City workers protest at Mayor Nutter's house

November 14, 2012 8:37:54 PM PST
Labor unrest came to Mayor Michael Nutter's neighborhood in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia Wednesday night.

City workers chanted in front of his home and demanded a fair contract, but the mayor says the contract they want will increase the cost of labor and impact city services.

From white collar to blue collar, more than 300 angry city workers marched in front of the home at 50th Street and Woodbine Avenue upset over not having a raise in almost five years.

"City workers have been coming to work every single day doing their jobs and he has totally treated us like we're a piece of trash," city worker Evon Sutton said.

"I want my daughter to have a future and to be able to provide for her and for her to have health benefits as well as my future children, too," city worker Joshua Huff said.

District Councils 33 and 47, which represent about 12,000 city workers, say their members have been without a contract for four years.

They've been at an impasse with the mayor, who is also the head of the US Conference of Mayors, over healthcare and pension contributions.

"He should not be out telling other mayors how to run their cities without knowing how to run his own city," Cathy Scott of District Council 47 said.

The mayor's office says he didn't take issue with the rally; in fact, he wasn't even at home.

A spokesman says Nutter is more concerned about reform and a labor contract that will benefit both city workers and taxpayers.

"He doesn't care. Well, we care and we're going to continue to march against him; we are going to continue to be out. If a strike happens, it's because the mayor forced it," Pete Matthews of District Council 33 said.

Talks between the unions and the city failed in the spring, but both groups are scheduled to be back at the table Monday.

Nutter's office says the city is ready to negotiate on these very difficult matters, but the mayor is serious about his reform agenda.


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