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talastan
11-20-2009, 10:27 AM
http://www.mcall.com/news/all-a8_5scout.7084728nov15,0,6238384.story

Union troubled by Eagle Scout project in Allentown
After layoffs, SEIU president complains about city's use of volunteers, contractors

In pursuit of an Eagle Scout badge, Kevin Anderson, 17, has toiled for more than 200 hours hours over several weeks to clear a walking path in an east Allentown park.

Little did the do-gooder know that his altruistic act would put him in the cross hairs of the city's largest municipal union.

Nick Balzano, president of the local Service Employees International Union, told Allentown City Council Tuesday that the union is considering filing a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park.

"We'll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," Balzano told the council.

Balzano said Saturday he isn't targeting Boy Scouts. But given the city's decision in July to lay off 39 SEIU members, Balzano said "there's to be no volunteers." No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path.

"We would hope that the well-intentioned efforts of an Eagle Scout candidate would not be challenged by the union," said Mayor Ed Pawlowski in an e-mail Friday. "This young man is performing a great service to the community. His efforts should be recognized as such."

Balzano said Saturday the union is still looking into the matter and might cut the city a break.

"We are probably going to let this one go," Balzano said .

The possible entanglement of a local Boy Scout in a union dispute underscores the frustration and anger SEIU members feel after being the lone city union to suffer layoffs in the ongoing financial crisis. It may also serve as a preview of future labor battles as the city tries to outsource some necessary jobs as a result of the layoffs.

Anderson, a junior and varsity soccer player at Southern Lehigh High School, is a member of Boy Scout Troop 301 of Center Valley.

He got the idea for the trail while taking hikes along the partially complete, 165-mile Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. He noticed there were a few missing connections to the trail in Kimmets Lock Park, which is on the Lehigh River near Dauphin Street. He already has logged 250 hours trying to carve out a walking and biking trail along the river.

"I decided to do my part in completing this part of the trail. In that way, others could enjoy walking along the river, without having to walk on the busy road," Anderson said in an e-mail Friday.

During last week's budget hearings, where City Council reviewed the Public Works and Park and Recreation departments' funding requests, it was made clear that the layoffs and early retirements -- all of which have led to the lowest city staffing levels in two decades -- are bound to create union disputes in the weeks and months ahead.

For example, the city currently does not have an electrician available because of the layoffs and an employee on an extended sick leave. As a result, the city has been forced to hire an outside union electrician to oversee the installation for the popular Lights on the Parkway holiday display.

"In the spirit of the holiday, we decided to let that go," Balzano said.

Greg Weitzel, head of the Parks and Recreation Department, which lost 17 full-time employees as a result of the layoffs and retirements, said the low staffing levels will require more outsourcing of labor and a greater reliance on volunteers.

"There are some things that we can do in-house and other things we will have to bid out," Weitzel said Tuesday. "We originally had plans to do more with our labor force, but now we have to bid out that work."

talastan
11-20-2009, 10:28 AM
Wow, talk about a stupid bunch of people. And these are the people that have the ear of the POTUS and have visited him more than anyone else since he took office.

Jenson71
11-20-2009, 10:31 AM
"In the spirit of the holiday, we decided to let that go," Balzano said.

Good idea.

Think things through a little more.

ROYC75
11-20-2009, 11:05 AM
Unions, Power, control, you will do as we say !

Yes, best to drop this one.

talastan
11-20-2009, 12:00 PM
Balzano said Saturday he isn't targeting Boy Scouts. But given the city's decision in July to lay off 39 SEIU members, Balzano said "there's to be no volunteers." No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path.



Good idea.

Think things through a little more.


Yeah he was really thinking things through when he spouted this off.

Typical Liberal translation: It's not fair........(throws self on the floor crying like a six year old)

Iowanian
11-20-2009, 12:03 PM
They're probably more pissed that he completed what would be a 6 month union job.

KCWolfman
11-20-2009, 12:03 PM
"We are going to let this one go"????

Boy Scouts earning badges and you are "going to let it go"

F your union, F your unearned and undeserved power, and most importantly F your sick idea that you control other people and their charity.

wild1
11-20-2009, 12:31 PM
They're probably more pissed that he completed what would be a 6 month union job.

And cost $50,000

NewChief
11-20-2009, 12:34 PM
Good lord. I wish there was a way to shake the damned system up. Unions have their place, but they've gotten out of control and are far too entrenched in the system.

KCWolfman
11-20-2009, 12:37 PM
Good lord. I wish there was a way to shake the damned system up. Unions have their place, but they've gotten out of control and are far too entrenched in the system.

Unions HAD their place.

Now they are no better than any other lobby group. Actually, they are worse for a couple of reasons, IMO. They skyrocket the price of goods with their outlandish demands, they are under the guise of do-gooders to the public who have no intention of doing good.

Iowanian
11-20-2009, 12:39 PM
Unions are as responsible for the loss of jobs to foreign countries as much as federal policy and nafta IMO.

This is an example of the precise attitude that causes my thought on unions.

NewChief
11-20-2009, 12:43 PM
Unions HAD their place.

Now they are no better than any other lobby group. Actually, they are worse for a couple of reasons, IMO. They skyrocket the price of goods with their outlandish demands, they are under the guise of do-gooders to the public who have no intention of doing good.

Point taken. Semantical difference. I'm saying unions have their place in certain systems (not necessarily our current one). If we entirely get rid of unions, I think they'll again become a necessity in the future as the pendulum swings back the other way to corporate abuse of workers. Right now, unions have become part of the problem, unfortunately.

Norman Einstein
11-20-2009, 12:43 PM
They're probably more pissed that he completed what would be a 6 month union job.

..that would take 6 laborers and 14 supervisors and 3 union reps on overtime.

KCWolfman
11-20-2009, 12:46 PM
..that would take 6 laborers and 14 supervisors and 3 union reps on overtime.

Not to mention the money required for the planning commissions and the surveys/analaysis prior to action being taken.

Baby Lee
11-20-2009, 12:46 PM
There was a story in the RFT a few years back about the labryinthe rules Unions have imposed in entertainment venues. Like, if a vendor wanted to plug in a small refrigerator unit with snacks inside at a convention, there had to be an electrical worker, a food service worker, and a refrigeration worker there to 'consult.'

Iowanian
11-20-2009, 12:55 PM
It's really too bad that the thing lost in all of this is the ambitious project this young kid took on to help his local community. 250+ hours is a lot for an Eagle Scout project.

KCWolfman
11-20-2009, 12:56 PM
It's really too bad that the thing lost in all of this is the ambitious project this young kid took on to help his local community. 250+ hours is a lot for an Eagle Scout project.

What is startling is that the friends of the POTUS, the SEIU, would use such bully tactics.


Okay, I almost said that with a straight face.

Bwana
11-20-2009, 01:12 PM
And cost $50,000

And have 2 dozen comp claims.

Baby Lee
11-20-2009, 01:21 PM
And have 2 dozen comp claims.

Missouri's two step test for compensability of Carpal Tunnel claims;

1. Does [s]he have arms?
2. Does [s]he have a job?

Someone will find that funny.

kc rush
11-20-2009, 01:33 PM
Several years ago I was working a trade show in Chicago where they had some crazy rules where if you had to use tools to set up your booth, someone from the union had to do it.

This was a small company I worked for and I wasn't about to fork over $300 to someone to do what I could do in 20 minutes by myself for our little 10x10 space. I had just finished when this union wonk came running up the aisle yelling at me. I stood there, let him finish and gave him the "oh well" shrug.

The guy got called away (probably to yell at someone else) and nothing else happened. I just thought the whole thing was ridiculous.

Mojo Jojo
11-20-2009, 01:39 PM
Great message for today's youth. Don't work, Don't give back...just join a union.

Mojo Jojo
11-20-2009, 01:43 PM
When our company is working special events we always run into strange little union rules that just apply to that venue. Funny thing is...we now "budget" for misc. labor charges that usually is just a wad of bills. When the supervisor or union steward comes by and says we can't touch something...we hand him a $100 and he says OK go ahead. It's cheaper and we don't have to wait 3 hours for Sparky the high school dropout to show up.

PunkinDrublic
11-20-2009, 01:48 PM
Unions are just as succeptible to corruption and greed just like any other organization especially in cases like this. Those who bad mouth unions as a whole really don't know or understand the history of labor in this country. IMO unions still have there place today. Look at the mining accidents in WV a couple of years ago for example, the mining company refused to address several safety violations and as a result several workers lost their lives. A unionized workforce would have never let that happen. There are lots of companies in dangerous industries who opt to protect their profits at the expense of their workers safety.

wild1
11-20-2009, 01:51 PM
Missouri's two step test for compensability of Carpal Tunnel claims;

1. Does [s]he have arms?
2. Does [s]he have a job?

Someone will find that funny.

Shouldn't #2 be, "Has [s]he ever had a job?"

KCWolfman
11-20-2009, 01:51 PM
Unions are just as succeptible to corruption and greed just like any other organization especially in cases like this. Those who bad mouth unions as a whole really don't know or understand the history of labor in this country. IMO unions still have there place today. Look at the mining accidents in WV a couple of years ago for example, the mining company refused to address several safety violations and as a result several workers lost their lives. A unionized workforce would have never let that happen. There are lots of companies in dangerous industries who opt to protect their profits at the expense of their workers safety.

They sure worked to the benefit of Ford, GM, and Chrysler recently. Thank goodness for the artificially inflated prices of the American vehicle that I helped save with my tax dollars.

Iowanian
11-20-2009, 01:52 PM
Unions do have a place today.....In history books, with thanks for improving working conditions.

You want economic stimulus and companies to not leave? Let them banish unions in their workplace.


Anyway...Good job to this kid on his ambitious project.

PunkinDrublic
11-20-2009, 02:03 PM
They sure worked to the benefit of Ford, GM, and Chrysler recently. Thank goodness for the artificially inflated prices of the American vehicle that I helped save with my tax dollars.

I place the blame on those companies putting out a crappy product year after year for the decline in these companies. I didn't agree with bailing them out but it wasn't the unions that designed their crappy vehicles.

KCWolfman
11-20-2009, 02:24 PM
I place the blame on those companies putting out a crappy product year after year for the decline in these companies. I didn't agree with bailing them out but it wasn't the unions that designed their crappy vehicles.

No, the unions drove up prices by balking, hard balled unfair negotiating, etc etc.

The last strike by GM in the KC area was for keeping those wages of near retiree workers who were sweeping floors at the same rate as those working on the assembly line. Ridiculous

blaise
11-20-2009, 02:36 PM
Gee, makes you wonder why most of central PA is a wasteland people are fleeing from.

Brock
11-20-2009, 02:37 PM
It's still the company's fault. If you don't want to pay them, put your best offer on the table and walk away.

KCWolfman
11-20-2009, 02:39 PM
It's still the company's fault. If you don't want to pay them, put your best offer on the table and walk away.

Not true. Many companies have succumbed to labor unions who threaten to destroy their business if not used. If you were correct, why are all three auto companies still under the union thumb? Wouldn't one say "THat is our best offer, now take it or we use non-union"?

Brock
11-20-2009, 02:40 PM
Not true. Many companies have succumbed to labor unions who threaten to destroy their business if not used. If you were correct, why are all three auto companies still under the union thumb? Wouldn't one say "THat is our best offer, now take it or we use non-union"?

Because they didn't have the fortitude to weather a protracted strike. It sure is a good thing they didn't do that, it might have driven two of the three into bankruptcy.

PunkinDrublic
11-20-2009, 02:52 PM
No, the unions drove up prices by balking, hard balled unfair negotiating, etc etc.

The last strike by GM in the KC area was for keeping those wages of near retiree workers who were sweeping floors at the same rate as those working on the assembly line. Ridiculous

Yeah but then how do you explain automakers moving a great deal of their factories to right to fire states where there are no unions or Mexico for their production. Granted some unions including the UAW have mimicked the same greedy tactics of the same big companies that they used to go to war with but they are not responsible for decline in these companies. It's not like the U.S is the only country that has an autoworkers union.

The fact is that more often than not American car companies have put out shitty product year after year and more people have opted to buy a German or Japanese made car.

wild1
11-20-2009, 02:56 PM
It's still the company's fault. If you don't want to pay them, put your best offer on the table and walk away.

The shareholders demand return on their investment. If management shuts the lines down forever by playing hardball, shareholders bail, the stock tanks, the company is worth nothing, they can't get credit, they can't meet their day-to-day operating expenses, and the whole thing collapses. Not only does the company not win, but nobody wins.

Accepting the union deal with a knife at their throat is the only option they really have. They don't have a 'win' scenario on the table. All they have is one that is less disastrous than the other.

They aren't the ones killing the golden goose.

HonestChieffan
11-20-2009, 03:00 PM
SEIU represents ever bad thing that a Union can represent. Its probably the scandal that will break worst for Obama, even worse than Acorn.

Brock
11-20-2009, 03:05 PM
The shareholders demand return on their investment. If management shuts the lines down forever by playing hardball, shareholders bail, the stock tanks, the company is worth nothing, they can't get credit, they can't meet their day-to-day operating expenses, and the whole thing collapses. Not only does the company not win, but nobody wins.

Accepting the union deal with a knife at their throat is the only option they really have. They don't have a 'win' scenario on the table. All they have is one that is less disastrous than the other.

They aren't the ones killing the golden goose.

You don't have to shut down the assembly lines forever. You only have to outlast people who, at the end of the day, have a mortgage and a family to feed. Boeing goes through a strike at least once every decade. The shareholders understand why it's necessary and reward their vigilance to company health by holding Boeing stock. There isn't one single reason the big 3 couldn't have survived a strike and come back healthier than ever. Well, besides their clueless management.

KCWolfman
11-20-2009, 03:07 PM
Because they didn't have the fortitude to weather a protracted strike. It sure is a good thing they didn't do that, it might have driven two of the three into bankruptcy.

I am betting you are a union worker
Posted via Mobile Device

Norman Einstein
11-20-2009, 03:07 PM
You don't have to shut down the assembly lines forever. You only have to outlast people who, at the end of the day, have a mortgage and a family to feed. Boeing goes through a strike at least once every decade. The shareholders understand why it's necessary and reward their vigilance to company health by holding Boeing stock. There isn't one single reason the big 3 couldn't have survived a strike and come back healthier than ever. Well, besides their clueless management.

Which clueless management is that? The one they had before the government takeover or the new government inserted management?

blaise
11-20-2009, 03:10 PM
Making cars that were designed more poorly than the Japanese models harmed the US automakers a lot worse than any union concessions ever did. Selling Chevy Luminas against Accords and Camrys was just incredibly poor business.

Brock
11-20-2009, 03:10 PM
I am betting you are a union worker
Posted via Mobile Device

I am sympathetic to union workers. That's a bet you'll lose, however.

Norman Einstein
11-20-2009, 03:10 PM
I was a union worker for a few years. One place all they did was take our dues and slip us a wet one. The other one was actually pretty beneficial for me. I got hurt on the job and got paid 8 hours a day for 2 months. The only catch was that I had to be onsite for 3 of those 8 hours. I got to sit with the CEO's secretary Mary Ann. All I had to do was talk to a hot secretary and get paid my hours. Worked out pretty well for me, but cost the end customer loads for having another hourly worker drawing a wage and not being productive.

Brock
11-20-2009, 03:10 PM
Which clueless management is that? The one they had before the government takeover or the new government inserted management?

There is no difference.

Norman Einstein
11-20-2009, 03:12 PM
There is no difference.Just wanted to be sure.

KCWolfman
11-20-2009, 03:26 PM
I am sympathetic to union workers. That's a bet you'll lose, however.

I was sympathetic them prior to my birth, God bless them. Now they are money hungry power grubbing vultures.
Posted via Mobile Device

Jenson71
11-20-2009, 03:27 PM
I was sympathetic them prior to my birth, God bless them. Now they are money hungry power grubbing vultures.
Posted via Mobile Device

Union workers?

Money hungry power grubbing vultures. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Who does that sound like????

I can imagine you addressing a union: "You people would be so much better if you didn't ask for more money all the time. That's only for the managers to do, okay?"

HonestChieffan
11-20-2009, 03:30 PM
I wonder what % of SEIU membership is illegal. From what I see in hotels anymore if you don't speak Spanish you are likely a guest.

Brock
11-20-2009, 03:31 PM
I was sympathetic them prior to my birth, God bless them. Now they are money hungry power grubbing vultures.
Posted via Mobile Device

k.

wild1
11-20-2009, 03:52 PM
You don't have to shut down the assembly lines forever. You only have to outlast people who, at the end of the day, have a mortgage and a family to feed. Boeing goes through a strike at least once every decade. The shareholders understand why it's necessary and reward their vigilance to company health by holding Boeing stock. There isn't one single reason the big 3 couldn't have survived a strike and come back healthier than ever. Well, besides their clueless management.

Two reasons why a prolonged strike would be unwise could include an already precarious financial position and an already disadvantageous market position versus foreign competitors.

Airbus probably has many of the same constraints in place as Boeing, doing assembly in France and Germany, although they produce some in China now.

Further, an aerospace manufacturer is going to be doing business by contract arranged far in advance that will probably end up being delayed rather than lost in a labor disruption. If I go to the Chevrolet dealer looking for a truck and they don't have any, I'll just go over to the Ford or Dodge or Toyota dealer. An airline waiting 2 years on a contract to buy some new aircraft doesn't have the luxury of going down to the Airbus dealer and doing a sign-and-drive in an afternoon.

Norman Einstein
11-20-2009, 04:44 PM
Union workers?

Money hungry power grubbing vultures. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Who does that sound like????

I can imagine you addressing a union: "You people would be so much better if you didn't ask for more money all the time. That's only for the managers to do, okay?"

I have a question for you, who is responsible for bringing more money into successful businesses? Hourly workers or effective management?

RJ
11-20-2009, 05:02 PM
I hope that boy followed ADA guidelines for that path. Otherwise, he could be in for one hell of a lawsuit.

KCWolfman
11-20-2009, 05:13 PM
Union workers?

Money hungry power grubbing vultures. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Who does that sound like????

I can imagine you addressing a union: "You people would be so much better if you didn't ask for more money all the time. That's only for the managers to do, okay?"

I have a problem with managers doing the same.

Of course I don't see articles about city managers attempting to stop teenagers from cleaning up their cities.
Posted via Mobile Device

RJ
11-20-2009, 05:24 PM
I don't understand you guys laying all the blame for the failings of the auto manufacturers at the feet of the unions. They were just part of the equation. I went about 20 years at one point without buying an American car, but it wasn't because of prices inflated by union workers. It was because of quality, performance and styling.

I wonder if a Japanese auto worker's standard of living is the same, better or worse than his American counterpart? That would be interesting to know. I'm sure someone here can answer that.....there are generally at least a few experts in this forum on any subject you can think of.

RJ
11-20-2009, 05:26 PM
I have a problem with managers doing the same.

Of course I don't see articles about city managers attempting to stop teenagers from cleaning up their cities.
Posted via Mobile Device



Yeah, but I bet they'd be pissed if some kid came in and sat in their offices doing nothing all day for free. That's the sort of thing that could put a fella out of work.

Cannibal
11-20-2009, 08:10 PM
Corporations, Power, control, you will do as we say !

Yes, best to drop this one..

KCWolfman
11-20-2009, 09:54 PM
Yeah, but I bet they'd be pissed if some kid came in and sat in their offices doing nothing all day for free. That's the sort of thing that could put a fella out of work.

Eh, I just don't see that happening. The development was not private, business is.

The arrogance and over balance of power in favor of bullying unions is plain and present here. This isn't a case of a band of common workers joining against the evils of big business. This is a power mad group telling everyone they know they are in charge and will not accept further disruption in their money grubbing processes against a volunteer group of kids.
Posted via Mobile Device

RJ
11-20-2009, 10:24 PM
Eh, I just don't see that happening. The development was not private, business is.

The arrogance and over balance of power in favor of bullying unions is plain and present here. This isn't a case of a band of common workers joining against the evils of big business. This is a power mad group telling everyone they know they are in charge and will not accept further disruption in their money grubbing processes against a volunteer group of kids.
Posted via Mobile Device


Yeah, I don't see it happening either. I was joking. I really need to learn more about smilie use.