Brutish threats, expletive-heavy protests, oil poured at construction-site entrances–for years, Philly unions have used intimidation and bully tactics to protect their power. Then two young developers set up cameras and a website, and set in motion the most dramatic power shift the city has seen in generations.Description from the Philly Mag piece:
On the screen we see an engineering contractor who wants to enter the controversial Goldtex construction site at 12th and Wood streets, only to find his path blocked by eight union men. With mincing steps, the non-union contractor—a middle-aged man in a blue short-sleeved shirt—tries to sneak in behind them, sidling through a narrow gap between a temporary chain-link fence and a stone wall. But the union men spot him, move toward the fence, and start to lean against it. Then we see four of them take turns pushing—using the fence like a microscope slide to fix the contractor against the wall. In one of the videos, you can hear the man start to cry out, his voice tremulous as he’s crushed. Finally, he slumps to the ground.(Read the full article at the link above). I have a friend who has dealt with the construction industry in Philadelphia, and he’s told me that he has LITERALLY been threatened with death for doing nothing more than his job as a safety inspector. He told me one story of the building of a new terminal at Philadelphia International Airport. A photo op was staged for the mayor and governor, who were there to show everybody how great they were because they stole money from the taxpayers to build this new terminal. (At twice what it should have cost, but that’s another story) The very first thing that was done once the shell of the building was up was to put a bathroom on the second floor for the construction workers, to make their lives a little better, so they’d have running water to wash and so they wouldn’t have to use port-a-potties. The day of the photo op, at about the mid point of construction, the tour guide takes the mayor and governor into a room where they’re immediately assaulted with the smell of urine and feces. They flick on a light, and the floor is littered with buckets full of shit, (upright and tipped over) and the concrete floor itself is actually starting to turn yellow from the workers just urinating on it. The workers were too lazy to walk up a short flight of steps to go to the bathroom. The entire floor had to be destroyed and re-poured. I asked my friend what action they took. “Nothing. The union is too powerful.” Do you think that if a motivated workforce, versus a guaranteed workforce, were employed, one that would walk up steps to go to the bathroom, that a project could get done for considerably less? THAT is what’s being dealt with in the City of Brotherly Love. Geleff, a longtime reader of Libertarian Republican, is proprietor of MamaLisa's Pasta Sauce, headquartered in north Philadelphia.