Where’s the Rat? New Construction in Center City brings out the Carpenters Union Protestors

I wrote about this new specialized “children’s gym” by Sweat being built at 13th & Locust Streets a few months back. They’ve been working on this baby for a long long time, about 9 months now. The permits weren’t visible until maybe 2 months ago, and it wasn’t obvious that they were working on it til they began to change the facade of the building 2 weeks ago. Probably because they weren’t using union workers to keep the costs down. Well the carpenter union got a wind of it and sent out a few heavy hitters to protest the infraction. I asked the lady why they didn’t use the RAT on this location? She told me that the RAT got tickets as it was breaking a few laws which prohibit large scale advertisements without a permit. Guess they didn’t want to get a permit for it? They still use the RAT in the suburbs where those ordinances are a little more laxed.
Twelve years ago, Mike O’Connor, owner of Big Sky Balloons & Searchlights in Plainfield, Illinois, created the first rat at the request of a union member in nearby Chicago. Today, Big Sky sells between 100 and 200 rats a year–even though it is a nonunion shop itself.