As I was driving home yesterday from my weekly assault-gun show sponsored by a militia of rich, old, homophobic white guys kicking cute puppies (’cause that’s how we Conservatives roll!), I heard a cringe-worthy radio advertisement from the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents 8,000 New York City school bus drivers.
The union is on strike because Mayor Bloomberg has decided to accept bids for the city bus contract from private, non-union bus companies, as well as the union shops.
Us usual, the union and its members feel they are automatically entitled to this taxpayer-funded contract, for which they have held dominion over the past 40 years. (They went on strike in 1979 for 14 weeks for the same reasons as today. The city caved, and the cost to the city has ballooned to $1.1 billion per year. Astonishing since most children in New York walk to school.)
Anyway, enter this ad:
“When inexperienced drivers take your kids to school, sometimes they never get there…“
Shame is obviously not one of their virtues.
And the particular emphasis on special needs children tugs at the bleeding heart.
No where in the ad do they substantiate their claims with facts or statistics to back up their scary scenario. Why? Because they have no facts or statistics to back up their scary scenario. It would be impossible to prove or compare anyway considering the busing contract has been theirs for almost half a decade.
Michael Cordiello of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union said the drivers will strike until Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city agree to put a job security clause back into their contract.
“We need that provision,” said driver Albert Shirano. “We’ve had it for 34 years.”
That clause, named the Employment Protection Provision (EPP), is explained as follows:
The employment protection provisions allow a worker whose route is dropped by one bus company (Note: Dropped by the bus company, not the city. -Ed.) to maintain his or her salary, pension and seniority when hired by another company. These protections date back to 1965. When the city removed them from its school bus contracts in 1979, the union struck for 14 weeks. The protections were then reinstated as part of the settlement that ended the strike and the bus companies continued getting contracts with the city.
While their fellow Americans have felt the wrench of a horrid economy, with pay cuts, higher health insurance co-pays, or the actual loss of employment, these people believe they should not be held to the same realities as the rest of us non-unionized suckers. They’ve been sustained by the teat of the taxpayer for so long, they believe they are entitled to whatever they want. And if that entitlement is threatened, they will demonize the city and their possible competition any way they can.
According to Time magazine (Yes, that’s still in print.):
The city doesn’t directly hire the bus drivers and matrons, who work for private companies that have city contracts. The workers make an average of about $35,000 a year, with a driver starting at $14 an hour and potentially making as much as $29 an hour over time, according to union President Michael Cordiello.
Keep in mind that the “yearly” salary is not a full 12 months. Subtracting at least 3 months for summer recess, it calculates to $3,888 per month. And here’s a kicker:
But base salaries are deceptive said Elizabeth Lynam, vice president and director of state studies for the Citizens Budget Commission, who published a report on the costs of pupil transportation in New York State. She noted that school bus drivers in Local 1181 get nine weeks of unemployment during the summer from the bus companies. “That’s extremely unusual for school employees,” she added.
Oh, the humanity!
As a little side bonus, I stumbled across an article from the ‘World Socialist Web Site.’ (No definition needed. And do yourself a favor: Don’t even visit the site. You’ll need a shower afterwards.)
The ‘World Socialist Web Site’ sent some intrepid comrades down to the picket lines to report on the plight of these union brothers and sisters, writing a propaganda-filled report about the situation.
It illustrates the cattle mentality of brain-washed union members, who will, as long as you are sympathetic to their cause, allow mutual exploitation to further their agenda.
The picture below shows a group of striking union drivers posing for the camera. Whether they knew, accepted, or cared that the people asking them for their comments and pictures were from an ultra-left website that hates free-market capitalism and embraces Marxist ideals, is unknown.
However, one fine union member provided us with his version of reality:
“We asked the driver about the political issues raised by the strike and he said, “I believe this is a political struggle. From a little research on my own, I believe that there are people in positions of power that want to make this country a dictatorship. They want to get rid of the working class. The same things that happened in Germany in the 1930s could happen here. They had the brown shirts and we have Blackwater. The government puts the focus on terrorism instead of the problems at home. Obama has his own agenda.”
Yup. That’s the kind of person I’d want responsible for the safety of my kid.