Friday, September 4, 2015

Union battle

Whoever is right in the battle between Philadelphia's building trades and developers Michael and Matthew Pestronk, war is not cheap.

Union battle

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Whoever is right in the battle between Philadelphia's building trades and developers Michael and Matthew Pestronk, war is not cheap.

Just a brief recap: The Pestronk brothers are turning the 13-floor former Goldtex factory at 12th and Wood streets, into an 163-unit apartment building, a $38 million project. It is a mostly non-union, at the moment, although the brothers said they offered union contractors a chance to match their best alternative bid. The unions say that the Pestronk brothers are out to destroy prevailing wages.

Michael Pestronk says vandalism and harassment had been escalating at the site. At one point, according to testimony in a court hearing in April, four cement trucks were turned away at $3,000 each. The brothers have also had to pay the city's sheriff's department $2,000 a day to enforce a temporary restraining order the developers received. Plus they've had to increase their security at the job site.

You can click here to see the website that the brothers have set up to show their point of view. You can also read my story about it in Friday's Philadelphia Inquirer. It's a wild tale.

There's certainly more to come.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at jvonbergen@phillynews.com.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
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