Chicago's Mayor Immanuel apparently has a target list of some 600 people that will be laid off. He hopes to save several hundred million dollars by doing so. The unions are screaming bloody murder.
There are two reasons their cries, when they reach me, will fall on unsympathetic ears.
1. The unions have, over many years, 'padded' jobs extensively. Padded? Example that has been seen recently on TV: Three men crewed a truck that the City of Chicago sent out to change light bulbs in an alley fixture - three men whose salaries totaled almost $200,000 a year. One drove the truck. One sat in a chair, at ground level, and observed the man in the 'cherry picker' who actually changed the bulb.
Private companies change bulbs in parking lot fixtures (of similar type to the alley lights) with one man. In a quarter of the time it takes the three man City crew.
Thank you, Labor Unions. BTW - I am NOT anti-union. I AM anti-union excesses.
2. Yesterday, 17 people were laid off at the place where I work. Everyone is sad and depressed right now. Morale is low. But those people who left did so with dignity. They were made aware that they hadn't done anything wrong - their jobs were eliminated as the Company leans out in order to survive. Unpleasant? Yes. Not fair - in some ways. But you won't find them on television complaining.
Perhaps City workers in Chicago need to take a lesson from Private Industry - the people who work every day and pay the taxes that those City workers take home in their paychecks. As a matter of fact, public workers all over the country need to take those lessons - and they need to remember that it's time for everybody to bite the bullet.