Trad Building Laborers Union (OHTBLi)

the Organization of Historic and Traditional Building Laborers international

Greetings. This organization is for all those laboring in historic preservation and traditional building. We have gone too long without representation as an entire body of craft/practice.

The historic and traditional building arts are folkways and folk traditions. They predate industrialization, and capitalism as a whole. The means and methods for best practice in these arts as such can only come from the practitioners.

The only ethical labor to utilize is union labor, we intend to be the traditional building laborers union. This is a newly formed concept for a laborers union, and educational institution, operated by and for laborers.

The first goal of the union is to codify knowledge and training, bringing back into the hands of the laborers and out of acedemia, the menagerial, and professional class our culture and heritage in building and rendering materials.

This dedication to knowledge and education by the practitioners will pay dividends in the built environment; and the enrichment of the lives of those who give their labor to the practice. If architects or developers want to practice traditional building or preservation they should pick up a trowel or a chisel and swim like us.

the next goal of the union is to lobby the industry with a campaign promoting the use of ethical labor practices. Thus, the standards will be enforced by the union, within it’s members rather than by a national trust, historical overlay, or deed restrictions.

when you choose ethical labor, we deliver proper standards and work practices anywhere we operate. full stop.

Foundations of traditional building materials and methods are rooted in the study of geometry, physics, chemistry, mineralogy, and forestry.

We will start by tracing the primitive roots of each discipline as it applies to building durable places humans dwell in.

Our final pallet of materials are:

  • Things from the mines: stone, and slate.
  • Things from the kiln: ceramics, glass, and mortars.
  • Things from the forge: Iron, copper, lead, and tin.
  • And timber of course: Things from the forrest.

We should have a base understanding of the primitive process required to create our materials from raw earth, and then identify what we have lossed or gained in the industrial processes. Ultimately the mechanized and automated world of power assist could be used to improve the primitive processes if they lose quality thru large scale production.

All of this power assist and modern improvements should be returned to laborers in the form of owning their means of production and methods of work.

Land Owners and managers and professionals have no place in the conversation. Give the equity to your laborers and go to church if you have enough surplus to avoid labor. In maters of building refer to builders.