Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cleaning up, the union way

Montreal had a municipal ruling that “forced” citizen of the city to clean the area in front of their home or business to keep the city clean. Sometime ago, the unionized city workers challenged that rule on the ground that it violated their work agreement with the city. Apparently, “forcing” the citizen to clean up after themselves is the same thing as asking unpaid workers to do the work that a unionized worker should be paid to do. Now, I’m wondering about two things related to that: Wouldn’t Montrealer’s clean up after themselves if the law didn’t exist? Why did Montreal need the law for in the first place? Aren’t the union worker paid for this work already?

‘Cause that what the mediator seems to be saying. The union worker won their case based on their argument that the citizen were “stealing” unionized job when they cleaned up as dictated by the law. So on hand, you could say that Montrealers are dirty; they need a law to clean up in front of their home for god’s sake! And on the other hand, you could say that Montreal’s city workers should be fired for demonstrably having failed at part of their job. Come on the city was dirty enough to need a municipal law forcing people to clean up when the unionized worker were apparently already paid to clean up. Unless of course the municipal law was added without a real need, just as part of some politician’s campaign for votes, but well from what I’ve seen of Montreal that’s not the case. I wonder how the union would react if the city choose to fire the workers responsible for the city cleanliness after that ruling, I bet they wouldn’t agree with this interpretation.

Still, one last though, there shouldn’t be a need for such a law. People should be reasonable enough to clean up after their house and the area around it. Sure it’s suck cleaning when someone else made the mess in front of your house but it beats having your house right being a big mess no?

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