Friday, May 4, 2012

The Philly Bully

Welcome to Philadelphia, where the cost of fair business ends in fist fights, loose asbestos, and bottles of urine. At least that's what Philadelphia Building Trades Union would like developers to think. Philadelphia's union muscle has been a notorious thorn in the real estate market since their mid-century heyday, but unwavering support may not be as stable as most perceive. The reality of it all, which is increasingly evident, is that these unions are dealt with as a necessary evil. Developers either try to fly below their radar or are wealthy enough to afford them. However they're dealt with, picket signs and protest are routine.

 But that might be changing. Instead of ignoring the tactics employed by this union, which have included vandalism, slander, and even threats towards relatives, Post Brothers has charged at them head first. Post Brothers seemed content allowing the police to deal with much of the union member's illegal behavior, that is until a call placed to Councilman Kenny led L&I to shut down the site. Apparently some people were suspicious that employees were not being paid fairly. 

Councilman Kenny, I feel that some city employees are overpaid. Where is the investigation on my behalf?

Michael Pestronk of Post Brothers accused Councilman Kenny of spot zoning and caving to political pressure, an accusation that the mayor's office denied. 

Mayor Nutter's office might want to choose teams more wisely. Post Brothers will be going before Judge Leon Tucker with enough surveillance footage, photographs, and falsified propaganda to make anyone teamed up with this union look like they work for the mob.

Post Brothers posted their own side of the story, comparing statistics on their own business practices to the union's. Some of the facts may surprise you. They also posted their surveillance videos and a number of slanderous and threatening fliers distributed throughout the city.  

Here are some facts you may have thought you already knew:

  • 75% of Post Brothers employees reside and pay taxes in Philadelphia.
  • 70% of Building Union's workforce lives outside Philadelphia County, including Delaware and New Jersey

  • 65% of Post Brothers employees are minorities, representative of the city's 55%.
  • 91% of Carpenter Union members are white.

  • Post Brothers employs 2% more union members than the average percentage of building union members employed in Philadelphia.

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