We’ve all seen them – the giant inflatable rats towering over the sidewalks of Philadelphia, strategically placed by local unions to shame businesses using non-union labor. They’re a sobering reminder that some local businesses care more about getting fast, inexpensive, high-quality work then they do about following union demands.
And while the inflatable rat business is blowing up, not all rat manufacturers are celebrating.
“We’re really dismayed to see more and more inflatable rats being purchased from non-Union inflatable rat makers, particularly the Chinese-made inflatable rats” said Dick Yangberg, head of the local inflatable rat makers Union.
Why the sudden shift away from local union-made inflatable rats?
“Well, these Chinese inflatable rats are about half the cost and we get them faster.” said Ryan Peecrest, spokesman for the Philadelphia Carpenters Union. “And honestly, I think they do a better job at causing shame.”
“Here, see this?” Peecrest said, motioning over to the scabby, festering underbelly of his Chinese-made inflatable rat. “No one else is making such a convincing looking skin-disease patch on their inflatable rats. Nobody.”
“So why should someone force me to purchase an inferior product for more money?” continued Peecrest, on break from his union-job protesting the non-union construction happening at 3rd and Chestnut.
According to Yangberg, though, the rat makers union has a plan to deal with this increased competition.
“We’re going to deal with these inexpensive, high-quality non-union rat-makers the best way we know how – with giant inflatable rats.”