11 September 2012 0 Comments

Union Power Prevents Progress Part 3: Philadelphia Unions Racist, Segregated and Very Expensive

Inga Saffron Inquirer Architecture Critic writes about Unions and the Pestronk Brothers.

Not surprisingly the Democratically Owned Inquirer with Democratic Unionized Reporters reports little on the unions and even this story is being covered with depth and context by the architecture critic.

With some courage, Inga Saffron reports her observation:

“The demographics of the protesters seemed to confirm a consistent criticism of the unions: The picketers are overwhelmingly white, while the workers at Goldtex more closely reflect the city’s ethnic makeup.”

In fact, it is well known that Philadelphia Building Trades Unions are racist and intentionally segregated.

Inga Saffron, also, notes the financial impact of unionization.

“Until two thirtysomething developers, Michael and Matthew Pestronk, began converting a 10-story loft building at 12th and Wood Streets into 163 apartments, no one had dared in decades to build a major project here without an all-union workforce.

If the Pestronks succeed in finishing their $38 million project, nothing will be the same in the Philadelphia construction business.

“It would cost 50 percent more to do this all-union,” adding about $10 million in labor costs, Mike Pestronk says. “We asked ourselves, ‘What’s going to happen if we use nonunion workers?’ We estimated the costs and decided it was cheaper to fight.” He says they expect to spend $1 million on added security.”

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