Union protests goPuff with controversial inflatable; workers say it unsafely hogs sidewalk

Justin Udo
October 10, 2019 - 1:56 pm
An inflatable pig has a Rolex on his wrist, pockets full of cash and a cigar in his mouth, and one of his hooves is wrapped around the neck of a construction worker.

Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A nearly 18-foot-high inflatable pig in front of a construction site on a busy Philadelphia street drew attention to a heated labor dispute in the city.

The pig has a Rolex on his wrist, pockets full of cash and a cigar in his mouth, and one of his hooves is wrapped around the neck of a construction worker.

"Here's the big money pig choking the little guy," said Greg Williams, a member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 98.

Williams and other IBEW Local 98 members came out to protest the construction of a facility for the Philly company goPuff on 3rd and Spring Garden streets.

"We're protesting for fair wages and benefits," Williams said.

But that protest turned into a heated confrontation, and police ended up coming to the scene when non-union workers at the site demanded that the union remove the pig.

The inflatable pig has a Rolex on his wrist, pockets full of cash and a cigar in his mouth, and one of his hooves is wrapped around the neck of a construction worker.
Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

Patrick Bradley a worker at the building says it's creating an unsafe space.

"We're trying to work out here. We paid for a sidewalk permit so that multiple people can walk by. Don't be blocking up a sidewalk that's supposed to be for pedestrians. It's a safety issue," Bradley said.

Frank Keel with Local 98 says they will continue their protest of goPuff to send a message to the public.

"We're sending a signal: You're not going to get away with it here, in Philadelphia," he said.

The union is currently in a court battle with the National Labor Relations Board over the legality of inflatables like the pig and the smaller, but still giant, rat that replaced it at the work site.