Government Reform

Is The Cleaning of Toilets a Core Government Function?

|

Forget getting in the gutter to screw over a political opponent. Politico reports on a story from Milwaukee in which union workers affiliated with Democrats are getting in the toilet to protest the outsourcing of janitorial sources in the Beer City county courthouse by a GOP gubernatorial hopeful Scott Walker:

As part of Walker's decision to outsource some government services, 25 members of the courthouse's janitorial staff were laid off. In protest, only four of the 20 scheduled to work show up on December 11 – their last day of work and the day news cameras recorded video of the restrooms.

Still images taken from the report of clogged toilets, overflowing trash cans and used paper towels are posted on the state Democratic Party's website and linked to high up on the Wisconsin Democrats homepage.

Do you get that? Public-sector janitors walk off the job because they're pissed; trash and other awful stuff piles up (as is to be expected); and the slacker janitors and their Dem overlords expect this is an argument in their favor?

Color me stupid, but I don't get the logic here. If anything, this sort of pique will almost certainly make every sap who had to use the bathroom that day vote GOP for at least the next six months, especially if the new, privatized crew is halfway on the ball.

As Walker's communciations person notes, as county executive Walker cut the public workforce by 20 percent, cut debt by 10 percent, and didn't raise taxes during eight years in office:

"Not surprising, the public employee union bosses are yet again fighting his proposals to cut spending tooth and nail, this time encouraging their county employees to ditch work during the transitioning of housekeeping services – the outsourcing of which will end up saving 2.6 million in taxpayer dollars."

Memo to public employees unions: Nobody cares who cleans the toilets as long as they stay clean. But when they get dirty, voters are not going to blame a work crew that doesn't start until 2010. They're going to blame people who were still getting paid and didn't show up for work.

NEXT: U.S. Pledges to Contribute to $100 Billion Climate Aid Fund

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Wow, stay classy there Milwaukee janitors…

  2. Don’t you understand? Those janitors are oppressed. They agreed to give up wages in the present, in exchange for lifetime job security and health care and pensions.

    A contract was signed; the city is obligated to keep those guys on the job FOREVER.

  3. this sort of pique will almost certainly make every sap who had to use the bathroom that day vote GOP for at least the next six months

    And this will almost certainly make every sap who had to use the bathroom that day vote libertarian.

    (Not safe for lunch.)

    1. Wow. Knew a plumber once who was invited into a house once to fix something like that. He took one look at it and told them he would do it for $500 in cash up front, plus costs. The folks in the house knew they had no choice and had to find $500. He brought in a trash can, unbolted the toilet, and just pushed it right in. Then made them go buy a new toilet and cleaning supplies. He scrubbed the place out and put the new toilet in. Made them take care of the toilet in their trash. Took him a few hours to do it all, but he made decent money. The folks who hired him really had no choice. If they’d bothered to fix it when it first plugged it would have been no problem, but they didn’t bother to maintain anything…

      1. A plumber acquaintance of mine has a business card that reads: “Your shit is my bread and butter.”

  4. LOL this one is priceless. Essentially, they tried the Garbage Strike play. Except for a couple of things 1) Refuse collection is usually a monopoly and not easily outsourced 2) Tends to have a protection racket or union (same thing) CITYWIDE, not restricted to one place.

    A few commodes and lavatories, relatively easy to fix.

    Citywide refusal of refuse removal, not quite so easy to fix.

    Is anyone surprised these janitorial geniuses epically failed?

    1. It’s also better to do this before the contract to replace you has already been signed.

  5. Well, when you consider there is so much CRAP in government, I would say so!

    Jess
    http://www.HideMyStuff.net

    1. No shit. That was disturbingly spot-on. I think the bots are evolving.

  6. Never underestimate the capacity of liberals to overplay their hand.

  7. Democrats = fuckbags.

  8. I’m all for more efficient government and I’m all for Republicans having to wallow in their own shit. What’s the problem here?

  9. The filling of toilets is most certainly a government function. I can’t speak to the cleaning of same.

  10. Public-sector janitors walk off the job because they’re pissed; trash and other awful stuff piles up (as is to be expected); and the slacker janitors and their Dem overlords expect this is an argument in their favor? Color me stupid, but I don’t get the logic here.

    How does it differ from any other strike or job action? Maybe I’m the one who’s missing something.

    1. It doesn’t endear anyone to their cause. It makes people welcome the new janitors even more once they are on duty, presuming the new janitors aren’t overpaid crybabies like the unions hacks they are replacing. Afterall, they are replacing those union hacks because they are cheaper.

  11. Government employees are shitty people.

  12. In protest, only four of the 20 scheduled to work show up on December 11 ? their last day of work and the day news cameras recorded video of the restrooms.

    Isn’t it a felony in most states to record video inside a public bathroom?

  13. We’d all be better off if everybody in our core government were cleaning toilets rather than making laws and spending our money.

  14. Today in Madrid, cab drivers were on strike, protesting the city’s plans to allow private cab companies to operate in the city…..using apparently the same logic as the janitors above.

  15. Goes to show you that these service men are under appreciated.

  16. People care about low-wage employees losing their jobs. Unless, of course, they are republicans.

  17. This is a great post. I’m glad it was bumped. Otherwise I would’ve missed these very useful information.

    Regards.
    http://www.talon-direct.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.