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Building trade unions and Rebuild – a slippery slope

Building trade unions and Rebuild – a slippery slope

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As part of an ongoing investigation into union corruption in Philadelphia, the FBI has acknowledged yearlong wiretaps of Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council leader John Dougherty and City Council Majority Leader Bobby Henon.

Along with the rest of us, city officials were well aware of the federal investigation after FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents conducted very public raids of Henon’s City Hall office, Dougherty’s home, and the offices of IBEW Local 98, the electricians union headed by Dougherty. That was last August. Since then, federal investigators have intercepted calls to and from numerous union and city officials, including Mayor Kenney.

All of which begs the question: Why would the mayor’s office place the Philadelphia Building and Trades Council at the center of labor negotiations on the $500 million, taxpayer funded construction project known as Rebuild, when the council’s leader is under federal investigation?

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Photo: Alejandro A. Alvarez, Philadelphia Media Networks

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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon.