Unions agree to diversify in city pact

Pat Gillespie.

Mayor Michael Nutter signed an agreement yesterday aimed at completing city construction projects on time and within budget while combating stereotypes of union workers as “a bunch of fat white guys,” according to Building Trades Council business manager Pat Gillespie.

“As a re-elected mayor of Philadelphia, he didn’t have to do this politically,” Gillespie said at a press conference inside City Hall yesterday with Nutter. “But he’s been working on this for some time and he’s been saying, ‘We want to do this and we want to do this right.’ And damn, he got it right.”

The executive order establishes an agreement for city projects costing more than $5 million that dictates the work will be carried out by union laborers consisting of at least 50 percent Philadelphia residents, 32 percent minorities and 7 percent women. 

“Construction sites should be reflective of the diversity of the incredible city of Philadelphia,” Nutter said.

The diversity and residency requirements will be monitored by an independent third party, which has not yet been determined.


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