[Excerpt] The building and construction trades have historically been one of the most stable and secure sectors of the American labor movement. In the period immediately after World War II, their power in the construction industry was legendary, controlling over 80 percent of the work and setting standards that were the envy of workers everywhere. How did the building trades' position devolve so dramatically that it is now commonly described as a crisis of survival? How has the construction industry evolved in ways that have undermined the strength and vitality of building trades unions? How have construction unionists responded to the changed circumstances of their industry and their weakened position in it? How has the larger context of a labor movement in crisis influenced the strategic options of building trades leaders on both sides of the national split?