As of January 1, our new organization The Association of Union Constructors or TAUC (pronounced “talk”) was launched. So what exactly does that mean to our current NEA members and the thousands of union contractors who currently are signatory to the National Maintenance Agreements?
This new organization, TAUC, hopes to change that. We hope to focus our membership? like a laser?on the issues that truly are troubling our industry. We hope to instill a new sense of responsibility and ownership in our members and the people they employ. But, how do we do this? How do we demonstrate the importance of acting with prudence, doing what?s right for the collective rather than for the individual? The first step is education, along with open and honest dialogue among our members to focus on the problems holding us back and facilitate positive, collective change for everyone who has a stake in the U.S. union construction industry.
Unions always have fought employers for basic workplace rights and have made huge steps for the common worker and for society as a whole. This still is needed today, but there is a flip side to that coin. While good union-employing organizations, like many of the contractors that TAUC will represent, do exist, there is a desperate need for a new era of labor-management cooperation to help fight our real competition. A new era of labor-management cooperation will encompass education, strategizing and marketing to become better at what we do everyday.
For years, The National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee, Inc. (NMAPC) has espoused the idea of tripartite governance, where all three parties involved in construction?the owner, the union and the contractor?are brought to the table from the beginning to discuss their collective needs to ensure the most efficient and streamlined methodology possible. The owner community demands cost savings, quality and timeliness, and we believe that union contractors and craftspeople have the best approach to deliver on these demands.
TAUC requires only one fuel to stoke its fire?our members? willingness to contribute and be part of the solution. Whether it?s participating in governance roles within the association, petitioning local or federal government on behalf of our industry, working with various local and national unions that we collaborate with or simply picking up the phone to let our staff know how to serve our members best, the willingness to get involved ultimately will lead our industry back to the promised land of market recovery.
We know our union contractors can deliver on the needs and desires of our clients in the most time-effective, safe and productive manner possible. In 2007, it will be time to step it up and TAUC!