If the allegations are true, the battle between the Post Brothers and Philadelphia's building-trade unions is completely out of control—and in Philly, that's saying something. Here's the basic gist: Post Brothers is run by Matthew and Michael Pestronk. They're building an apartment complex at 12th and Wood, the site of the old Goldtex textile factory, and they chose to do so without union labor. Unions, therefore, have been protesting at the work site. Sounds run-of-the-mill, right?
But the brothers allege that the unions have planted asbestos at the site; strewn it with urine-filled bottles; parked a truck with an inflatable rat across the street from Matthew Pestronk's home; circulated a flyer with Matthew's dead dog, Chief; and covered a Post Brothers building with photographs of Matthew Pestronk's wife, Carrie, that had penises on her image along with the words "CARRIE PESTRONK LIKES TO GET HARD WITH IT." They have a website with photos of flyers and protests and videos of what they claim is union malfeasance.
The unions say the Post brothers hired thugs to try and beat up the head of the building-trades council, and that they're paying substandard wages to laborers who work on the Goldtex site.
Things got so bad that Jim Kenney had the work site inspected by L&I—at which point it was shut down because subcontractors were not properly licensed. Post Goldtex believes L&I was politically motivated. Today there's supposed to be a hearing. What do you think? Could the unions have done all that? Or are the Pestronks hiding something?
· Developers, building-trade council tussle over project [Inquirer]
· Developer Accuses Unions of Dirty Tricks [Courthouse News Service]
· In the High Post [Hidden City]
· Post Brothers Rental Apartments and 633 West Rittenhouse Street: It’s No Tale about Love! [Philly IMC]