Organized labor's devotion to make-work rules at the Pennsylvania Convention Center has been a destroy-work strategy. Abetted by years of feckless management by politicians and their appointees, union hassles have driven away conventions even as taxpayers were mired in a monumental reinvestment in the building. The resulting debacle has finally become obvious even to the unions themselves - or at least to most of them.
Consider the thoroughly unconventional scene that unfolded at the center this week, when electricians' union chief John Dougherty and other labor leaders led members across a jeering picket line. Dougherty's union was one of four that agreed last week to updated work rules designed to address long-standing customer dissatisfaction with the Convention Center. The two holdouts, Carpenters Local 8 and Teamsters Local 107, continued protesting as setup began for a biotech conference expected to draw 1,200 conventioneers from more than 30 countries.