By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The union representing blue-collar municipal workers in Philadelphia says, after three years with no new contract, it’s time the mayor gets serious about their negotiations.

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Before the mayor’s budget address this morning (see related story), AFSCME District Council 33 president Pete Matthews held a rally near City Hall, saying his union worked with the mayor during the financial crisis with the promise the mayor would work with them on a new contract.  But he says with no new money set aside for a new contract in the mayor’s budget proposal, he doesn’t think that day will ever come.

“The mayor’s point, in all the time we were working with him fairly, was to break the union,” Matthews told the crowd. “That’s his point. That’s his goal. He’s the most anti-union mayor we have ever seen, and he does not keep his word.”

Matthews rallied DC33 members with a message for Mayor Nutter:

“Keep your word!”

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(DC 33 supporters pack the balcony of City Hall chambers during Nutter's budget address. Credit: Jim Melwert)

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And, as members of the union packed the balcony of City Hall chambers for Nutter’s address, they continued to make their presence known with chanting and heckling.

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