A group of Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania Quakers has discovered they have no “friends” in the union movement. The gentile folk that are called Friends or Quakers wanted to have a new meetinghouse built and foolishly thought they should engage the cheapest construction company to get the job done. Their problems arose when the word got out that the company they hired used non-union workers. This “insult” enraged the members of several unions that lost out on the work involved. The Friends Community could not afford to build their new meetinghouse if they had to knuckle under and pay union extortionist rates. But that meant nothing to the thugs who represent the construction unions in the Philadelphia area. They wanted their tribute, and that was all there was to it.
Like so many honest people we’d see in old black and white gangster movies, the Friends could not believe that in modern America, they would/should have to pay extra to appease greedy unions. Just four days before Christmas, reality knocked on the Quakers’ door.
According to local police, someone with particular skill in the use of an acetylene torch destroyed the initial work that had been completed on the project. The amount of damage was set at about $500,000. The Philadelphia Inquirer described the vandalism this way: “Vandals with an acetylene torch crept onto the project’s muddy construction site in the middle of the night. Working out of view in the meetinghouse’s freshly cemented basement, they sliced off dozens of bolts securing the bare steel columns and set fire to the building crane, causing $500,000 in damage. Police detectives deemed the attack arson because of a series of confrontational visits from union officials days before the incident. They say the torch could only have been operated by a trained professional, and believe it was almost certainly the work of disgruntled union members. The city has assigned extra investigators to the case and is working with federal forensic experts to track down the vandals, said Michael Resnick, the city’s public safety commissioner.”
In ordinary times, things like this might not happen; but we are not living in ordinary times. Things like this are the new normal.