City unions to protest outside Mayor Nutter's house Wed

Members of the city's blue and white collar unions will hold a candlelight vigil outside Mayor Nutter's home on Wednesday evening, protesting their lack of contracts.

According to the website for AFSCME District Council 33, which represents the city's blue-collar workers, the event will start at 6 p.m. at Bryn Mawr and Woodbine avenues, near the mayor's Wynnefield home.

The unions have been working without contracts since July 2009.  Nutter has said he needs to make changes to work rules and benefits to ensure the city's financial stability. Union leaders insist that they won't make any concessions.

Only one of the city's four unions has reached a labor deal with the city since Nutter took office  -- the police officers, who reached terms through binding arbitration in 2009. The Nutter administration is appealing an arbitration award for the firefighters.

Non-uniform union leaders have been trying to increase the pressure on Nutter and an action at his home is clearly designed to do that. But at that time of the night, it's not clear if the mayor will actually be in his house.

Messages left with District Council 47 President Cathy Scott and DC 33 President Pete Matthews were not immediately returned. A spokesman for Nutter did not return a call for comment.

Update, 8:15: Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said the unions were free to protest wherever they chose.

"It’s a free country and people can protest wherever they care," McDonald said. "For Philadelphia union employees, they can get a contract by sitting down at the table. The mayor’s administration remains ready to have a serious negotiation to get a contract that is fair to the workers as well as taxpayers."