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DEAL STRUCK TO STOP LABOR DISPUTE AT GOLDTEX SITE

9/12/2012 | Construction Blog

Philly.com reports that a deal has finally been struck between Post Brothers and the Philadelphia trade unions in relation to the Goldtex construction project. Congressman Bob Brady brought the two sides together at the Sheet Metal Workers union hall this week and brokered at least a temporary peace.

The trade unions have been protesting at the Goldtex site entrance at 12th and Wood Streets for the last six months. Various tactics were used to protest the fact that Post Brothers was using some non-union labor on the project, including the use of the traditional inflatable rat and blocking access to the entrance for the site.

The details of the deal remain murky, but it seems that organized labor has dropped their demand that 100% of the labor force be union in exchange for a promise by the owner to strongly encourage contractors on the site to include more card carrying union members in their work crews. No written agreement has been reached and some question remains as to whether the protesters themselves will honor the deal since union leadership was involved in the negotiations. Patrick Gillespie, the top union trade official in the City has not commented publicly on the deal yet, but many believe he is on board with the informal agreement. Representative Brady’s office has also confirmed the rough details of the deal as outlined above.

The unrest at the Goldtex site recently reached a crescendo when a video surfaced showing what some argue is two union protesters getting physical with a worker at the site. Two arrests resulted from that incident.

This story is perhaps a precursor to a second fight that could be in the making. Post Brothers is planning to start another apartment building project at Broad and Spruce Streets that could have many of the same dynamics. Neither side has indicated whether the deal struck in relation to the Goldtex project included any agreement about how the labor force on that project will be allocated.