Since the building collapse at 22nd and Market, the building trades union, represented by Pat Gillespie, have been saying that if union labor had been on the job there, rather than non-union, the collapse would not have occurred. While this is obviously a terrific PR opportunity for the unions, Philly Mag’s Simon van Zuylen-Wood says the question is, in fact, moot due to the size of the job.
Likewise, the small-scale collapses that I studied involved non-union workers. On the larger-scale projects, the opposite was largely true. Whether a property owner goes open-shop or closed-shop, in other words, might not guarantee anything.
The most important reality is that the whole thing is utterly tragic and meaningless. The notion that any group would use the tragedy in order to score points and grandstand is repulsive.