Carpenters’ protest looks like picket line, but postal workers cross into Pa. Convention Center

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When is a picket line called a protest?  That may be the situation when another union just walks by the signs.

The carpenters union called its demonstration Monday in Philadelphia a protest, but the scene outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center resembled a picket line with music. It was designed to attract the attention of the U.S. Postal Service workers having their convention inside the building.

The carpenters union is angry that it’s been excluded from a new work rules agreement at the center. Center officials counter that the union missed a deadline for signing.

Carpenter Ron Curran, who said he was the last carpenter to complete work at the Convention Center, said the union is unfairly keeping him and the other union members off the job.

“The deadline was May 10, not May 3 … there was an extension signed,” Curran said. “I worked in the building until May 9. We signed and handed in on the ninth and they still locked us out. There was an extension signed so I don’t know what the debate is.”

The dispute in in the courts, and the letter carriers attending their annual meeting didn’t want to get stuck in the middle of it.

Andre Whiteside was one of the postal union employees who walked right past the protesters.

“I’ve walked around worse stuff,” he said. “At least I don’t have to stumble over nothing.”

The protesters handed out yellow fliers and talked about their plight, but didn’t receive much sympathy from the conventioneers.

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