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June 09, 2015

Carpenters union says it will not interfere with papal visit

The Carpenters union has said that it will not interfere with Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia this September, despite its ongoing battle with the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, Philadelphia Business Journal reports.

A spokesman for the Carpenters said the group will not protest during the Sept. 22-27 papal visit.

"While we are currently engaged in an unfair labor practices dispute with the Pennsylvania Convention Center over a disputed deadline for signing a customer satisfaction agreement — which we signed — we want to assure you that our on-going protest of this injustice will in no way interfere or disrupt the Holy Father's visit to Philadelphia," Ed Coryell, business manager of the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters, reportedly wrote in a letter to Archbishop Charles Chaput on Monday.

The Carpenters and Teamsters unions have not worked at the Convention Center since last May after failing to sign a new customer satisfaction agreement. The unions maintain that they had until May 10 to reach the agreement and that they signed by that date.

It is unclear whether the Teamsters will follow the Carpenters' lead.

"The visit by Pope Francis to Philadelphia offers a unique opportunity to showcase the city and region on an international stage," Pete Peterson, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, told Philadelphia Business Journal. 

"We welcome the [Carpenters'] news and look forward to making the World Meeting of Families and Papal visit a successful event."

Read more from Philadelphia Business Journal.