Speakers Blast Sound Of Baby Crying As Part Of Protest In Philly - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Speakers Blast Sound Of Baby Crying As Part Of Protest In Philly

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These loud speakers blast out the sounds of a baby crying as part of a protest on the 2800 block. of N. 47th St. in Philadelphia's Wynnefield section These loud speakers blast out the sounds of a baby crying as part of a protest on the 2800 block. of N. 47th St. in Philadelphia's Wynnefield section
PHILADELPHIA -

It's a union protest designed to bring you to tears.

Residents at the Vista apartment building on the 2800 block. of N. 47th St. in Philadelphia's Wynnefield section are losing their minds over a recording played by protesters from IBEW local 98.

Last Wednesday, the union set up an iPod and loudspeakers that plays this recorded message: "Your community is crying for jobs, participation and fair wages." It's what comes next that brings a tear to the eye: an extended crying jag by a seemingly fussy infant.

The recording- which began last Wednesday- runs each weekday from around 8 a.m. to mid-afternoon.

"I know everybody says they've got their rights," says longtime apartment resident Jean Smith, "and that's fine. But don't we have rights too, that we have to hear this constantly- every day?"

The electricians are protesting the use of a non-union contractor to do electrical work on renovations at the apartment building.

Residents say they have nothing against organized labor making a point, but this?

"The crying of the baby- it doesn't give them no sympathy," says apartment dweller David Dickson. "It's not helping them."

Saundra Terrell agrees. "They don't seem to care! Even when we approached them nicely on the first day, they seemed to ignore us."

FOX 29s Bruce Gordon called the IBEW's spokesman to see whether we could quiet the protest.

Union boss John Dougherty later agreed to meet.

He claims non-union workers are leading the city to economic decline.

As for the irritating infant?

"It's well within the law," says Dougherty. "It's within the first amendment. I'm not apologizing.

But, he said, "because Bruce Gordon came here, on behalf of Christmas and me being a Christmas type of guy, I'm going to (play) Christmas carols up there, starting tomorrow."

No more crying baby?

"Not till after the holiday!"

That last line sounds a little ominous, but we're going to hold Dougherty to the Christmas carol pledge.

By the way, the building owner says union electricians were offered the chance to bid on the work at Vista, but that a non-union contractor won the job.

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