By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mayor Michael Nutter today begins a two-day summit with more than 30 mayors from across the country, as he winds down his one-year stint as the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Local union members greeted them Wednesday as they began to trickle in, and were to be out there again Thursday morning to protest.
The President of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, Pat Eiding, scoped out any mayors who happened along 17th Street around the Westin Hotel.
“Listen, welcome to the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection. And mayors, welcome to the city that don’t pay their workers.”
District Council 33 President Pete Matthews leads a blue collar workers’ union that hasn’t had a contract in four years, while the Nutter Administration takes their dispute to the State Supreme Court.
“He dictates, he doesn’t negotiate.”
The city’s firefighters won an arbitration award, but outgoing Firefighters’ Union President Bill Gault points to Mayor Nutter’s appeal to Commonwealth Court.
“We haven’t had raises for four years. Our taxes have gone up three straight years and are going up again.”
The same coalition of labor unions was so boisterous during Mayor Nutter’s budget address to City Council in March, he was unable to deliver it in Council Chambers.