|Edward Coryell Sr.’s union had quit the Philadelphia Building Trades Council.|
Douglas McCarron, the decisive general president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, dropped in to tell Coryell that he was out.
The visit was short. Less than an hour. And Coryell had no idea it was coming, said friends and allies of the ousted labor leader.
By the time McCarron left, or shortly afterward, signs went up on the doors of the carpenters' headquarters on Spring Garden Street.
"At the direction of UBC general president Doug McCarron," the signs said, the council's 17,000 members and their union locals were closed and divided among councils based in Edison, N.J.; Pittsburgh; and Framingham, Mass.
While many aspects of Coryell's dismissal remain mysterious, one thing is certain, said John J. McNichol, chief executive of the Pennsylvania Convention Center: The change won't lead to union carpenters' returning to the building to set up and dismantle conventions.
"There is zero discussion or consideration of that," he said.
Fellow union leader John J. "Johnny Doc" Dougherty said he spent the day on the phone "talking to owners, developers, and contractors and letting them know there's continuity in the construction industry." Dougherty, who leads Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, now also heads the Philadelphia Building Trades Council.
Coryell's union had quit the council, a sore point among others in the building trades.
Dougherty said his role was to reassure: "The cool part of Philadelphia, you can change quarterbacks and the game goes on."
Running the show at the carpenters' headquarters is Michael Capelli, eastern district vice president under the direction of Frank Spencer, a McCarron lieutenant from Haddonfield and a top national vice president.