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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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Comments (21)

My guess is that the folks ... (Below threshold)

My guess is that the folks that inked that contract are politicians that see signifigant campaign contriubtions from said union. Or they work at the pleasure of said politicians.

Just another 'worker's para... (Below threshold)

Just another 'worker's paradise'.....that's going broke.

Whereas corruption among pu... (Below threshold)

Whereas corruption among public sector unions' government management is completely unheard of.

jim x will drink some more ... (Below threshold)

jim x will drink some more kool aid to that!

Typical. Unfortunate but ty... (Below threshold)

Typical. Unfortunate but typical.

Thanks Jim x for not commen... (Below threshold)

Thanks Jim x for not commenting on the absurdity of these corrupt unions, but rather to defend them by pointing to other corrupt unions.

Face it Jimmy, unions are corrupt and serve no purpose but line the pockets of the union thug leaders and the corrupt politicians they own with taxpayer money.

I guess it was jim x's turn... (Below threshold)

I guess it was jim x's turn to play the "hey, look over there!" card.

Too bad for him this actually involved 20 people actualyl getting convicted in court.


"Whereas corruptio... (Below threshold)
"Whereas corruption among public sector unions' government management is completely unheard of."

Let me translate for jim x:

"I can't defend the union because it would be laughable to try. But I can't agree with anyone here because, well, that would be icky. So I'll pretend they're being unfair in their criticism and imply they're ignoring the government's role.

Let me translate for Oyster... (Below threshold)

Let me translate for Oyster:

I'm finding a way to disagree with Jim X by putting words in his mouth.

I guess it was Jay T's turn... (Below threshold)

I guess it was Jay T's turn to play the "hey, look at that crime over there, that means everyone in a similar group is also a criminal" card.

Too bad for him reasonable people realize that negative generalization is intellectual laziness.

Thanks Tex Bob for not comm... (Below threshold)

Thanks Tex Bob for not commenting on the absurdity of blaming a whole class of people nationwide for the actions of a few in a single state - and not applying the same way of thinking towards any other group.

Face it Texy Bobby, just because you don't like Unions doesn't make them all corrupt. I'd say "sorry", but it doesn't make sense to apologize for reality.

Look over there! Squirrel!!... (Below threshold)

Look over there! Squirrel!!!

The facts speak for themselves. Unions, both private and public are corrupt with their manipulation of political contributions to politicians.

Perhaps its time to outlaw ALL unions as they seem to have outlived their original intentions and have now become the tyrants they originally sought to protect their members from.

But 419, corporations make ... (Below threshold)

But 419, corporations make at least the same number of bribes, and have even more influence over politicians.

Are you suggesting corporations be outlawed too? Or only unions?

jimmy's getting real good w... (Below threshold)

jimmy's getting real good with that rabbit!

Perhaps it's time for wizba... (Below threshold)

Perhaps it's time for wizbang to outlaw moniker-jacking, fake419.

Down in Massachusetts,</... (Below threshold)

Down in Massachusetts,

Three little words, yet they explain so much.

well it good to know that c... (Below threshold)

well it good to know that crime is so prevalent among the Union workers in MA that they need to incldue a If I go to jail I still have job card?
I mean come on. What is next ? Mandiroty 2 convictions and minuim 180 days prison time before you get promoted for GS 4,

jay you got to check if there a MassPo workout room in the County prisons?
MassPo the criminal front group :)

Sorry Jimmy but I believe y... (Below threshold)

Sorry Jimmy but I believe you'll find corruption in ALL unions, hence ALL unions are corrupt as well as the politicians that enable them.

Sorry Texy but I believe yo... (Below threshold)

Sorry Texy but I believe you'll find corruption in ALL governments and ALL private corporations too. If so, the same rule should apply to them too, right? Yes or no?

Hey Jimx. . did you look at... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

Hey Jimx. . did you look at that list of who the top political contributors over the past twenty years were? A hint: Unions dominate, and most of them are to democrats.

Ryan M, are you actually su... (Below threshold)

Ryan M, are you actually suggesting that Unions out-contribute all corporations?

If so, I'd love to see a link to that list. Also, I've got a lovely bridge to sell you in a borough of Manhattan. Guaranteed non-Union built.






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