Great moments in public employee unionism

“A Metro worker blamed for falsifying records about the tunnel fans that failed during last year’s deadly smoke incident near L’Enfant Plaza has been granted his job back by an arbitration panel — and Metro’s largest union has just filed a lawsuit against Metro because the worker hasn’t been reinstated yet.” [WTOP]


  • The real problem–once the smoke clears and the dust settles, this cautionary tale won’t change any behaviors on the part of management, and it’s likely they won’t fight hard to keep from having to reinstate this guy.

    Creative idea: Metro could do its own ads outlining these sorts of things.

  • Those who tout arbitration as alternative dispute resolution are not happy when they get burned by a bad decision.

  • Labor arbitration and other varieties of arbitration are about as similar to each other as lightning and a lightning bug, though.

  • Ok, he falsifies the safety checks, 3 people die and not only is he not arrested, he gets his job back?

    Normally the response would be, “what does he have to do, kill someone”. But that didn’t work. So, what DOES he have to do to lose his job?

    • And of course the real problem becomes that the Metro can never fire anyone for falsifying records because the defense to the arbitrator will always be “the other guys do it and another arbitrator said he couldn’t be fired.”

      The Metro is stuck with employees that lie, put people in danger and can’t be fired.

    • “So, what DOES he have to do to lose his job?”

      Be convicted for a felony level crime committed on the job.

  • It looks like criminal prosecution is essential. If the guy is sent to prison, presumably he can be fired for not showing up at work. One could offer a pre-trial diversion if he resigns from the job. (One would need to reserve the ability to restart the prosecution if an arbitrator threw out the resignation.)

  • […] That Friday tale from the Washington, D.C. Metro system was just the start. “The North Miami police officer who shot an unarmed, black mental health worker caring for a patient actually took aim at the autistic man next to him, but missed, the head of the police union said Thursday.” [Miami Herald] Meanwhile, in Oregon, a gross-receipts tax proposal backed by public employee unions and schools lobby could spell the end for Powell’s Books of Portland. [Interview with Emily Powell on Measure 97, Business Tribune] […]