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Why text messaging? Because they're on the job site - where cell phones are king, not laptops.
With cell phones now as ubiquitous as hammers on carpenters' tool belts, the union has used text messaging to bring campaign captains together for meetings. As negotiations progress, the union might use text-messaging to send out updates, ask for input on specific contract proposals, and notify members about job-site rallies.
And of course, a key strategic goal is reaching younger members - who haven't experienced this before:
'It will be about the money when it comes down to the contract,' he said, 'but we have to address the fundamentals.'
That's particularly true for the younger members, who don't feel the same kinds of bonds to the union that their parents and grandparents did, Franklin said.
'In the carpenter's union, and in the building trades in general, young members are a minority,' Franklin said.
About two-thirds of the Northwest Carpenters' members are 45 and older. Nationally, the average age of construction workers is in the mid-50s, according to a survey last year by Chicago-based outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc."