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Pope Francis Would be a Great Labor Rising Organizer –


His words of “make good trouble”“stir it up”“break the status quo” are exactly the tonic the Building Trade’s needs. He is NOT a radical but an Organizer & Activist!

His words are directed at entrench cultures highly resistant to change! Pope Francis – meet the Building Trades! Labor is the guardian of freedom and the difference between being middle class and or the working poor. Let’s keep sitting on our asses with our turf wars and egos and it will happen!

Our charge in the union is to balance that inequity on behalf of all workers and capital.

Workers, both union and not, are watching very carefully who will defend and actively pursue a living wage, benefits and safe working environment. They know the difference between the moral equations vs. the economic equation of that; which is to say the difference between a community of workers and a check. They know the difference between local unions for some and unions for all. Labor Rising attracts leaders from union for all, and is kept in the penalty box by politicians that lead unions for some.

While studies show workers want to have the benefits of the collective good unions provide, they are overwhelmingly rejecting the Building Trades Business Unionisms model, now used for over 2 decades. They feel they already have a boss and the business unionism model gives them yet another one.

In the next several blogs Labor Rising will show the distinct differences between how a union increases market share legally and lawfully as a MOVEMENT vs. being a brand!

At the bottom of this blog are links to diverse entities on the subject of income inequity, some that would not be union friendly.

Labor leaders and rank & file often ask, what is the biggest differentiator between the Labor Rising program and existing strategies of the building trades? Our response is that the Building Trades has an entirely collaborative business model when working with the world of construction, which is overwhelming non-union or leans non-union because of short term economic interests.

Labor Rising’s approach is that we in the trades should only talk to those construction entities with a proven record of improved market share numbers with the trades. Using that rationale – that universe is very small!

The numbers clearly show that the more we engage in all types of Labor/Management co-operation, the more market share we lose. So we tout a job won as proof of our business model as success in the short term, while every number says that the mostly non/anti-union world of construction then proceeds in eroding yet more market share over time with increasingly useful information to use against us – acquired from us. And we wonder why we are losing?

Labor Rising uses structured market research as the core basis of understanding the entire market in a given trade. Absolutely possible in this day and age. This is the first step an Organizer/Market Development Rep has to have the ability to undertake, before any discussion of strategies and tactics can even be entertained.

Of the 609 participants that have attended, 17 have had knowledge of the mechanism of how to do this. It is not effectively taught anywhere in the trades in a structured class. Almost entirely the trades create static lists of target non-union construction entities that are then contacted open-endedly and with little to zero vetting and understanding of what they mean to overall market development. Most to all market development decisions made as to who to organize are done subjectively, and with little hard core market research that backs up that decision making it subjective. The trades continue to organize individual companies without through knowledge of what, if anything, signing that individual company may, or may not do to overall market development. This is entirely opposite of the Labor Rising approach to organizing/market development. We call that total development of markets a Compression Zone(s). It is entirely objective. We know the entire market thoroughly along with its strengths and weaknesses before any activity is taken. ANY!!!

The differences between what is taught in the Labor Rising classes vs. the existing subjective and passive methods used today – is that about 140 – 220 hours of objective market structure and research which needs to be done, to effectively evaluate all markets players, at all levels, before any actions of any type are taken!

Then and only then can we in the trades have a precise knowledge of who and more importantly why we should talk to some; but also why it is a complete waste of time and money to talk to the vast majority of the non/anti-union world of construction at this time. Add to this that there are very real legal and business consequences to unilaterally talking to unvetted players in the construction world, including whole industries. Translation – we get our butts kicked for not doing structured and objective market wide homework.

In the next blog we will share an overview of what this looks like and how it is accomplished. Building an entire market and understanding our respective Compression Zone(s). This can be done for locals, district councils and regions, or for the entire international. It actually scales very well at those levels. No one can hide and then and only then can strategies and tactics even be considered.

Following blogs will discuss hard hitting strategies and tactics to get our numbers up – such as:

Hiring practices, Opposition Research and Websites, aggressive social signals to strip away abuses of workers by non/anti-union construction entities, credit reports from basic to advanced, social signals to leverage our political strength thru the roof, becoming marketing engines for union contractors, using aggressive social signals to become relevant to the younger generations and advance rapidly our training apprenticeships, union owned construction management companies to work for union pension investments and be competitive in the construction markets, defense funds and not contractors crack, cyber bottom-up, social media and worker outreach, a tad of civil disobedience, and a few more which we will hold tight for the time being.

Google the Popes speech on Thursday –

Also consider Nicholas Kristof – OP-ED COLUMNIST for the New York Times, no friend of labor writes on February 2015 about the decline of unions –

S&P Global Analysis on Income Inequity –

Now consider the Building Trades Keynote at the 69th Convention in response to worker inequities. Here is the entire speech for context.

Starting at paragraph 25 is the BT version of what income inequity looks like to the Building Trades. Business Unionism meets income inequity. Increasingly and at a very rapid pace the entire North American continent is taking coordinated actions to put communities and workers in balance with business interests. Not the Building Trades – we are rapidly standing alone in our actions of unilateral collaboration with the very businesses that work in many other arenas to put us out of existence. If it even kind of worked – cool. However every number measured over time tells us it is the precise reason for declining market share. Also if we expect that the tide of awareness on who is doing something tangible in solving income inequity issues vs. talking a good game – we are out!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”


Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising

Danny’s bio FYI –

All other Instructors bios are on our website @

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