Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Labor Endorsements shed light on Mayor's Race, choosing b/t Peduto and Wagner

Pirates vs. Ninjas

Ninjas are stealthy, and pirates, er, pirate. A healthy division of labor aids growth. Adam Smith, baby.

Today the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME -- government workers who are not police, firefighters, or those organized by the Teamsters etc. -- endorsed post-Ravenstahl front runner Bill Peduto because he "will bring an end to the corruption that has infected city government."

That's enough for a blog post right there.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) endorsed Peduto today as well, as did the Sheet Metal Workers -- excuse me, did somebody say something about "working class"? -- as did IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, in a show of strength.

In terms of IATSE, we have an active issue:

Also today, officials of Local 3 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees pressed the board for the opportunity to work at publicly subsidized Stage AE, saying the venue has been hiring out-of-town, non-union labor since opening several years ago. They want to be considered for the next contract in 2015, particularly since the state provided a $2.5 million state grant to finance the construction. City Councilman Corey O'Connor, a stadium authority board member, backed their fight. "We should keep these jobs here," he said. (P-G, Mark Belko)

For good reason. If part of Pittsburgh's formula is to be a cultural Mecca -- the Cultural District Downtown, entertainment venues on the other side of the North Shore Connector -- then the specialists who work hard producing those shows should be in on the benefit. It makes a region stronger. Governments can work to guide that process, and should when taxpaying residents helped to demolish old structures, clear, remediate, hold, provide land for, plan around and fund entertainment complexes.

At any rate, Peduto has previously earned endorsements from the construction workers' Laborer's Council, service workers' SEIU32BJ, the Steelworkers, the Ironworkers, and city Paramedics. All told, that is fairly convincing mosaic of societal role-players: those who really have to struggle to achieve middle-class security for their families.

Jack Wagner, not to be outdone, we learned last week (gosh, was it not even a week ago?) earned endorsements from the Fraternal Order of Police, the Firefighters, the heavy equipment Operating Engineers as well as the Teamsters of the city government. The Wagner campaign credibly claims this gives him endorsements from "the bulk of city workers." However, within and outside of government, Peduto now gets to claim "more union support than any other candidate."

It is early in the Wagner campaign, even though it is late at the same time. I am more interested in where Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's outstanding labor support will land -- the Steamfitters, Electrical Workers, Carpenters and Buildings Trades, frequently enough fans of expanding and expediting their business with taxpayers -- and in whether there are any noticeable stories in the division of Labor's political support.

We should talk about whether and why ninjas for example are tending to cluster behind Peduto, and pirates behind Wagner. I know that solidarity among all workers forever is important, but let's not be as escapist and naive as Karl Marx. Observation is good, and growth needs to occur.


  1. Where do the teachers stand?


  2. Me too!

    I think they're Occupying some green space near Bellefield Ave. and chanting, "No testing; no peace!" Note the semicolon.

  3. where is the "Network" ?

  4. Anon 5:50 - I'm sort-of working on it, but it may take better journalists than me. I'd be a little surprised if any of those now-conspicuous eleven are significantly backing Peduto. But, stranger things have happened.

    Besides which, none of those guys have any ties to labor that I've heard of...

  5. shows how much you guys know. Of course the network has ties to labor. They are extremely intertwined. That is how the network works, well some of the network. And for that matter the network works with whoever wins. Remember that super duper LED lighting thing Bill championed? Guess who did that work? The "network." Forget about any of that though cause it is over for Billy. This election is case closed in favor of Wagner.

  6. Anon 7:48 - Peduto recommended those energy-saving upgrades and Ravenstahl adopted it and implemented it, but / and so the contract going to Charles Zappala's firm had nothing to do with Peduto. Plus, I still don't see how that's a network twine to labor.

  7. you are missing the point. The
    "network" if it really exists consists of business folks. Those folks will migrate to whatever businesses the "people" feel is the cause of the day.

  8. @anon 9:06pm

    You lost me. Please explain more fully.

  9. Speakng of corruption, what is the update on the indictments brought by AG Kane against Mr. B and the other Turnpike shake down artists? She mentioned that further indictments were possible.