The Building trades unions claim that the collapse at 22nd and Market wouldn't have happened if it had been a union job. While it's hard to argue that the demolition practices at the site were safe, the union critiques do seem a little opportunistic.
The oft-maligned building trades unions have been facing quite a bit of heat recently. Just two days ago, Axis Philly put together some information on the demographic makeup of the unions. While no one is surprised that the unions are primarily made up of white suburban men, the extent to which the unions are dominated by white suburban men is shocking.
Further, as the convention center financially unravels, the overwhelming complaints of over-priced, inefficient union labor during convention set-ups didn't exactly cast a sympathetic light on the unions either.
One of the first people interviewed about the building collapse was a union worker who had been working across the street and noticed shoddy safety practices. He was quick to emphasize that he knew it wasn't a union job, and that if it had been, it would have been done differently.
Now, Phillylabor.com is abuzz with criticism of construction practices by non-union workers. And while there are plenty of legitimate criticisms to be made about construction in Philly, one can't help but wonder about the way that the unions are framing the collapse. Perhaps it wouldn't have happened, but as an article at Naked City points out, serious accidents have occurred on union construction sites as well.
· Predictably, unions get on soapbox following building collapse [Naked City]
· Despite pledges to diversify, building trades still mostly white males [Axis Philly]
· Tom Ford [Official Site]