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What does Disney and the Building Trades have in Common?

Finger

Both entities are training their replacements!

Disney is overtly enforcing contracts employees signed stating that the employees have to train their replacements. With the use of H-1B visas, (Visas for technology) Disney is looking to erode the minimum workers’ rights at their properties; have forced, under the terms of the contract, that current employees train their replacements. Google H-1B and see what you get.

The Building Trades with our extensive training programs are also training our replacements. From entry level apprentices to advanced foreman and supervision training – the mission of the Building Trades is to sell our training and skills. Core to a Value Centric strategy. Has it worked? What do the numbers say in proper context?

BOLD ACTION TO DOUBLE MARKETSHARE AND UNION MEMBERSHIP

BY MARK BRESLIN

This article is found in the TAUC magazine – The Association of Union Contractors – pg. 10 in the summer of 2008.

Link to entire article: https://www.tauc.org/files/The_Construction_User_Summer_2008.pdf

Breslin’s entire premise is that if we in the Building Trades increased the number of foreman trained, market share will double at a minimum in 10 years.

“Contractors can and will grow their businesses if given the right tools. There is no tool more powerful and compelling to build around than highly qualified foremen. They make the money. They drive the jobs. They mentor the young. They are the key. And simply matching that foreman with one key man is how each crew begins and each company expands.”  Mark Breslin – Summer 2008

This was Breslins latest pitch in 2008 to sidestep the whole “Organize or Die” completely failed strategy.

Any competent analysis of the market in the summer of 2008 would reveal gaping holes in the Breslin strategy du jour.

  • Massive numbers of trade’s persons are either retiring, or soon to retire, taking substantial supervisory experience with them.
  • The anti/non-union in 2008 has approx. 86% of all the work and therefore the jobs which need supervision. Market share for the trades in 2015 is 11.3% – all-time low!
  • The economy was softening and an expected pullback in construction was in the works – no one knew that the economy would soon suffer one of its worse crashes in modern times.

The constant mantra of train, train and train found in the Value on Display era was not reconciled against the continuing expansion of the anti/non-union market share.

  • With the massive amounts of retirements in the baby boomer generation, along with their leadership skills, the trades became quite diluted in senior field supervision. This became an opportunity that the non-union exploited.
  • The Building Trades following the advice of Breslin trained and trained incessantly – into the teeth of a losing market share. How anyone figured this would reverse market share is subject to a good faith discussion then in 2008. However in the overwhelming cases that can be learned from, training at the level and quality the trades did – not only didn’t/hasn’t helped the trades – it has in fact hurt us because the non-union single highest priority is to recruit senior field supervision. This has been a known since 2010.
  • The trade’s strategy of training, skills and safety presented as business friendly, under the wrapper of Value Centric strategy has been fertile fields for the anti/non-union to draw from.

With Building Trades market share declining “NET” since 1973 and ratcheting up in declines of market share as a percentage since 2003 – (the Breslin/top-down era); the trades have been training for the non-union!

With decreasing amounts of work available, and workers on the road for extended periods of time – along with decreasing pay and per diems/if any – our well trained field supervision are the most coveted  professionals in construction. And for those that think they are paid on a sub-par basics – just fill in an application with one of several recruiters and/or directly now with the non-union contractors and see how their package line up with all the concessionary bargaining the trades have conceded since the early 70’s?

Organizing – the long abandoned strategy of imposing a CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) on a non-union contractor is lost to many contemporary organizers. They not only are rightfully confused by the mixed terms used for the last couple of decades about what organizing is – they aren’t trained what-so-ever formally and structurally to pursue it!

Organizers of today have to learn how to legally and lawfully impose a CBA on the non-union. And most think that is some form of bottom-up, that’s how bad it has gotten.

The numbers that are available, all clearly say we in the trades are providing what the non-union needs the most – trained senior field leadership!

If we in the trades don’t resurrect true 21st century style of Organizing – then we will effectively put ourselves out of existence.

Even Disney couldn’t have planned it better.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Organizing
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

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