Tension between union and non-union workers has been heating up at a construction site in Philadelphia’s Loft District, and NewsWorks readers are talking. What do you think about the conflict?
Conflicts between union and non-union workers have been heating up at a construction site near 12th and Wood streets in Philadelphia. WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler reported last week that neighbors are feeling increasingly unsafe amid allegations of union workers confronting, harrassing and assaulting non-union workers at the site.
The developer, Mike Pestronk, says he hired non-union workers because they will work for less than the union contractors. Pat Gillespie, the Philadelphia Building Trades Council business manager, says his guys are just competitive and they want work.
The conflict has NewsWorks readers talking:
There is nothing wrong with any union, EXCEPT they are afraid to compete and they do not compete. If all unions will compete in the fair market place for private and especially for public jobs then all would be right about this long festering inequity and discrimination.—gardner cadwalader
I walk by this site almost everyday and these thugs are always blocking the side walk by either standing on it in groups or parking on it. If people are willing to work and do not want to be a part of the union they should have every right to do so. A company should also be able to choose who ever they want to work for them. —tom
Being a pretty liberal person, I agree with the idea of supporting workers over the greed of huge corporations, but this has even me angry. These guys are dinosaurs, and when it’s at point where people don’t even wanna do business here anymore because of them, then they’re no longer doing anyone any good, but are instead hurting the city more than they can possibly understand.—joseph
Blue-collar Philadelphia is a union-loving town, but is harrassment good for anyone, union or otherwise? Should union workers be more competitive in the labor marketplace? Do you believe it was just wrong for Pestronk to not hire union contractors?