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Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority files RICO claim against Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters

5/28/2015 | Construction Blog

The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority recently filed a federal civil lawsuit against Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters, one of the two unions barred from working at the property, after failing to sign a new, more exhibitor-friendly customer satisfaction agreement. The lawsuit also names individual members of the Carpenters’ union.

The Convention Center’s lawsuit seeks to recover more than $1 million in damages suffered by the authority by the Carpenters union through its activity over the past year, which Convention Center management said included “illegal and disruptive mass picketing and protests; physical intimidation, harassment, stalking, and assault and battery; verbal intimidation, harassment, race-baiting, and threats; and the destruction of property.”

The lawsuit follows unsuccessful attempts of the Carpenters’ union to pursue unfair labor charges. Last year, the Carpenters’ union filed an unfair labor charge with the Naitonal Labor Relations Board and the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board. The NLRB dismissed the charge for lack of jurisdiction, while the PLRB initially dismissed the charge, only to reverse that decision last month. The Convention Center has filed an emergency motion claiming that the hearing examiner, Jack E. Marino acted in an “arbitrary and capricious manner” in reversing the decision.

This is a story worth tracking, especially in light of recent legislation in the state house on strategies used by labor unions during labor disputes.