17/2022

“Use of Specialty Contractors The Committee has been requested to provide a clarification on the use of “specialty contractors”, as it relates to Article IV, Section 3 of the National Maintenance Agreements”.

Translation may be that more non-union contractors that are “specialty contractors” will be on jobs going forward. The few remaining union contractors will double breast their specialty contracting operations as modularization ramps up. Nearly all construction companies will be specialized so they can adapt to a fast-moving construction delivery.

The trades will train the workers for these specialties – union or not. The odds are those workers will not be paid even though they are training for specific specializations.

Management alliances have been very smart in keeping the trades unions in “NAME” close to them. Giving the respective trades senior leader just enough hours to maintain their power over the rank & file to do the alliances’ demands and jobs!

It is impossible to review the Book of Decisions coupled with the steady erosion of wages, conditions, benefits, per diem and more since the early 70’s and not see our senior leaders as nothing more than minions of the alliances.

If we as workers value ourselves and our families this poorly, then we deserve what will transpire as construction enters this new era of modularization and construction delivery.

We own the jobs if we Work to Rule on safety on our respective jobs that are under a PLA or specialty agreement.

Why are we NOT working to the letter of safety? Almost every journeyperson knows when they are not. A little voice or bell in our heads warns us. That bell/voice matches up with the letter of safety very closely.

Example: Prying a pipe into position in the air with a 2”x 4” while you wedge yourself around a hanger, so you don’t fall if the board breaks. We could fill books with these examples for all the trades. If you need to build a scaffold and use a chain fall, for example, you know that is precisely what that voice in your head said. Whatever time it takes to do it right and safely, it takes. That is exactly what the governing safety document for the job says you should do.

Because of our skills we typically silence that bell/voice in order to produce the job and meet deadlines. A decade ago, that was fair. However, now the companies will do everything they can do to deny any compensation once we are hurt.

This isn’t retaliatory or vindictive behavior; it is sound reasoning given the circumstances our own internationals have placed us in.

We are either victims and continue to blame those who are actually to blame, or we own the job and work professionally but to the LETTER of safety that both the company and the union want you to (BUT do they really?)

Work 2 Rule. It is your job, your body & our union, if we want it to be again.

Nothing is guaranteed without action. Case in point: Roe v. Wade was a lock – not!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo


Labor Rising

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