In Boston, the big local story today is about the Democratic National Convention (DNC). The DNC is always in the news in some fashion. Usually the stories focus on some negative aspect of the convention such as the traffic implications or the budget concerns. All fair game, indeed, though the Boston Herald beats the calamity drum a little hard. You'd almost think it was owned by a hard right-winger.
Today, though, the story is slightly different. It's a labor problem. The Boston Police Patrolmen's Association (police union) is picketing in front of the Fleet Center, the venue for the DNC. They don't have a current contract and there seem to be some negotiating problems so they're taking the opportunity to make their voices heard. By blocking the loading dock with their picket line, they prevent the arrival of material and equipment needed inside the Fleet Center for the DNC.
Yesterday was to have been the start of the set-up inside the Fleet and some 16 tractor-trailers full of stuff for that purpose were turned back. The Teamster drivers refused to cross a picket line, even one set up by a public employees' union. Interestingly, the company president gave a quote to the paper. He said, essentially, "We've been Teamsters for 30 (?) years. We don't cross picket lines." That's from the company president. He seems to have a weak grasp of the role of management. Either that, or he made so much money as an overpaid truck driver that he can afford to lose business, and he must also be the owner because any owner would fire a president who encouraged his employees to sit on their asses rather than do their jobs. Which is a nice segue to what should be done about the bunch of thieves masquerading as law enforcement officers with a labor dispute.
They should all be fired. Every one. Boston cops are among the highest paid in the country. The average salary is something like $80,000. (If you're so inclined, Google it. There was a big story about their pay in Boston media about two months ago.) They have no business complaining about it. The DNC is a major security event. It is, by Presidential directive, a National Special Security Event requiring the Secret Service and the FBI and the DHS to coordinate security with state and local agencies to protect the numerous dignitaries in particular, and the whole event in general, from attack. BPD and Secret Service are the lead agencies for protection. To have BPD officers picketing the venue they are charged to protect is dangerous. They will be confused about their role and mission and will be thinking about paychecks rather than public safety. To make it worse, they are refusing to work voluntary overtime and paid details (the existence of which in the first instance could be the subject of a book but which are viewed as a birthright by BPD officers) thus endangering the public further. They are creating a public safety hazard. That is directly contrary to their sworn duty and they should be fired for it.
A BPPA spokesman said their purpose was to extort money from the city. Well, those weren't his exact words. He said the city has plenty of money for the DNC and "we want our piece of the pie."
Shine it up if you like. Call it bargaining. Call it hard tactics. I call it extortion.
I'm disgusted. They disgrace their shields.