Union workers pack City Council meeting to support proposal for city-owned casino

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady wants the City of Philadelphia to bid on a casino license. Brady proposes to build the casino on the city-owned site of the former Food Distribution Center on Packer Avenue at the foot of the Walt Whitman Bridge in South Philly.

Members of three municipal unions flooded City Council today to show support for U.S. Rep. Bob Brady's proposal that the city should apply for a casino license.

"We're here in support of a new casino...and having some of the funds for our alleged underfunded pension fund," said AFSCME District Council 33 President Pete Matthews, who represents the city's blue collar workers.

Police officers were also there to show support, with members holding up signs that said: "bet on cops, not millionares."

In Brady's plan, the city would bring in an experienced operator to run the casino and use the profits to fund the Philadelphia School District and the underfunded municipal pension plan.

Mayor Nutter has said the proposal violates the state constitution, but he has taken no position on the plan.

The city's firefighters were also in Council today to protest a plan from Mayor Nutter to annually transfer senior firefighters. Their president, Bill Gault, also said his union supports Brady's casino proposal. Gault said is for any proposal that supports the pension plan.