Can Kenney Help Make White-Dominated Building Trades More Diverse?

Photo by James Jennings

Photo by James Jennings

In an interview on 900AM-WURD Tuesday, Mayor Jim Kenney said he plans to ensure that at least 45 percent of workers on city-funded construction projects are African-American.

Kenney made the pledge in response to a pointed question by host Solomon Jones.

“Forty-five percent of the population of Philadelphia is African-American. Can we look to have 45 percent of the people who work on these taxpayer-funded projects be African-American?” Jones asked.

“That’s our goal,” Kenney said. “I am committed … to [ensuring] that every neighborhood in this city takes advantage of the wealth of this city, and I think that’s the most important thing.” Read more »

Johnny Doc Is Starting a Think Tank

Still from the commercial

John Dougherty was rendered in ghostly form in a commercial for a documentary that was critical of Mayor Nutter.

Well, here’s a development I wasn’t expecting: Union boss John Dougherty has announced that he’s starting a think tank to explore the topic of electing a pro-union mayor in 2015. Nutter — long seen as a union foe (only in Philly) — presented a problem for organized labor when he first came up for election: He was a fairly typical big-city Democrat, which by definition, makes him pro-labor. The problem? Unlike most others who run for office in this town (looking at you, City Council), he didn’t feel he had to rely heavily on union support in order to get elected. How did that happen?

In Tom Ferrick’s new Publius column, “Welcome to Fantasy Island,” he explains:

According to union leader John Dougherty, it was because the city’s labor unions were split over whom to endorse. As a result, Michael Nutter slipped up the middle and got himself elected.

Since then, various union officials have linked Nutter to famed Wisconsin union bogeyman Gov. Scott Walker and to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, among other noted personages, simply because, as Ferrick puts it, “in his role of mayor of a city of 1.5 million people,” he attempted to “seek concessions from city employees and teachers in contract talks in the name of preserving the city’s scant resources.”

That is not a treasonable offense, not in most other jurisdictions in the United States of America. Here it is. Anyone who enunciates a slight variation in the orthodoxy is considered a heretic. You are either 100 percent for the unions or you are 100 percent against them.

Read more »

Huge News: Union Leaders Arrested


It’s probably just a temporary hiccup, knowing Philadephia, but for the moment 10 members of Ironworkers Local Union 401 are in hot water. This morning, according to NBC 10, “more than 100 FBI agents, prosecutors and Philadelphia Police officers teamed up” to make the arrests — that’s a 10 to 1 ratio to nab what U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger characterized as “goon squads.”

The reason for the arrest is because of the vandalism and violence the Local has employed to protest construction sites that use non-union labor, including “assaults, arsons and other violent, and destructive, acts to make their point emphatically clear,” according to Memeger. That point? “You better hire local ironworker union members or you will pay a heavy price.”

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Unions Release TV Spot With Johnny Doc Cartoon Ghost to “Haunt” Post Brothers

Still from the commercial

Still from the commercial

The union siege against the Post Brothers continues, and it just gets more surreal. For Halloween, IBEW Local 98 is releasing a commercial “featuring a ‘ghostly’ cartoon version of John J. Dougherty” to promote its film about the Post Brothers’ Goldtex Apartments. The commercial also has another goal: “taking time to remind parents to check their kids’ Halloween treats before allowing them to eat them.”

That’s such a bizarre pairing of agendas, we don’t even know what to say.

The commercial will air tonight during the Flyers game (know your audience — that’s lesson No. 1) and will terrify and confuse children watching “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on Halloween on ABC. It’ll also air, according to the press release, on AMC, Comedy Central, ABC Family, FX, SPIKE and SYFY.

Gallery: IBEW’s Post Brothers Film Screening With Hazmat Suits. Plus, Heroin and Cocaine.

This week IBEW released a documentary about the Post Brothers made by 9.14 Pictures. The press conference to debut the film had some entertaining costumes and speeches by many of the talking heads in the film, including City Councilmen Jim Kenney and Mark Squilla; John Dougherty; Pat Gillespie; and others. Laura Kicey took some photos, below.

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First Look: Building Trades’ Video Doc About the Post Bros. [UPDATED]

building trades post brothers doc

A screen shot from the union film with at least one entirely accurate statement.

Two press releases came across the transom just now.

Headline No. 1: “Philadelphia Building Trades To Premiere Video Documentary Exposing Major Health and Safety Violations at Post Brothers’ Goldtex Apartments.”

Headline No. 2: “Johnny Doc-umentary”

Both refer to a film being shown Wednesday, Oct. 2, at IBEW Local 98 Union Hall at 10:15 a.m. The film’s formal title is Deconstructing Post Brothers: Exposing the Truth Behind the Cheap Facade, and the screening will be followed by a press conference with…

local elected officials and labor leaders, including Congressman Bob Brady, State Representative Bill Keller, City Councilmen Jim Kenney and Mark Squilla, Building Trades Business Manager Pat Gillespie and IBEW Local 98 Business Manager John J. Dougherty, among others.

Below, the film itself and the press release from the Post Bros. in response to the film’s release.

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