Oh, Those Awesome Public Sector Unions

Down in Massachusetts, they have a public agency called MassPort. It oversees the Port of Boston, several airports, and some public transportation that mainly serves and connects their facilities. And its workers are — no great surprise here — highly unionized.

Several years ago, there was a big scandal among those highly-unionized employees. Massive corruption was uncovered — payroll fraud to a huge degree. One of the most inventive aspects was workers putting their children on the payroll when they were as young as 2 — not to get a second paycheck, but to give the tykes a major leg up on seniority when they grew up and if they chose to join the family business.  In the end, 20 employees were caught stealing from the public coffers, convicted, and given various criminal sentences for their thieves.

Well, recently the Boston Globe decided to see what happened to those 20 felons. It turns out that one of them has died since then. Another was fired after his criminal conviction.

And the other 18 are right back on the job.

Oh, a lot of them got demoted, but one of them has been promoted past the position he held when he was convicted. And all of them have gotten regular raises since then.

The reason: simple. According to the contract their union demanded, and the state agreed to, an employee can not be fired for their first offense. Not even if that offense is also a felony that leads to them spending time in jail for crimes against MassPort — if their record is clean up til that point, then the worst punishment they can suffer is a 30-day suspension.

Which, I suspect, can be served concurrently with the jail time the state thought a fair punishment.

Here’s a shining example of just how badly the unions are screwing us all over. Here are 20 men who literally stole from their employer so badly that the state took them to court and convicted them, and that is not grounds for dismissal. What they did was bad enough to fine them heavily and send several of them to jail — but not bad enough to be fired.

The union offers no defense, but let me offer one, based on prior similar cases: it’s not the union’s fault for demanding such concessions from MassPort. It’s MassPort’s fault for giving in to those demands. If MassPort found it so offensive, then they shouldn’t have agreed to it.

If that doesn’t sound familiar, let me couch it in slightly cruder terms:

It was those stupid bitches as MassPort’s fault, walking around with all that taxpayer money. If they didn’t want us to take it, they shouldn’t have been flaunting it so much. Besides, all those public agencies really want us to take their money. They all want it. We were just doing them a favor. After all, if we didn’t do it to them, someone else would have — and they wouldn’t have been as nice as we were. In fact, they oughta thank us.

As Michael Kinsley is fond of saying, “The scandal isn’t what’s illegal; it’s what’s legal.”

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