Longshoremen protest invades convenience store

An on-going dispute about moving jobs from one local port to another resulted in protesters invading a Center City convenience store.

The protesters represent several unions including the International Longshoreman’s Association.  They are upset because Del Monte now unloads its fruit in Gloucester City New Jersey, not the port of Philadelphia. 

Joe Leonard gets far fewer hours without the Del Monte work.  He brought his granddaughter to the rally, wearing a sign that Del Monte ruined her Christmas.

“I’m not even making close to $200 a week from I was making close to 800,” said Leonard.  “I would work from six O’Clock in the morning to close to two O’Clock in the morning and they just cut it all out,” he said.

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John Dougherty is head of Philadelphia’s Electricians Union.  He says the jobs have been moved to what he calls a phony union

“Anytime you cut 20 bucks an hour you are a bootleg union, we have to make sure everyone understands that,” Dougherty said.

The Philadelphia Unions are calling for a boycott of Del Monte until the work returns.

WHYY called Del Monte seeking comment and has not received a response so far.

For more on the protest, watch raw footage taken by WHYY Reporter Tom MacDonald below.

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