I happened to be tuned to a different (different as in, not the normal) radio station recently and heard Paul Harvey telling the story about Joe Maturo, Mayor of East Haven, Connecticut. This particular mayor, on this particular day, happened to notice that a storm drain cover had been dislodged. Thinking that this open storm drain posed a hazard to the good citizens of East Haven, the mayor spent about three minutes of his morning replacing the cover. One good deed, eh?
Well, it turns out that this scene was witnessed by a member of the local AFSCME union who then filed suit against the mayor. claiming that the mayor had violated the city’s labor contract by repositioning the storm drain. According to the union, this job — that took the mayor all of about three minutes — needs to be completed by four union employees: a driver, a laborer, a supervisor, and a dispatcher; each of which would be paid a minimum of four hours overtime.
Now, I think that unions played an important role in removing and preventing egregious conditions in the workplace and helped to even out the balance of power between employers and workers, but when the union pursues a suit such as this, haven’t they proved to be no longer viable?
If you can stomach any more, read the complete story.