Philly workers ask: Is it smart to strike during the DNC?Curbside baggage handlers and other airport workers voted to authorize a strike during the Democratic National Convention. Doesn't care whether the entire city, or state, or Democratic Party gets angry at the city's cab drivers if they decide to strike during the Democratic National Convention July 25-28.
When they come here, Philadelphia is going to be in chaos, because working poor people are being screwed in this city. They have to see what's really going on."They are 50,000 delegates, dignitaries, politicians, and perhaps more important, journalists, about 15,000 to 20,000 of them. That pledge also includes the carpenters' union, which spent 20 months picketing the Convention Center after losing the right to work there in May 2014. But the pledge was not signed by workers' groups not as formally affiliated with organized unions. So, on Tuesday, wheelchair attendants, interior airplane cleaners, and curbside baggage handlers at Philadelphia International Airport voted to authorize a strike during the DNC. Whether they actually will strike remains unknown, but on Tuesday, they plan a dry run, a union official said.


The workers are not part of a union, but SEIU Local 32BJ has been attempting to unionize them and is the group behind the protests. The 461 workers who voted to strike are employed by subcontractors that work for the airlines. They are not airport employees, although they are covered by the city's living wage standard of $12 an hour. The taxi drivers' beef, at least in Philadelphia, is local - anger over how the state and city are treating them as ride-share companies Uber and Lyft push into the market.
The airport workers' protests are part of a national effort to unionize workers at other airports.
And, he said, they are speaking at a time when Democratic leaders recently voted to add a $15 federal minimum wage to the party platform. Christopher Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, said the groups' two main - and deeply intertwined - goals would be leverage and messaging. It's a calculation more complicated with Democrats who are theoretically more labor-friendly than their GOP counterparts.


These things need to be on display." Blount said he was not worried about creating a bad impression, given what is happening to taxi drivers.
The cab drivers say Uber and Lyft are not regulated the same way they are, which gives them a competitive advantage. In April, Blount said the drivers would not strike, but that was before this week's events.
Wolf signing a budget that incorporated a provision allowing Uber and Lyft to operate legally in Philadelphia through the end of September.
The drivers' license fees are going up, the medallions they purchased are declining in value, and people are losing their homes, he said.



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