Philly Municipal Unions May Be Ready To Strike

DC33 President Pete Matthews told MyFoxPhilly this morning that the city’s unions may strike, depending on the outcome of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that could let Mayor Nutter impose new contract terms on municipal workers.

Is it time to strike? “Quite possibly,” Matthews answered. “Let’s see what happens in the Supreme Court case.”

As for whether the unions’ tone, including portrayals of Nutter as “Bozo the Clown” and screaming at people, and whether the public will still back them, Matthews said he has respect for city council, its president and even the mayor’s office.

“But we have no respect for the mayor,” Matthews said, adding that the unions want to sit down and negotiate the contract fairly.

“Let me say this: Is the trash being picked up? Are those main breaks being taken care of? Are the correctional officers working? Are the crossing guards – we’re out here through five years. We haven’t done what the mayor wants – the mayor wants a strike, there’s no doubt about it. And quite possibly, he’s going to get that,” Matthews said. “The public should watch and see how we’ve been out here and how we’ve tried to work with the mayor.”

Mayor Nutter, though, says the unions have been intransigent, even in the face of faltering economic times. “The unions have said, specifically DC 33, we don’t want to talk about anything other than give us more money in raises, give us more money for our health and welfare, and we don’t want to talk about anything else,” he said. “That’s not negotiating – at all.”