Monday Was Not a Good Day for Philly Unions

The Carpenters and Teamsters and SEPTA engineers and electrical workers all received setbacks in their respective disputes.

First, the emergency board appointed by President Obama to deal with the mini-SEPTA strike we had last month announced its findings. The upshot, says the Inquirer, is that members of the engineers and electrical workers unions should get the deal that SEPTA management has been offering for years:

The presidential emergency board, whose recommendations are not binding, said the rail workers should get the same 11.5 percent raises negotiated in a five-year contract in 2009 by bus drivers and subway operators.

The railroad workers are not entitled to retroactive raises or to an additional increase based on a pension boost received by the bus drivers’ union, the board said.




The panel's recommendations would result in top pay for engineers of $33.09-an-hour this year, with a three-percent increase next year.

Wages for electrical workers would increase by approximately $3 to $29.50 an hour, on average.

Later, the National Labor Relations Board disclaimed jurisdiction in the fight between the Carpenters and Teamsters unions and the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority over accusations of unfair bargaining in the runup to a new work agreement signed by four other city unions in early May. From the Inquirer:

The decision "affirms our position that these charges were not appropriately before the NLRB, lacked merit, and that the authority acted fairly and within the law as it applies to the center," said Gregory Fox, chairman of the authority's board. "There was no conclusion that the center acted in violation of its legal obligations."

The Carpenters had another interpretation.

"The NLRB decision simply states that they have no jurisdiction in this matter," said Martin O'Rourke, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters.

"The facts of the Carpenters' complaint were not rejected," he said. "The Carpenters will immediately file an unfair labor practices complaint with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, and will continue to protest their unjust and unfair lockout."

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