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Unions to Corbett: Don’t March With Us

10073_MLH_001After initially inviting Gov. Tom Corbett to march in Pittsburgh’s Labor Day Parade, union leaders have decided against allowing the Governor to join them in the parade although the decision was not unanimous.

“We did invite the governor, like we invite a lot of our political friends … we wanted him to march with us but we were told by Jack [Shea] that he wasn’t welcome.”

That’s Phil Ameris, president of the Laborers District Council of Western Pennsylvania–a union that supports Corbett. Jack Shea is the president of the Allegheny County Labor Council. He doesn’t want Corbett at the parade.

“I told them he wasn’t invited,’’ Shea said. “You can’t be trying to do away with us for 364 days a year and then want to march with us.’’

The decision not to invite Corbett has opened a split in the usually unified union camp.

”We didn’t want to have labor against labor,’’ Ameris said. “I know some of the unions are upset with the governor’s policies, but I was a little shocked that they wouldn’t have a sitting governor in the parade … Jack and I stand on the same team on a lot of issues, but not on this one.’’

Ameris went as far to say that his organization is “150 percent behind the governor.” The Laborers and Boilermakers Local 154 are two unions that have endorsed Gov. Corbett. Obviously, other union leaders disagree, arguing that Corbett’s education policies and attempts to privatize the liquor trade are anti-union.

What is usually considered a frivolous issue, marching in the parade, has revealed a bit of a divide in labor leadership when it comes to the gubernatorial contest. It’s unclear at the moment whether that divide could grow bigger as election day looms.

August 22nd, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Top Stories | 14 Comments

14 thoughts on “Unions to Corbett: Don’t March With Us”

  1. jim says:

    Most ungrateful people in the world. Screw the unions.

  2. Isaac L. says:

    Corbett’s record speaks for itself. While I am grateful that he had sense enough to support transportation funding, his anti-worker record is a big problem. I can appreciate those who don’t want to discourage future Republican officials from working with labor by still working against the governor in spite of his cooperation, but his cooperation was not a gift to labor so much as the only sensible thing to do; that it happened to benefit labor is completely ancillary. Workers need to stick together and promote the most labor friendly candidates they can. Someone who merely tolerates labor when convenient and has espoused and campaigned on anti-worker policies is hardly an ally and much more someone who would stab labor in the back given the opportunity.

  3. vince phillips says:

    Labor’s decision to cancel Corbett’s invitation which was made by a member union guarantees a split in organized labor in this fall’s election and frankly strengthens the hands of those who maintain that unions are inherently self-serving and intolerant of differing views contained within their membership. In other words, their short-sided decision gave their opponents a potent issue that will sway voters towards the Corbett camp.

  4. Hug, your wrong about guevonor corbitt, he aint never wanna hurt nobody. he want be the best guvenor he can bee. that why he gonna win in a land slide, also too, the way it works in penna is eech party gets 8 yrs as guv.

  5. Hugh says:

    Does no one (other than Shea apparently) consider the long-term implications of supporting a scandal-ridden politician who actively tries to promote paycheck protection, right to work, etc etc? Corbett actively tries to hurt working families, yet Ameris supports him in exchange for passing a transportation bill that was desperately needed. Any sitting governor with a legislature of the same party should be able to pass such a bill without trouble. But Corbett is a shameful excuse for a governor.

  6. Bill Brooks says:

    For the better part of my life I have been fortunate to have had union representation, twenty seven of those years with Laborers Local 373. I have been a registered democrat since I graduated high school and still am. The Laborers District Council of Western Pa. has always made decisions based on the welfare of the hard working people they represent, the endorsement of Gov. Tom Corbett was made based on his willingness to move legislation forward that was vital to our members and actually the safety of all of us regarding our roads, bridges, tunnels, water treatment facilities, etc..Without the cooperation between Tom Corbett and Philip Ameris, The President and Business Manager of our organization, also he is ELECTED by his peers, because of his unconditional loyalty and steadfast leadership for his members. He leads by example in his work and his community, this I know because I have worked with him for almost two decades, the choice of candidates are based on people willing to put aside party issues, and help our members continue to work, continue to have medical and pension benefits and continue to live a decent life, nothing more, nothing less.
    Bill Brooks
    Business Manager Laborers Local 373 / President Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council.

  7. Rick Kazman says:

    I’d like to respond to “Labor Democrat” and his outrageous accusations. If he had a shred of self-respect or a shred of evidence–and apparently he has neither–he would not hide behind the wall of anonymity. Those are some pretty big and baseless accusations. In fact, it’s slander. Shame on you. Philip Ameris is doing precisely what he is paid to do–to represent the interests of his members, to help them find meaningful work that pays a living wage. And he has done so incredibly well by working with Corbett and anyone else who can help. Corbett’s policies, most notably the $2.3 billion transportation bill have meant lots of good, well-paying jobs for laborers in Western PA.

  8. why do everbody diss guevorner corbitt for him sayin he wants people to have the right to work? whats wrong with wanting people to work for a livin?

  9. 1058 pride says:

    I am a proud 1058 member who is working now thanks to the highway bill. At the beginning of the season before the highway funding started to kick in was a very tough time for my family and I. Now I am presently working on a project, my health care is paid for, I have money going into my retirement, and I am able to put food on the table. I thank brother Ameris for all his hard work to get this bill past, if this bill didn’t pass it would not be back to the table for years and I don’t think my family could have waited that long!

  10. Frank says:

    Yeah. Support a guy who has stated that he’d support Right-To-Work legislation if it ever crossed his desk. Dumbasses….

  11. 1058 member says:

    I am a member of Local 1058 and I stand behind Philip Ameris for supporting Gov Corbett. I would not be working right now and would not have my hours for health insurance for my family if Philip and Gov Corbett didn’t work together on getting a highway bill. Also the roads and bridges are falling apart it may not have been a popular thing to do but it was the right thing to do. Thank you Philip for standing up for the Laborers and their families once again !

  12. jim says:

    The couple of officers of Laborers and Boilermakers that pushed through the endorsement do not speak for the majority the union members -like myself and other members — they will have to answer to the membership in the next elections — we are a bi-partisan organization that support politicians based on their records for workers and their families –Gov Corbett fails miserably in this respect– hopefully he will be gone after the November election and the self serving individuals from the Laborers and Boilermakers that put their personal interest ahead of workers and their families will follow suit. Thanks Mr Shea for standing tall for working Families

  13. Labor Democrat says:

    Someone needs to look into the campaign finance reports of Phil Ameris’s Political Action Committees that he controls. Not only does he spend big money against pro-labor politicians that he personally doesn’t get along with, somehow his PACs don’t report any donations over $50. Not to mention that Ameris has some past ties to organized crime. Do a little research and you will find out how shady this guy is.

  14. bobguzzardi says:

    The geniuses running Corbett’s campaign seem to have thought they could buy union support with the “gas tax”.

    Wrong again.

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