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  • Unions Retaliate Against Philly Construction Company

    Beaten workers. Blocked deliveries. Late-night vandalism. The news surrounding the Goldtex construction project in Philadelphia reads like a script for The Sopranos. What is going on?

    In early March, Post Brothers Construction, owned by brothers Matt and Mike Pestronk, began converting a 10-story loft building into 163 apartments. They decided to hire non-union workers—in defiance of Philadelphia’s construction trade unions, which control the city’s market.

    Post Brothers pays its employees well: $35–$45 an hour. But that is less than the union rate, and the jobs are going to non-union workers. So the union movement is trying to shut them down by any means necessary. They want to send the message that union members are the only source of labor in Philadelphia. Anything else is sponsored by “ruthless, irresponsible developers.”

    The results have not been pretty. Nail “bombs”—nails welded together to puncture tires—have been thrown on the road leading to the work site. Union protestors have followed female employees and the wives of the brothers to their homes. Police arrested two protestors for allegedly assaulting a construction worker.

    Security cameras at the Goldtex construction site have also recorded union protestors shoving security guards, pouring oil in front of the loading dock, and blocking deliveries to the site. Post Brothers has had to spend almost $1 million on extra security.

    This nonetheless beat meeting the union’s demands. The Philadelphia carpenter’s union charges nearly double ($63/hour) the rate of the Washington, D.C., Carpenters union ($34/hour), even though D.C.’s cost of living is 12 percent higher. Consequently, Philadelphia has the fourth highest construction costs in the country. Using union labor would have added $10 million to the project’s cost.

    The unions can charge so much because they have operated Philly’s construction market like a cartel: Their members build projects or no one does. This has benefitted their members at the expense of everyone else. As Kevin Gillen, economist at Econsult (a Philadelphia-based research firm) explains, “Developers can’t just eat those costs, they get passed on in the form of higher rents they have to charge people. And if you’re not willing to pay, then stuff doesn’t get built.”

    The construction labor cartel in Philadelphia means much higher pay for union members, but higher rent and fewer jobs for everyone else. If Post Brothers succeeds, it will have broken the union lock on Philly’s construction market. Both renters and unemployed non-union workers should hope they do.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Unions Retaliate Against Philly Construction Company

    1. David C says:

      Every non-union worker in Philly should be escorting/protecting this company and it's people.

    2. Semper Fi Mom says:

      Isn't this the place that government, ie police, etc is supposed to protect a companies freedom to choose? Or are they all in compliance to the union thugs. I hope every union gets split, broken and exposed for their corruption. This is so Marxist. Good luck to you Post Brothers. Thanks for your courage.

    3. Dan LaCamp says:

      Unions have outlived their usefulness – unless you are a union leader and need the dues to maintain your power and control over your members and to continue your extortion. Labor laws have given employees all that they need. Unions just serve to make everything cost more with no help to the people they purport to serve.

    4. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      Besides the arrests for assault, what are the Philly police doing to protect the lives and property related to this Post Brothers Construction site? This is precisely why we have government…to preserve the civil society.

    5. ROY S. MALLMANN II says:

      Well the UAW brought down the Auto companies by extortion and blackmail union contracts over the years but Obama stepped in to insure EVERYBODY else lost except them, including the taxpayers. If these uneducated voters vote him in again he will give unions unlimited powers over every job, mark my words.

    6. Wedey says:

      How is it that whenever anyone opposes union tactics, something unlawful happens. It is no wonder people are beginning to hate unions.

    7. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Shades of Al Capone era, This is the "City of Brotherly Love"???

    8. Keith says:

      Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it illegal to act in manners such as this towards a union as it is an unfair labor practice. Now if that is the case this shouldn't this be a two way street and those who participate in actions such as this be charged and prosecuted the same as if this was a practice towards a union?

    9. RennyG says:

      We who are the Salt of the world will be taken when the Rapture comes. The rest can belong to the unions and the big "O!" They can continue to fight with each other all they want!!
      Have mercy Lord Jesus!

    10. mike s. says:

      Becarful what you wish for. If the unions are broken so are the wages for all workers in the city. Just because Post brothers saves on the cost of labor don't think the savings are passed along to their renters! More money goes into their pockets off of the back of their workers!

    11. RennyG says:

      $63 per hour, come on????????? My question is how much of that money goes to the unions??

    12. Mike_M says:

      This entire scenario sounds to me like "gang violence".

      "Gang violence means criminal and non political acts of violence committed by a group of people who regularly engage in criminal activity against innocent people….The term gang refers to two or more people organized to achieve a common objective and who share a common identity. Gangs identify themselves with a common name or sign."

      I would also say that based on what I have read about the unon's tactics their actions fall under the category of terrorism. Here is the legal definition of terrorism, "A terroristic threat is a crime generally involving a threat to commit violence communicated with the intent to terrorize another, to cause evacuation of a building, or to cause serious public inconvenience, in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. It may mean an offense against property or involving danger to another person that may include but is not limited to recklessly endangering another person, harassment, stalking, ethnic intimidation, and criminal mischief."

      The Philly Police and the Department of Homeland Security might want to take notice.

    13. anonymousmouse12 says:

      Due to the massive amount of destruction in both product and productivity by unions, all union members should be assessed an additional 15% tax on all of their earnings to go into a fund to compensate those victims of union violence. If this is deemed unacceptable then unions should be held to a different criminal standard since they are so frequently responsible for this type of damage and destruction. Any union member caught committing any criminal offense should be executed. Perhaps that would leave the stupid thugs thinking twice before routinely pulling this crap.

    14. And what is not talked about is the fact that the General Contractor only has about a dozen employees and subcontracts out painting, drywall, concrete, etc to companies that employee illegal aliens who earn between $50 to $100 a day.

      Should we as Americans allow companies to operate who violate immigration law, refuse to hire Americans and refuse to hire veterans? This is the reality of Post Brothers. Would you take away the rights of those protesting Post Brothers now that you know what they really are?

    15. varptr says:

      The unions in Philly are obviously useless criminal skunks, bad guys, thugs and whiner babies. What else would explain such juvenile thuggery. So why would anyone deal with such weasels when there are entire weasel free parts of this great land. I say twist in the wind babes, twist in the wind….

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