The Unite Here Local 54 union has been working for years to unionize casino workers at SugarHouse, the gambling hall that opened in 2010 on Philadelphia’s waterfront. And now that union is accusing SugarHouse of using the casino’s surveillance system to spy on pro-union employees. Read more »
Adjunct faculty members from colleges and universities around the city plan to march today on Temple University campus, where adjunct instructors are attempting to unionize.
The adjuncts — who teach classes, but who aren’t on the tenure track that offers job protections and the likelihood of continued employment — want to collectively bargain pay and benefits with the university.
UPDATE: Philadelphia school teacher Steve Clark has written a response to this column.
Hey school teachers, I have an idea.
Instead of fighting the School Reform Commission and campaigning for a friendly governor and organizing your efforts for a sympathetic mayor and protesting at City Council meetings and complaining about contributing more to your health insurance and your pensions let me suggest another tactic: How about you actually go to work?
Even when it snows. Read more »
Members of Philadelphia’s carpenter’s union have been protesting outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center for months. On Saturday, the laborers took their message inside the center — directly to attendees of the Philadelphia Auto Show.
On that much, both sides agree. After that, there’s plenty of disagreement.
John J. McNichol, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, alleges that the 200-some-odd union members who entered the auto show were “disruptive” — vandalizing cars on display and acting belligerently.
“Some of them tried to intimidate our exhibitors,” McNichol said Monday morning.
Martin O’Rourke, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Council of Carpenters, rejected accusations of damage or bad behavior, saying the carpenters spent their time at the show “peacefully” handing out leaflets.
“No vandalism, no vandalism whatsoever,” O’Rourke said. “They were exerting their First Amendment right to protest. “
One fact not in dispute: On Sunday, a judge signed a restraining order commanding the union not to interfere with the show. Both sides stipulated to the order, which can be seen below (the order is erroneously dated 2014 rather than 2015).
Despite the incident, McNichol said, Saturday saw 60,000 people attend the auto show — its No. 1 attendance day ever. “This was far and away the smoothest show we’ve had,” he said.
The Teamsters and Carpenters unions have reportedly lost their latest bid to return to work at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The two unions had filed an unfair labor practices complaint against the center, where they’ve been shut out since a coalition of other Philadelphia unions signed a work agreement last year. An official said Monday that a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board had dismissed the complaint, NewsWorks reports. The unions have 20 days to appeal to the full board, reports the Inquirer, pending a written report from the examiner who dismissed the complaint.
Two initial decisions by a state hearing examiner have found that the city of Philadelphia violated the law when it made changes to the Deferred Retirement Option Plan three years ago.
Overriding a veto by Mayor Nutter, City Council voted unanimously in 2011 to reduce the cost of the retirement program by tweaking its eligibility requirements and changing the way the interest rate is calculated on workers’ DROP accounts. Nutter vetoed the legislation only because he didn’t think it went far enough: He wanted to nix DROP altogether.
He hasn’t been inaugurated yet, but incoming Gov. Tom Wolf already has a scandal on his hands.
State Rep. Mike Vereb on Thursday appeared on Dom Giordano’s radio show and said that Yuengling beer is not being served at Wolf’s inaugurral events this weekend — probably as political payback for the company’s support for “right-to-work” laws opposed by labor unions.
A year ago, it looked like labor unions might just pick Philadelphia’s next mayor.
Led by influential electricians union chief John Dougherty, labor leaders across Philadelphia hatched a plan: They would coalesce around one and only one candidate in 2015. In other words, they wouldn’t make the same mistake they made in 2007.
The head of Philadelphia’s correctional officers union is urging City Controller Alan Butkovitz to reconsider his decision to not run for mayor this year.
Lorenzo North, president of Local 159, sent a letter to Butkovitz Wednesday, saying he should jump in the race because he has shown respect for Philadelphia’s unions and saved the city’s taxpayers “millions of dollars.” Local 159 is the biggest local in AFSCME District Council 33, the city’s blue-collar union.
Joseph Dougherty, former head of the Philadelphia chapter of the Ironworkers union, went on trial in federal court Monday on racketeering charges alleging the union used violence and intimidation to pressure non-union work projects into using union labor.
Dougherty is the only one of a dozen union members indicted last year to face trial on the charges; the other 11 pleaded guilty in recent weeks and months.
Newsworks reports on opening statements by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Livermore, who promised to provide wiretaps from up to 50 calls as part of the government’s case. He said Dougherty ruled the union with an “iron fist”:
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