The American Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is one of the nation’s largest blue-collar unions and Mayor Nutter “managed to piss off the entire organization,” says local union spokesman Bob Wolper.
To show their frustration, union workers in Washington, D.C. were protesting Nutter outside of the Capitol Hilton on 16th street near the White House Friday. Nutter will be in D.C. for several days for a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting and for the Inauguration.
A truck that reads "Mayor '1%' Nutter" with a picture of what's described as a browned out fire station, will follow him throughout the day, said Pete Matthews, president of AFSCME District 33. The union has worked without a contract since 2009.
Nutter tried to put pressure on the union to concede to new contract terms when he announced Wednesday that the administration has made its “final offer.” Nutter’s proposal includes pay raises, work rule changes pertaining to pension benefits, overtime and possible furloughs.
Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said Nutter represents "100 percent of Philadelphians," and the Mayor wants work rule changes that will help manage city spending. Nutter said the union has two weeks to make a deal, after which the city will take action and that could include imposing terms.
“We plan on continuing as we have this week and next week,” Matthews said. “I don’t know where he’s coming from with this so-called impasse. [Nutter’s] raise is not a raise, he wants it back in concessions.”
Matthews said union members will continue to protest Nutter here in Philadelphia too, Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon in front of the Constitution Center.