[Excerpt] Union membership in all but a few of the 15 affiliates of the AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades (B&CT) Department has fallen precipitously For many years B&CT unions have relied primarily on internal apprenticeship training programs to increase their numbers, and as a result, they have not established an enduring tradition of organizing the unorganized. Without such a tradition, most B&CT unionists have been at a loss to explain their continued decline or to project creative new paths for renewal.

Michael D. Lucas, Director of Organizing for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), is an exception to that rule. Lucas offers a provocative analysis of the problem, including a biting critique of the trades past practice, and has initiated an ambitious organizing effort to reverse the decline.