The Philadelphia Daily News has the story:

MATTHEW and Michael Pestronk, two young real-estate developers who came here from Virginia to attend Drexel, are trying to shake up the city’s construction business by hiring nonunion labor at two huge apartment complexes they’re renovating.

But members of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council aren’t happy, and the heated battle of young developers vs. old-school Philadelphia union power has thrown their plans for the Goldtex Building in Callowhill into turmoil.

The Pestronks — Matt, 35, and Mike, 31 — haven’t flinched as the ugly battle has escalated with charges that union members scattered bottles of urine around the Goldtex building at 12th and Wood streets, placed loose asbestos inside another development they’re working on in Germantown and allegedly harassed Matt Pestronk’s pregnant wife and child.

Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. Union operatives frequently rely on threats, intimidation, and even violence to keep independent-minded workers in line and deter businesses from using nonunion labor. The reasoning behind these thuggish tactics is simple: If nonunion contractors get work, employees might choose to refrain from union membership or work at a nonunion sites, depriving union bosses of more of their coveted forced dues revenue.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of union violence, we encourage you to contact the Foundation’s free legal aid program immediately. 

Posted on May 10, 2012 in Blog