Friday, March 4, 2011

Looking Like the Problem

Things have all been about Madison lately for very good reason, however an editorial in the JT today threads the needle between the dialog in Madison and a drama playing out at City Hall.

Local 67 has filed a grievance with the City for hiring additional private contractors during the blizzard snow removal process in early February. Clearly this was an extraordinary situation, the City feels justified not only from a contractual standpoint, but from a public service position. The streets needed to be cleared fast.

The Siren gives the JT hell plenty, but they were correct on this one. Even more, as the entire nation debates the relevance of public sector unions and their contracts with our municipalities, this grievance plays on all the stereotypes people have and fear about unions. How unfortunate.

The Siren suspects this grievance was filed more for political reasons than for real harm done to the workers of Local 67. The President of Local 67 has been actively supporting the Mayor's opponent, Eric Marcus for the Spring election, and his wife has openly endorsed Marcus as well. Our feeling is that this was designed to make the Mayor look bad.

Sadly the opposite has happened. Local 67 looks like the greedy and inflexible organization far too many people associate with public worker unions and that is a real shame. That is was done to the detriment of the workers for seemingly political reasons is something the entire organization should look at very seriously.