Public Unions

SEPTA Union Boss: It's the Job I Wanted Since I Was a Kid

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Willie Brown
TWU Local 234

Over the last few months, workers for the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) have been threatening a strike via the Transit Workers Union (TWU) Local 234. The average TWU member makes $64,847 a year with overtime and they get annual pay raises of 3 percent.

The union is currently demanding lower contributions to pensions and health insurance, because apparently they have not been paying attention to the news around the country.  One of the TWU president's specific gripe is that managers receive three times as much money for their pension contributions as workers. Lowering how much managers get should fix that disparity.

The union voted yesterday to allow its president, Willie Brown, to call a strike at any time. Brown's wanted that job since he was a child, as he told Philly.com during an interview:

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?

A: A union president. When I was a little boy, a guy took me to a union function; it was a Christmas party. From that point forward, I wanted to be in a union.

Q: So, even before you became a trolley driver for SEPTA, you wanted to be TWU Local 234's leader?

A: Absolutely. I didn't come here to operate a trolley. That was my vehicle to get to the presidency. I wanted to be president from day one.

He also said the strike, which would create a burden for commuting workers throughout the Philadelphia-area and for all classes, is as much for them as it is for the union, because they "face the same issues that we have but have no one to fight for them." He didn't mention any issues and Philly.com didn't press it.

It seems hard to imagine a better advertisement for "right to work" (broadly, the right to refuse to join a union) than the idea that the well-paid union bosses representing you were never interested in the work you do insomuch as they were interested in "leading" you and enriching themselves in the process.

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  1. You know who else had no interest in work, only in being President?

    1. The head of my homeowner’s association?

    2. Sy Sperling?

    3. Comrade Numero Uno?

    4. The guy in that one episode of The Twilight Zone?

  2. “He also said the strike, which would create a burden for commuting workers throughout the Philadelphia-area and for all classes”

    I think this is the primary reason left pushes for mass transit. When people own private means of transport, they don’t care about union strikes. When people rely on unionized mass transit, a strike can shut a city down.

    1. I think this is the primary reason left pushes for mass transit.

      Nah. It’s because it is immoral to profit from basic human needs. Transportation is a basic human need, thus it should be public. Same with health care. And schools. Can’t allow the evil rich to steal immoral profit from those things, because it just isn’t fair. Even if it means that the services are more expensive and poorer quality than if they were provided by evil seekers of immoral profits.

      You are right though. The left loves organized labor because it gives them the power that they so desperately crave. And when given a choice between the power to create and the power to destroy, most on the left will choose the latter every time.

      1. I don’t think that SEPTA Union Boss has any problem with profiting from basic human needs.

        1. Profit is when you invest your own money and then see a return on that capital.

          The union boss is not profiting. He does not own a stake.

          He isn’t some evil capitalist who risks his own money for a chance to profit.

          He’s a working class hero who is gaming the system and getting his fair share!

    2. When people own private means of transport, they don’t care about union strikes.

      A city like NY or Philadelphia is not going to function without some form of mass transit.

  3. zomg! hes out for ambition and personal gain. how evil. he should start a healthin surance company which retroactively cancel spolicies of peope who get sick in order to be moral.

    1. I just watch saw 6. You would like it. They kill the health insurance guy.

    2. predicated on the use of violence and the monopoly of force

      1. He apparently thinks Obama is a Health Insurance executive.

        1. Yeah, I hear this meme a lot. Insurance companies dropping folks when they file a claim. I’m sure it’s happened a few times, but I seriously doubt it’s happened much. More than likely it’s the result of people not understanding what their policies actually cover.

          But it makes for good spin if you don’t get called on it.

  4. I enjoyed the fancy-ass parties during my dot com days. In fact, I went to work in the dot com biz because of the casual dress and rockin parties.

    Care to guess how long that lasted?

    My guess is the union will last a little longer than the dot coms, but their comeuppance will arrive.

    1. The government ones are growing. #WINNING I’m actively working to reverse that, cause govt union’s are bad, mmmkay?

      Private sector union days are already way down. Not “gone”, but “party’s over”. They used to be 30%+ of US workers. Now, what – 7% nationally? Something like that. #LOSING

      PS One quick check says, “The rate for the private sector was 6.7%, and for the public sector 35.3%.” So i’m close…

    2. Unfortunately, they take the town with them when they go.

      These people are evil.

    3. Public sector unions have a certain advantage. Their employer can lock people in a cage if they refuse to pay for services they neither want nor need. So if union demands push their employer’s finances, then their employer can simply raise taxes. It’s not like they will go out of business because people stop buying their products. People have no choice. That’s why public sector unions are nothing short of evil.

      1. They can go out of business when we have to give China CA, TX, and NY to pay down part of our debt to them, and the dollar is worth about .001 Pesos.

        1. Can’t we just give them the leadership as debt bondspeople, they were the ones who borrowed the money, after all.

      2. They have disadvantages though, like being subject to FOIA laws and having your occupation the subject of regular majority votes. I would hate to work in the public sector

    4. Care to guess how long that lasted?

      I dunno – Amazon is still around and getting “Best CEO” awards despite flushing millions down the drain. I bet they have epic parties too.

  5. This art should be required reading every Labor Day… in bizarro world obviously.

  6. SEPTA Union Boss:

    a. It’s the Job I Wanted Since I Was a Kid.

    b. I am not a thug.

    c. I do not lie.

    Multiple choice, which one of these statements is true? Please choose one.

  7. Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?

    A: A union president. When I was a little boy, a guy took me to a union function; it was a Christmas party. From that point forward, I wanted to be in a union.

    It was either Union President, or Commandant of a Labor Camp.

    1. Maybe overpaid fat lazy prison guard was 3rd on the list.

  8. I’m looking at this dude, and I’m thinking that the alt-text should be ‘I ates da childins’

  9. I think this is an odd criticism, like criticizing a sports agent for not wanting to play the sports of the players he represents.

    1. “I think this is an odd criticism, like criticizing a sports agent for not wanting to play the sports of the players he represents.”

      Ah I get it, you’re an imbecile.

      1. Equal parts classy and substantive, as usual.

  10. Is it a union requirement that you be a fat piece of shit to hold an office in the union?

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