Wednesday, March 01, 2006

You Knew I'd Be Pissed About This

Right then, another fare hike.
Another year of no improvements.
Another lame excuse.
And yet another reason to HATE UNIONS.
Really, does an organization as small as the MBTA need 30 unions?
I'm not familiar with the details, but why?
So say you've got your unions for the people who repair the trains and drive the trains, and maybe another for the conductors.
Who else is part of a union?
The cleaners?
I'm pretty sure they're 3rd party contracts, not T employees.
The management?
Nope, they are definitely not unionized.
Who else then?
In reality, you don't need any unions, as this country has LABOR LAWS.
The only people benefitting from the union are the union bosses.
The T has raised fares about 54% since I started taking it daily into Boston, say in the last 6 years or so.
I want to rage quite a bit longer on the fare hike, but I've got so much to say that I can't type as fast as my mind is grinding away.


Anonymous said...

Let's see...

A union to do electrical work, another for plumbing, another for carpentry, another for welders, another for inspectors, another for secretaries, a few unions for lower and middle managers and on and on and on

Can't We All Just Get Along? said...

My landlord's a nice guy and good electrician. He's also in a union and proud of it. But even he thinks the unions in the gov't service agencies are outta control.

One does wonder why a union is necessary in the public sector. I mean, it's not subject to the vagaries of the market. Nor is there a quarterly stock target to meet by laying off tons of people. I suppose you could argue that you'd have the fox guarding the henhouse in that the government who enforces the labor laws is the same government who's responsible for adhering to them...but I suspect that in reality, there's too many layers of government between the two offices that it wouldn't matter.

I imagine the only reason why the unions have gotten so powerful is that historically they've made major impacts on who gets elected, so anyone who tries to break a union gets voted out in short order. After all, look at how Menino caved to the police & fire unions before the DNC in '04.

transport avenger said...

Yes, for the most part, I'd say that union guys and girls are hard workers,a nd should - mainly - be proud of their unions.
However, people should really take a look at what their union gets them compared to what they give the union.
Sure, they get inflated pay rates and inexpensive or even free healthcare.
But who really pays for the benefits? The people who are basically forced to hire them in the first place at their higher than market rates.
Anyway, this blog is about the T, not unions, so let's move on...

Mister Goat said...

After reading the rationale for fare hikes, I see nothing in it that indicates that union salaries are responsible. why are you putting the blame there, instead of on factors like the state-madated forward-funding system, which has left the T without sufficient money? If you're going to pick a bad guy here, you should at least say why.

transport avenger said...

Yes, there are a myriad of reasons, including forward funding.
However, as I said above, union employess are generally paid higher than market rates.
Ask any economist why Toyota, Honda and other foreign car makers are doing well while Detroit is crashing.
A huge expense in any business is labor.
If the T got rid of the labor unions, they could hire people at fair market value, saving money.
This isn't a political blog however, so I'll leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

I don't really think it's the unions that are effecting this. The MBTA is a corrupt and poorly managed agency. It would be good to reform the unions but I think there are much larger problems to fix first.