But the Unions represent the common man

| 1 Comment
Not so much according to this article at the Tacoma, WA News Tribune:
Union squelches Tacoma school volunteers at weekend work party
Volunteers at a weekend work party at Fawcett Elementary School in East Tacoma came prepared to get their hands dirty.

But some say they felt like they were working with one grubby hand tied behind their backs last weekend due to school district and union rules.

�There was a lot of work that could have been done, but wasn�t,� said Ron Joslin, whose daughter is a third-grader at the school.

He and other parents complain that district officials scaled back the scope of work planned by several dozen parents working with more than 100 volunteers from Comcast.

�Somebody from the school district said it would take away union jobs,� said Tiesha Williams, one of the parents who turned out Saturday. District and union officials acknowledge that the project list was narrowed at their request. But they say there are good reasons.

Tacoma Public Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel said the district appreciates volunteer efforts to help make schools better, but there�s a protocol for volunteer cleanups. First, volunteers must fill out a form detailing what the work party plans to do.

�Our buildings and grounds supervisory staff need to review it to make sure that what people want to do is safe and up to school standards,� Voelpel said. �And we have to, by union contract, notify the unions affected. They can determine if the work being performed substantially takes away from union labor. They can object to the work proposed.�

Mark Martinez, executive secretary for the Pierce County Building and Construction Trades Council, put it this way: �Sometimes people don�t appreciate our craft.�

His union represents an estimated 60 Tacoma schools employees.
Christ on a corndog -- Sometimes people don�t appreciate our craft Unions have lost sight of what they are for. They were formed to protect the rights and the safety of the workers. Now, they are only about preserving the union itself and about power and control. If the Unions were effective, they would have shut down the Massey Coal mine long before the fire and explosion. The workers knew that working conditions there were below mining standards. The Unions sat back and did nothing. Now thirty workers are dead. If the Unions were effective, they would have shut down the Tesoro Refinery in Anacortes, WA long before the fire and explosion. The workers knew that working conditions there were below refinery standards. The Unions sat back and did nothing. Now seven workers are dead. If the Unions were effective, they would not be negotiating egregious pensions for their workers. Why should a worker who puts $200K into their retirement plan be able to receive almost One Million in pension and benefits on retirement. The workers should be shown that this is not sustainable but the Union bosses tell them that everything is fine and they just go along with it. Those workers that "get it" figure that they will be out of the system before it crashes so they might as well sit back and get theirs. The Unions sat back and did nothing. Now the retirement plan is crashing a lot sooner than expected. Power and Control in the hands of a few. Nothing less, nothing more. Certainly not caring for the workers.

1 Comment

I sympathize with the volunteers. When I played recreation softball in Lansing, MI, the condition of the park where we practiced and played was deplorable. Splintered bleachers with peeling paint, filthy bathroom, trash everywhere. We asked the park director by phone if we could get the teams together and have a work day to sand and paint, clean up and pick up trash. He said he'd be delighted, as the city didn't really have a plentiful maintenance budget. We got about 30 people together, bought the materials and supplies, lined up some refreshments, and all showed up on the appointed day, and were met at the gate by 3 city trucks and about 6 employees barring the entry. The gist of the conversation was that they didn't "give a sh-- what he said", we were taking their work away from them and they were here to stop them. Not wanting to have a confrontation, we went home. First thing Monday morning, we called the Parks director and he told us they employees were indeed correct, and he had rescinded his permission. We asked him what we were going to do with 15 gallons of "parks green" paint, and he said it wasn't his problem, but he wasn't going to go against the union. We asked him who ran the parks department after all, and he hung up on us. Three years later, when we left that league to go elsewhere to play, nothing had been done by the parks department to fix anything. Message received: Just send us your money, we don't need to spend it.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 29, 2010 8:27 PM.

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