Is the controversial Goldtex project the beginning of the end for the last union-town in America? Ryan Briggs over at HiddenPhilly.org has an interesting piece that explores this question.
I have been an outspoken proponent of what the developers of the Goldtex project are doing. I applaud them not because they are trying to bust up unions, rather because they are standing up to a long history of Big Labor extortion of developers in the City of Philadelphia.
I am not anti-union. In fact, I think union apprentice and trade schools do a great job of teaching individuals a real world pliable trade. I think it takes a remarkable person to to voluntary go hundreds of feet into the air to weld steel. And, I am certainly not against anyone that puts in a hard days work everyday working with their hands.
However, what I am against are the mob like tactics used by Big Labor to extort developers into giving work to labor unions. We would not stand for the deplorable, embarrassing, and childish behavior in any other industry. Imagine if I went to a potential client and destroyed their property because they hired another law firm! Imagine if Microsoft destroyed an Apple Store because they were angry with people buying iPads! Union behavior of the kind being exhibited on the Goldtex project is nonsensical. Who is advising the Unions? Do they really think that they are endearing themselves to the public by engaging in such tactics?
Moreover, the folks that are
vandalizing protesting the Goldtex project are professional grade thugs protesters. They are not the rank and file members of the trade that just want to go to work and earn a living. If Big Labor truly believes that better quality work justifies the higher cost of Union labor then why don’t they demonstrate that to developers? In other words send your business agents to sales school, not thug school. Furthermore, if union members are truly concerned about their future they should immediately fire their leadership. Obviously, they are doing a horrible job for you as you ranks and influence shirk everyday.
So, what the Goldtex developers are really doing is standing up to bullies. And until Big Labor changes the way it sells itself to consumers, that is something we can all agree with.