Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy New Year From The Union

Ah, the weather outside is frightful--let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. And let it collect so that emergency vehicles can't get to their calls and other workers can't get to their jobs. That was the position of the New York City Sanitation Workers Union after Auntie Bloomberg proposed budget restraints on the union employees and some necessary layoffs. He hadn't even gotten to the bloated pensions yet.

The left and the unions are always prattling on about how they care about the "little people" but when it comes to having to tighten their own expansive belts, that's another story entirely. Bloomberg said "we have to start saving money." The union replied "let them eat snow." Rather than do their jobs and protect the citizens of New York whose taxpayers pay for their outrageous salaries, benefits and deadwood employees, they decided to "make the mayor pay." In the process, at least two human beings also paid--with their lives. A newborn baby and an elderly woman died when the EMTs couldn't get to them through the uncleared snowdrifts.

But what are a couple of lives compared to the horror of layoffs, reduction in pay scale for "supervisors," and reduction in the size of the oversized workforce? Several union members with consciences (there are a few) reported to City Countilman Dan Halloran that: "They were told to take off routes and not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay." There were also "blue flu" call-outs, so named for police union slowdowns in the past.

The Sanitation Workers Union has the exclusive bargaining rights for all sanitation workers who are members of the union whether they want to be or not. Now imagine just how much worse it could have been if the big labor "Police-Firefighters Monopoly Bargaining Bill" had passed. Then the EMTs would have been ordered not even to try to get to the emergency calls. The big union bosses have not given up on their monopoly bargaining bill, and will keep trying until somebody caves. That will be much harder with the new Republican House, but union bosses are determined to get control of all public employees in order to hold the big cities hostage to unsustainable workforces, pay scales that are twice that of the private sector for comparable jobs, and retirement benefits that make the Europeans look like Ebenezer Scrooge.

We need to apply a new adage echoing an old one: "The price of public safety is eternal vigilance." The unions have billions of dollars in union dues extorted from unwilling members to throw at Congress critters to vote for the monopoly bill. The recent gala for freshmen Republican Congressmen indicates at least a few can be bought. In the words of the great American President who broke the police strikes, Calvin Coolidge, "nobody has the right to strike against the public good." Unfortunately, since that time, Congress and the muddle-headed Supreme Court have declared "nobody--except a union--has the right to strike against the public good."


Tehachapi Tom said...

If the public good was your health do you think any sane person would allow this sort of cancer to continue unchecked?

I thought that the civil service envelope was put in place instead of public service unions.

Just like social security, medicare and all of the rest of the prepaid support functions our elected have made the changes that are the demise of almost everything we have paid for.

Even the Post Office is below original standards. During this last snow we had no mail delivery for 4 days. Forget the original motto the mailmen used to embrace.

Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: We need to return to the days where the "public employees" were "public servants," protected by Civil Service but no unions. Allowing unionization of public servants was one of the most disastrous acts in labor history.

Unknown said...

Stan: Speaking of snow, I just saw the pictures of Atlanta. How are you doing down there?

T_Rav said...

I wonder if two charges of negligent homicide would change their minds.

BevfromNYC said...

I was actually going to write a piece about this but the shooting in Arizona overroad that.

Anyway, this goes much deeper than just Union shenanigans.
The sanitation department et al. claim the they did not know the snow was going to be so bad. Except of course that excuse was shot down because we ALL knew by the weather reports on the Wed. before that it was going to be a serious snow.

Not only was Mr. Bloomberg not in the city for the storm, but neither were the Deputy Mayor, the Assistant Dep. Mayor or any of their staff. Bloomberg refuses to answer the question about where he was stating that it his own personal and private business. We all know he was in Bermuda because he goes there every weekend.

- Bloomberg has an approval rating of 37%...
- 90% of Manhattan had been plowed by Tuesday (12/28) but only 20% of the other boroughs.
Blooming is now being referred to as "The Mayor of Manhattan"...

- The City Counsel is particularly annoyed with Mr. Bloomberg. They are holding hearings starting today to determine who was responsible (**cough**Bloomberg**cough**)
- The sanitation department et al. claim the they did not know the snow was going to be so bad. Except the airports were shutting down Sunday morning.
- Our DA Cyrus Vance (sound familiar?) is convening a criminal investigation against the unions and so is the US DOJ in Brooklyn

Tom - The garbage would normally have been picked up on Saturday (in my neighborhood anyway), but that was Christmas Day, so our last pickup was Thursday 12/23. Because of the snow, it was not until the following Thursday. The pile on my street was 5 30 gallon bags deep and 12 bags high and block long on both sides of the street! That was about the norm. The problem wasn't the smell, but the critters who came out to feast.

Unknown said...

T_Rav: There are statutes and case law to provide for that, but I doubt they'll be exercised even though they should. Investigations are under way.

Unknown said...

Bev: Thanks for the detailed update. It always helps to hear from someone who was right in the middle of it.

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