By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter was in Washington, DC today, presiding over the winter meeting of the US Conference of Mayors. And outside the hotel where the session was taking place, union members protested the mayor’s stance in contract talks with city workers.
With Nutter inside the Capitol Hilton, serving as president of the US Conference of Mayors, AFSCME International had a little anti-Nutter protest outside.
One worker handed out information about his contract disputes with non-uniformed city workers and firefighters, and a truck displayed anti-Nutter signs.
Pete Matthews, local union chief of District Council 33 in Philadelphia, says Nutter is too focused on his national image.
“He’s going all around the country, (on) MSNBC, presenting this image, when truly he has all these problems back here with workers and firefighters and municipal unions,” Matthew says.
Nutter’s spokesman, Mark McDonald, says the mayor isn’t fazed by the DC protests.
“Union members are certainly able and willing to express their views, and it’s their right,” he tells KYW Newsradio.
Earlier this week Nutter declared his negotiations with DC 33 to be deadlocked, and hinted that he might attempt to impose terms of a new deal if talks don’t resume by month’s end (see related story).
Matthews says he’ll negotiate as long as the right to furlough is removed from Nutter’s last offer. And he disputes Nutter’s ability to impose terms.
District Councils 33 and 47 have been working without a contract since 2009 (see related stories).