Thursday, June 10

Unions Force DC Metro to Retain Criminals as Employees

Take this example of how unions protect the worst workers:
A Metrobus driver fired after a deadly crash into a taxi and another canned for slugging a cop dressed as McGruff the Crime Dog are back at Metro, The Washington Examiner has learned.

Both men won their jobs back plus months of retroactive pay, the result of an arbitration decision between the bus drivers union and the transit agency. One driver is getting paid to sit at home while the agency determines where to place him. The other is expected to return to driving a Metrobus later this month.

"Neither of these incidents should have ever happened," Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said. The agency stands behind its decisions to fire the drivers, but Farbstein said Metro does not believe it has legal grounds to overturn the arbitrators' rulings. - Washington Examiner
Really, how could this guy get his job back?:
Metro officials also objected to the reinstatement of Shawn Brim, who pulled his bus over near Spring Road and 14th Street NW on Feb. 28, 2009, disembarked and punched in the head an off-duty police officer dressed as McGruff the Crime Dog, who educates children about crime prevention.

Metro fired Brim on March 6, 2009. "We . . . terminated him for violating workplace rules, as there shall be no workplace violence," Farbstein said. Brim was found guilty of simple assault in D.C. Superior Court and received a 15-day suspended sentence and six months of probation.

But Vaughn, the arbitrator, decided that Brim's actions, although illegal and inappropriate, were not undertaken with malicious intent. Vaughn based his decision on witness statements, including those of the police officer, Tyrone Hardy, Metro officials said.

Vaughn reduced Brim's penalty to a 30-day suspension and awarded him back pay for the rest of the time. Farbstein did not know the value of back pay awarded in either case.

"The fact that the arbitrator would put them back in the driver's seat is shocking to us," Farbstein said of the drivers. - Washington Post
Putting these people back to work does a dis-service to every other Metro employee, because as far as I am concerned, they all punched McGruff the crime dog. Or at least any Metro driver could be a criminal, because the Union forces Metro to employ criminals. Since we do not know which ones are the bad employees, we have to treat all of them with suspicion.

And this is the basic problem with unions. They re-distribute what would be rewards for the best employees to those employees who either do not deserve them or do not deserve to be employed as well.

And this might be one reason why you see a decline of union representation in the private workforce. By not having a union, you can come to an agreement with your employer about salary and benefits. Sure, these are often standardized. However, corporations have a freer hand to reward their best performers, and that does give employees an incentive to improve.

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