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Top 10 Things an Organizer Isn’t –

Ella May

As we transition our Blogs to solutions, it is important that we in the Building Trades stop this Merry Go Round of measuring ourselves against the lowest market share benchmark and sticking with the strategy of Value on Display – which has so magnificently failed measured in any proper context over time!

What an Organizer in the trades isn’t:

  1. A Victim – yep a victim! Just listen too many of them. They are the ones who say stuff like “if Trump/republicans gets elected good-bye too ____________ – (fill in the blank). Some say “if only” ___________ – (fill in the blank). An organizer is never a victim – they set the agenda and don’t blame others like management, politicians, NLRB because they don’t have the ability and initiative to advance labor rights, union or not! The Labor MOVEMENT can set the agenda and its own course when it has the leadership to do so. Our numbers “NET” – show a lack of leadership “NET” for over 4 decades to do this!
  2. Selling a business brand to a customer. Brands come and go. We are part of a MOVEMENT which means among other things – that you/me/we may never see the actual success we are working/fighting for. The what’s “in it for me” attitude so prevalent in the trades today is exactly why we are losing workers confidence and trust both in and out of the trades. Poll after poll shows workers want to be in unions, however they are underwhelmed with the prospects of joining the existing trades. Right now that number sits at 88% of non-union workers.
  3. A political hack, cronies, politicians – you pick one or all. None of these attributes can be attached to the organizers job; and if an organizer got their job because they are one of the above – that organization is going nowhere. The irony is everyone except the newest apprentice knows who is who in an organization – and yet few if any say a frickin’ word, except behind people’s backs. Which leads to #4.
  4. A YES PERSON – a politicians surround themselves with these including the organizer. A leader finds a way to break the status quo of losing programs and empowers their organizers to do just that.
  5. Delusional – only in the trades can we collectively keep saying we are winning and spin the hell out of words to appear to be doing so – when ALL measurable numbers in context for now over 2 decades unequivocally say the exact opposite. In all of North America we are down to a handful of urban markets that have solid market share. Non/anti-union have encroach most of those markets suburbs. Time is not on our side. Organizers call it as it is – and as importantly move to change it – NOW!
  6. Unorganized – duh – well you may be surprised that the sheer number of hacks, cronies and politicians coupled with the same pathetic daily routine; along with being unorganized to top it off, is no small number.
  7. Afraid of technology – be it Excel, mass communications platforms, solid understanding of cyber organizing, cloud use, sharing documents, tele-conferencing, web-site structure, structured and aggressive use of social media and more. If an organizer in the 21st doesn’t have real and contemporary use of technology, then why the heck is that person an Organizer?
  8. Distracted – being all over the market share map plays to the advantage of the non/anti-union. Solid organizers do their homework and therefore are not reactive. If an organizer is mostly reactive to what is going on, that means that the management side is doing their homework more than the organizer is. Organizers lock onto their respective campaigns and do not back off until they win. Organizers that are pro-active create massive amounts of uncertainty for the non/anti-union world of construction unless they use union trades! Organizers that are pro-active preserve their abilities to show up when they want, how they want, and what tactics will be used against the world of non/anti-union construction. They learn to discipline themselves and learn above all to “SHUT UP”! The single biggest flaw the non/anti-union knows about us is we want to explain, educate, be civil, collaborate, etc… almost ALL the time, even at our own expense – which BTW, it is. Loss of JOBS, HOURS, BARGAINING POWER, MEMBERS! Pro-active organizers don’t TALK about winning in meetings and create false BS wins, they show real Collective Bargaining Agreements signed by them and their partners in numbers sufficient to put the trades back in the game in their markets!
  9. A One Trick Pony – trying to make a few tools and/or strategies work in a diverse set of organizing circumstances. If an organizer doesn’t have solid knowledge regarding the laws of recognition and secondary law; then they will keep repeating losses, and not know why! Hiring laws, such as MJ Capital, Custom Topsoil, Oil Capital, Toering Electric and others. Knowledge of Opposition research and what it is. Organizers have to adjust a campaign in real time and direct the dedicated Opposition researchers – if it exist to begin with. Labor Rising places the number in excess of 70% of organization that do not do, or have hard core Opposition research. Of the 30% remaining, they use some good platforms when there are now a sea of excellent platforms available. Another key reason that the organizer has to be well trained is so they use the research effectively, and also ask precise questions of researches.
  10. Scared of taking action – timid of the law, reserved, cautious, OCD, apologetic, etc… Organizers get “chalk on their toes” always. They get their attorneys to “YES” in strategy development come heck or high water. The 2 worse words an attorney can say is “its defendable” – that’s a loser and very expensive for labor! It also generally means you as an organizer don’t have command of a campaign and tactics used, and are deferring to the lawyer. If you are afraid/worried about being sued – you have no business being an organizer! And BTW, good/great organizers seldom get sued, and if sued, very seldom lose because they get “chalk on their toes” and learn to live on the edge. Counter-intuitive yes – but absolutely true!! That’s when we win, all things being pro-actively trained into an organizer!

As stated several times before, the organizers have the passion and desire to win – most are poorly trained and are using tactics that the non/anti-union recognize and are for the most part, easy to defeat.

Our next Blog will deal with the components of strategy development that are not being used by the overwhelming majority of Organizers and/or Market Development Reps in the Building Trades.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

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