Over the past few weeks, the long-simmering saga of the habitually high union costs and restrictive rules associated with Philadelphia’s Convention Center has boiled over into a war that, as a result of a new deal, has four unions doing Convention Center work while two other unions are left out on the street.
The unions warring with one another has much to do with the antiquated union work rules that has driven away convention work, which included the prohibition of exhibitors from using any “power tools including battery operated tools, or ladders.”
On Monday, the Teamsters, who along with the Carpenters union has been cut out of work at the Philadelphia Convention Center, protested the deal and were dismayed when they had one of the biggest union bosses in Philadelphia escort members across the picket lines.
Although the Teamsters and Carpenters union bosses claim they didn’t get to see the contract in time, the four other unions—in breaking union solidarity—don’t seem to care, as IBEW union boss John Dougherty crosses the Teamsters’ picket line.
Ordinarily, unions would be using terms like “rats” or “scabs” to describe the actions those who take work from unions.
In this case, though, the term “independent contractor” seems to be less combative in a situation that could escalate quickly and become very ugly.