After a failure to agree on a new contract, the Pennsylvania Convention Center has barred union carpenters from the building. Just in time for the American Academy of Neurology's convention, union carpenters insisted on returning to work under the terms of their old contract.
The difference in contracts?
The new contract would increase pay, but allow vendors to use stepladders and electric screwdrivers, drug testing, and allow vendors a greater space to work without union labor.
Union carpenters are concerned that this will cut back on hours, and therefore pay. Probably true, but that's the point. The PCC's piss poor return rate is the direct result of its expense and frustration, and it's reputation as a to-be-avoided venue is growing. When literal brain surgeons are required to wait for a union carpenter to use an electric screwdriver, vendors begin asking what they're really paying for.
The terms of the PCC's new contract seek to address the issues the center likely understands, but it's historic reluctance to stand up to the union's rigid tactics is indicative of the state's political position. Let's face it, these are jobs for the sake of jobs. Like gas pumpers in New Jersey and Oregon, they're nothing more.
The unions know that, the press knows that, and most of all the state knows that the trade unions are the loudest of them all. Harrisburg and City Hall know that voters don't like hearing "job cuts," and until your average voter understands the difference between a trade union and a teachers union, the goons will continue to win each fight at the PCC.
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