Headline of the Day: Public Sector Union Edition

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"Metrobus driver that punched McGruff the crime dog rehired"

That headline from today's Washington Examiner says a lot about the sorry state of public sector unionism in America. From the story:

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.

Steven Greenhut explained how public servants became our masters in Reason's February issue.

(Via Josh Barro's Twitter feed.)

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  1. WTF?

    1. Don’t worry ProL. They learned their lesson.

  2. 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.

    Another victory for Truth, Justice, and the American Way!

  3. another canned for slugging a cop dressed as McGruff the Crime Dog are back at Metro

    I’m torn.

    1. Hey, he was a great player.

    2. How was he not charged with “assaulting an officer”? Oh wait, McGruff is retired.

      1. He should get in the Hall of Fame, if you ask me. Then again, since he’s from Tampa and played for my two favorite teams (the Braves and the Rays), I probably can’t make an unbiased judgment.

        1. Hall of Pretty Good? yes
          Hall of Fame? no

  4. Shawn Brim was fired after he pulled over his bus on Feb. 28, 2009, and punched an off-duty cop dressed as McGruff the Crime Dog.

    If there’s no more to this story, and he’s just a guy who turns into an unstoppable fist of rage whenever he sees McGruff, FUCK YEAH.

  5. another canned for slugging a cop dressed as McGruff the Crime Dog are back at Metro

    So the guy punched a cop and didn’t get shot? Is this from The Onion?

    1. The cop was wearing a dog outfit. I’m surprised he didn’t shoot himself.

      1. I didn’t intentionally plagiarize Sage. I promise.

        1. No worries – that was a good one.

    2. I shoved a uniformed cop and didn’t suffer any consequence. I was with my father, who was bothered that someone was sitting on his car hood, complained, and the guy shoved him at the shoulders. So he complained to a policeman, who asked us what had happened.

      It was the opp’ty of a lifetime. The cop was a little guy, and my father said what the person had said, and when asked what he did, rather than describing it, I turned to the cop and said, “This.” He staggered back a couple of steps.

      My father later said I had to watch it, not knowing my own strength. He couldn’t believe it when I said I’d done it on purpose.

  6. It’s funny; while reading the “morning links” thread about Border Patrol agents shooting kids for throwing rocks, I was thinking, “New York should issue sidearms to the bus drivers, so they could just shoot anybody who spits at them.”

    1. No way the drivers would go for that. It would deter people from spitting, and there goes their two months paid time off.

      1. You’re not thinking it through, sage. Whether they exact vengeance on the passenger is irrelevant in whether they were spat upon.

        1. Sounds like a scam to me.

          1. And it’s a great one. Public unions never lose.

  7. If I were a cop I don’t know that I’d want to dress up as a dog. I’d be afraid of being shot by my coworkers.

    1. Repeatedly.

    2. That was pretty awesome!

    3. The K-9 unit must live in constant fear…

  8. I’m conflicted. Root against the statist propaganda symbol or the crazy public employee. Privatization would let me feel better because the lawsuit would be screwing some corporation. No, wait…

    1. I would prefer a Mexican standoff, where they both pull the trigger at the same instant.

  9. Another victory for arbitration!

    Incompetent, violent and deadly… these two are truly the face of public sector unions.

    1. Don’t forget lazy and insolent!

      1. Self-righteous and entitled. How could you leave those out?

        1. We prefer the term “humanized”.

      2. Homer: “Oh, I always wanted to be a Teamster. So lazy and surly.”

    2. If that’s the “face”, I don’t want to know what the other side looks like.

      1. Their wiping each other’s ass with big wads of taxpayer money.

        1. Thanks for the visual.

  10. McGruff is insidious. Using a cuddly cartoon doggy to lure our children into a lifetime of being a boring law-abiding jerkass….it’s monstrous.

    1. I’m sure McGruff works as well as DARE or all those “Just Say No” ads I saw as a child. Which is to say, not at all.

      1. Drug education programs, like sex education programs, can work pretty well if your definition of “work” is “improve the kids’ knowledge of the subject matter.” What they don’t “work” at is changing behavior– something perhaps comforting.

      2. DARE to keep kids off Ritalin.

        1. D.A.R.E.- Drugs Are Really Expensive
          Paid for by Partnership for Free Drugs in America. just an example of what i retained from high school.

        2. but but but but, Ritalin is a Medicine! It’s makes teh childrenz healthier!

          Oh, but its the guy selling crack who wants to hook your kids when they’re young.

  11. Both these cases are not clear cut. For the driver in the fatal crash, there is was no citation for running the light, and the driver contends he didn’t. For the guy who was convicted of battering the cop, he says he was joking, and cops are notoriously humorless crybabies.

    1. The killer driver still cost the transit authority an undisclosed sum to settle with the family. Anything else happens, even something that’s not his direct fault, and the victims have an exponentially higher chance of getting massive damages.

      Is the arbitrator board going to pay out for that? The union?

      1. Of course not. All we need to do is pluck a few more leaves from the money tree.

        1. Get your money-grubbin ass outta my orchard!

    2. He was joking? That’s a valid defense to punching someone, even a cop?

      1. This is a dispute between a bus driver and a cop and you are taking the cops side? Seriously?

    3. So, I guess the position is that a union driver should never be fired, no matter how many people he kills, unless he gets a ticket first? WTF?

      I wasn’t aware that “I was just joking” was a defense to assault and battery. I’ll keep that in mind.

      1. In the joking battery defense, which arose from the pie-in-the-face line of cases, if the defendant can show that a humorous motive intervened in his forming the requisite intent to cause harmful or offensive contact, then he is not liable for battery.

  12. As much as I’ve wanted to punch McGruff, on a public bus and by a bus driver is still a bad idea. It being a cop makes it funnier, but I’m still coming down on the side of bus drivers not assaulting riders except in self-defense.

    But then I’m not as wise as a arbitrator.

  13. Unions allegedly protect the laboring class from their evil capitalist exploiters.

    Public sector unions, having no capitalist exploiters to do battle with, just pick the taxpayers pockets instead. The whole concept of public sector unions is a non sequitur.

    Any politician campaigning on “I will not negotiate with nor recognize public sector unions” gets my vote. Fuck those lazy bastards at the department of records.

  14. You know what is weird about this? Public employees should be held to higher standards, not lower ones.

  15. Let’s not jump to conclusions. These guys weren’t reinstated because of some arbitrary union rule. Their cases went before a mediator, and the mediator found in their favor (or at least, found they shouldn’t have been fired). We don’t know the details behind their defenses, so we don’t know whether their original firing was justified.

    Look at it another way: the government agency that employed them fired them but then was ordered by an independent mediator to reinstate them. Don’t you think it’s at least possible that said government agency didn’t give their side of the story a fair hearing?

    1. You are kidding. This is a libertarian publication. Of course we believe everything that public sector middle managers say. And cops dressed in animal suits on propaganda detail. Those people are trustworthy. But bus drivers. … HATE!

    2. These guys weren’t reinstated because of some arbitrary union rule. Their cases went before a mediator,

      Let’s not jump to conclusions here that the mediator was unbiased, or that the fact that the cases went before said mediator wasn’t because of an arbitrary union rule

    3. It’s possible, even likely, that the “independent arbitration” organization was agreed upon in contract language between the unions and the politicians they elect.

      That way, when the government fires people for cause, the politicians can say “hey, the benevolent government we administer did the right thing” and the union still gets to save every single one of their sorry asses. Everybody wins except guess who?

    4. NLRB looks at it this way. If you’re an employer and you catch your unionized emplolyees stealing your inventory with a security camera and you discipline them. The NLRB could rule that you should have negotiated where the security cameras were placed. If you didn’t negotiate the camera placement and tell the union members where the cameras are, they’ve got a ligitimate greivance against you. No discipline, back pay owed. The NLRB has seriously taken that position. NLRB, mediators, abitrators are full of saps that want to go home at the end of the day and feel like they’ve really helped out “the small guy”, and who cares who’s money it with.

  16. Public employees should be held to higher standards, not lower ones.

    This is a joke, right?

    Right?

    1. Note that I said “should be” not “are.” Remember, I’m the guy who thinks we should have a fourth branch of government filled with people who can relatively easily remove others from office.

      1. Fourth Branch? Don’t we already pay for Garbagemen?

  17. Don’t you think it’s at least possible that said government agency didn’t give their side of the story a fair hearing?

    No.

    1. Well, touche. You have more faith in government agencies than I do.

  18. You have more faith in government agencies than I do.

    Nice try.

    Actually, my “faith” runs the other way; I assume there are at least fifty other bus drivers whose incompetence or misbehavior deserves to be rewarded with termination, but these two egregious examples were all the Transit Authority could muster the backbone to pursue.

  19. I so need a job where I can punch someone without being fired and get paid to sit at home and play video games.

    Too bad the government is on a perpetual hiring freeze.

  20. While working in civil service, NOT UNION, I used to say you had to kill someone or come back dirty on a drug test to get fired. I guess I have to shorten that line.

  21. Hey all you dopes (like me) that went to law school, they probably make over $100K a year: http://www.examiner.com/a-6696…..n_pay.html

  22. I prefer McThief, the crime cat.

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