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Private Sector/Building Trades Unions Lose 240,000 Jobs in 2016 –

Private sector/Building Trades jobs went down to 10.7% from 11.1% in 2016, per Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 240,000 good paying jobs! A big chuck where retirees, however many where early retirees due to lack of work. Some of the jobs where erased due to technology in construction delivery and modularization; and the trades did not pick up a corresponding percentage of non-union jobs. However, recruitment of union workers in the trades, now in its 4th year was what makes this number so large. What makes this even worse is that construction spending in 2015 and 2016 were at record levels, with 2017 on pace to make it a trifecta!

So, while we in the trades bring in helpers, quasi-trainees, apprentices and some unorganized – the non-union recruits vetted and top experienced hands. Not only do they get the hands, they get their network of co-workers and the union clients that they have worked with and/or for!

If we couple the retention rate of the trades which is at or under 1:1 – not sustainable! Now add in the complete failure of the Value on Display strategy for the past 2 decades, and the table is set for the non/anti-union to run the table. The door is now wide open with an anti-union Congress and a President that will not stop legislation that strips union and non-union workers of the laws protections.

So, what is the answer? Well if you been reading our Blogs and attending our training we have outlined solutions and specifics of how to win again. We believe in a strategy of regaining market share that is much different than that which has been used for 20 years – which has nothing but a losing track record.

At the core of our strategy and tactics is going after the clients, credit and social perception of end-users, developers, construction mangers and GC’s. It is aggressive and structured strategies that grabs the world of construction by the wallet – it is the 21st century version of what our Founders did!

However, there is an entirely different strategy available right now that our Internationals just won’t consider. Labor Rising has shared this strategy several times to zero avail with senior leadership! So, we will lay this Blog on the leadership at the state and local Building Trades for consideration and advancement.

This is the vision of Brother Brent Emons who was the Bill Belichick of his time. IW BM in the 80’s & 90’s in Milwaukee – used with his permission. He had the support of the entire Milwaukee BT. What he could envision and developed was a way for the Building Trades to be a legal and lawful construction manager. Below are the links to the legal work that was necessary for this. What you are looking at is the future of construction delivery if even a few state and local BT leaders have the will to pursue it!

Articles of Incorporation – https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwsE741khfQsVeXn

Business Plan – https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwpYNOemTE-Y2Ha-

Legal Corporate Bylaws – https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwiX19QC-CoRGe6y

Stockholders Meetings – https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwMHqF1hPTzYGu5S

Meeting Notes and Framework of Decisions – https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwdBj6Y1yfAZc0KQ  – https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwZdP0LFjmkN3_ko – https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmKOi71GyLcggwXAkJLCSaqUzW-R

The advantages for the trades to be a CM are numerous – so we will outline a few:

  • The respective unions that invest in it are the Share Holders.
  • A formidable tactic to battle anti-union state and federal governments. PLA’s are going to be eliminated for the most part. This is a built-in PLA to sell to the end-users. The law cannot prevent this, in this form.
  • It forces the trades to respect each other’s jurisdiction and settle differences or that trade will not be included in this BT owned CM.
  • It is immune from the gutting and/or repeal of state and federal labor laws.
  • It has a market already built in. All those real estate investments & infrastructure firms that court the union pensions for funds are clients. Labors own CM does the building(s).
  • It is competitive. Top line revenue of CM’s is huge depending on sector. A consensus would be approx. 22% and up. The BT CM can hold and take profits, however early on to establish a density of union jobs can undercut the competition severely.
  • Most end-users and governments would welcome this new way of construction delivery. If it is ALL about money, then let it be ALL about money.
  • The people needed to run these entities come from within our ranks. So, senior leadership, estimators, operations and more. We can hire in the open market and recruit the best from existing CM and other construction entities.
  • This BT run CM can be used in RTW and low density union areas to build density of market.
  • This BT CM could be a vehicle to place union workers on jobs in a temporary situation, so our own temp agency for resident, service, industrial and maintenance. This BT CM could hold the contract directly with such end-users/customers.
  • This BT CM may very well be able to hold the insurance wrapper on jobs, acting as a CCIP; Contractor Controlled Insurance Program. This is huge as the profits from this can be potentially used to shore up underfunded pensions. This is no small thing. The law firm that developed these documents would have an opinion along with Brother Emons on this. We have been told that it is possible.
  • This entity was UP & RUNNING. It is not theory. It was in the BLACK and developing steam!

Why did it not stay in existence?

  • Think of the time period. Late 80’s. Wisconsin and Milwaukee are union. The then budding BT CM pissed off the GC’s of the time and they were furious when this union CM came into being. It was direct competition to them, and it was. So, the union GC’s had a valid argument and some pressure on the trades signed with those GC’s to make this go away.

Now think of the environment of today. 10.7% market share and dropping. A complete failure of Value on Display. Mounting anti-union sentiment and laws stripping the trades of their rights. Construction Managers are the trades worse enemy in almost all circumstances. Hard core recruitment of our best hands. Underfunded pensions. Rising interest rates. PLA’s and Davis-Bacon most likely gutted or repealed. And much more.

This document is under corporate law and cannot be attacked like labor laws now are.

The constraints of this document in its present form is that the share price cannot be improved. Which the trades can live with. Also, the BT CM cannot direct hire workers. No problem here, as we can sub out ALL facets of the work.

So, a vision that was ahead of its time can now serve to put the trades back into the game. If New England can rally from a 25-point deficit, think of this instrument as the Tom Brady for the trades! What it needs are the Bill Belichick’s type leaders, not good ole boy followers. The senior leadership of the trades and Internationals will not use it – which begs the question as to who interests they serve.

That must be questioned at this juncture of the trades history – are we to go down with a whimper, or break the culture of losing and getting our asses kicked!

Labor Rising, Labor Combat and Black Ops are the only programs designed to fight and win!

Brother Emons was way ahead of all of us with this out of the box solution. And BTW, Brother Emons was also my, and many other trades mentor for Organizing. He won in every environment – check his record!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Organizer
Labor Rising/Labor Combat

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