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Latest News - April 2012

April 25, 2012
Clout: Philly convention with a union seal
Source: Philadelphia Daily News
By: Chris Brennan

LABOR UNIONS unhappy that the Democratic National Convention will be held this September in union-averse Charlotte, N.C., are organizing a massive "middle-class" rally for August.

The location: Philadelphia.

"A lot of people aren't happy that the Democratic National Convention is being hosted in a completely, 100-percent non-union environment," John Dougherty, head of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, told us Tuesday during the traditional Election Day lunch at the Famous 4th Street Deli. "So we want to make sure our voices are heard."

Ed Hill, IBEW's national president, told the Associated Press at the AFL-CIO winter meeting last month that organized labor was looking for a "union-friendly city" for the event. IBEW is one of several unions boycotting the Charlotte convention.

Kristie Greco, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Convention Committee, played down the strife Tuesday, noting that the Philadelphia event is being scheduled to not conflict with the Charlotte proceedings.

Dougherty said that the planning was still in the early stages but that he expects every union in the country to have a presence here. "It's just starting to take hold here," he said. "Let me put it this way: We're serious enough to start reserving hundreds and hundreds of hotel rooms."

That sounds good to Mayor Nutter, who first heard about the event from Dougherty on Monday, and thinks it could help the Democratic push for a second term for President Obama.

Dougherty said the event may start on Aug. 10 or 11. The convention in Charlotte starts with a rally on Labor Day, Sept. 3.




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