Union Carpenters Still Picketing Outside Pa. Convention Center

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Union carpenters continue to protest the loss of their jobs at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in center city Philadelphia.

They walked a picket line outside the center today.

The carpenters call it a lockout.

“We’re letting them know that we’re not going to take it,” says union member Ron Curran.  “We’re not going to stand by while they cut up and give our work to other people.”

But the center’s director, John McNichol, says union leadership missed the deadline to sign a new contract and thus forfeited their right to work.

“It’s not a lockout.  It was more of an opt-out,” he says.  “They had the opportunity to sign an agreement.  They didn’t sign that agreement. They were left outside the agreement.”

The National Labor Relations Board is trying to sort out the competing claims.  The carpenters say they’ll continue their protests in the meantime.

A visitor to an optometry convention, underway at the Convention Center, gave protesters a thumbs-up.  But he said he sees both sides.


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