Philadelphia is a pro-labor town.
There’s no denyingthroughout the last 150 years,our city has been a friend to unions, and, for the most part, unions have
So it shouldn’t really be a surprise that in the last few weeks, the city has seen more than its share of protest on behalf of workers both unionized and not. Two weeks ago, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady swept in on behalf of the security guards who monitor the Independence Historical District, and on Thursday, the union responsible for Center City janitors made its concerns known when they blocked traffic on John F. Kennedy Boulevard during the lunchtime rush.
So why can’t we get the hint here? Former president David Adamany was known for his anti-union sentiment.
But even in the Hart administration, the security guards of AlliedBarton have gotten nothing but silence from the university.
Until now, most of the guards who have tried organizing have been fired or silenced by Allied-Barton. Earlier this year, the union’s strongest allies, alienated guards from the University of Pennsylvania, finally won over administrators at that school.
Since then, the Student Labor Action Project, Jobs for Justice and AlliedBarton guards themselves have been shorthanded
in their fight to be recognized by the university.
It’s important to note here that the university, who contracts security services to AlliedBarton, has officially remained ‘neutral’ in a disagreement they say is between guards and their employers. But this is really like saying the United States is not responsible for the actions of its contractors in Iraq.
Never has neutrality been so detrimental to one side.
It seems like every semester we at The Temple News publish another story saying, “despite their best efforts, AlliedBarton guards were locked out by university officials.” Earlier this semester, we heard it again.
But now, it seems, the university may be feeling sympathetic. SLAP representatives reported last week the group finally, after nearly four years of protesting, received some word from the university. William Bergman, senior vice president for the university, reportedly sat down for a meeting with labor leaders, and agreed to a continuing dialogue with guards
The university is keeping quiet about what exactly this break in the silence means, but we take it as a step in the right direction. In a pro-union town, a union-busting attitude doesn’t go far.
Is Temple starting to get the hint?