Philadelphia union using drones to watch protests, worksites

PHILADELPHIA – The oversized, inflatable rats found snarling at nonunion worksites now have some high-flying backup.

An International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union local in Philadelphia now has three surveillance drones that can fly over construction sites.

Local 98 President John Dougherty (DAHK’-ur-tee) says they were purchased a few months ago to deploy at protest sites and to document violations. He says the drones will also provide proof that union members aren’t violating any protest rules.

The union posted a YouTube video from a drone above a large protest in January, set to Rockwell’s paranoid 1984 hit “Somebody’s Watching Me.”

A lawyer representing the construction site targeted in the video says the drones could be used to violate labour laws.