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Union Organizing and the Titanic

No different than the fact that moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic would have not prevented her from sinking, is the likelihood that the current strategies the Building Trades unions have been using –  going to increase market share in this environment.

Even when the Captain of the Titanic had the cold North Atlantic waters up to his knees, did he still refuse to believe the ship was sinking?

The Building Trades’ entire premise that selling our trades like a “product” now for over 2 decades, has run its course; and is at the core of our Building Trades’ market loss!

Just like the Titanic, we have struck an iceberg – and that iceberg is greed & power. The Captains of Industry have consistently demonstrated they care little about fairness & equity in the workplace.

The Titanic’s “working class” were locked away in the steerage section of the ship and had little chance to get on a lifeboat. Similarly, the labor movement needs to quit accepting their place as 2nd and 3rd class passengers, and accepting the shit that passes for wages, benefits & conditions, if we want to survive and prosper.

The Labor Leaders of the past 30 plus years resemble the quartet of musicians playing on the deck of the Titanic – watching the Captains of Industry exiting the ship. And just because the musicians had their tuxedos on and cleaned up nicely, that didn’t keep them from going down on the sinking ship.

Good organizers/activists of any generation (Samuel Gompers/Martin Luther King) don’t get caught playing the music, so they don’t go down on a sinking ship!

Hopefully the next generation of Labor Leaders will stop playing the music of the past 30 years, and resurrect the labor movement now in the 21st Century.

Continuing endless power meetings aimed at incremental changes to declining strategies will be the very rivets that will fail and sink the ship of labor.

Bold & decisive “new initiatives” by labor are so long overdue that time is now working against us.

The “status quo” has to be sunk – or it will sink the “middle class”!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo



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