By Keystone Politics‘ Jon Geeting – Christopher Sawyer asks why Johnny Doc and the IBEW, who are usually very vocal on all union-related issues in Southeast PA regardless of the impact on the construction trades, have been MIA in the major labor fight over privatization of Philly schools:
That leads me to wonder: did the lobbyists pushing charter schools in Philadelphia find a way to buy off Johnny Doc and the Philadelphia Building Trades Council?
Think about it for a second. The battles PFT has been fighting with the School Reform Commission, the huge rounds of layoffs, the steady stripping of seniority privileges and the wage cuts coming down the pike; these are obvious things that almost always cause Johnny Doc and the rest of the labor leader crowd to pop their heads up and jockey for media attention.
But not this time. The only support I’ve seen our building trades give to the teachers have been some tweets here and there.
The forces pushing charter-ization have found the magic formula to push their agenda: buy off every politician and political influence that breathes; then employ them in your army against your opponents. John Dougherty’s muted support and lack of street activism for the teachers speaks volumes about where his priorities lie.
The answer of course is that the conservative wing of the labor movement has not been quiet about this at all. Doc and IBEW have actively supported school privatization efforts and school closings.