The pros and cons of Philadelphia’s building trade unions

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Philadelphia is known as a union town in part because of the clout of the building and construction trades unions. Their members receive generous pay and benefits, which can add significantly to the cost of a project. Developers who want to use non union-workers have sometimes had to deal with protests, threats and disruptions. On the other hand, an under-paid and under-trained non-union team can mean shoddy and possibly dangerous work. Joining us is long-time journalist and critic of the unions, TOM FERRICK, and PAT GILLESPIE, Business Manager of Philadelphia’s Building and Trades Council, who represents about 60,000 skilled laborers.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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