I said, young man, pick your trash off the ground

The SEIU held a protest in Downtown Crossing yesterday to protest the T's decision to let janitors go.

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The poor quality of the work

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The poor quality of the work demonstrated by the MBTA's janitorial staff doesn't reflect well on the SEIU.

Can't iRobot or some company in Kendall Square give us an automated solution for cleaning trains and tunnels?

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Well that's the thing. I

Well that's the thing. I think unions have a purpose, but the minute they stop focusing on members' quality of work and start focusing more on ensuring those precious 15-minute breaks (and yes, they are precious, but so are clean trains) they seem to lose relevance these days.

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They lose their relevance

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when they fight for employees who have grossly neglected their duties.

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outsourcing janitor jobs to low wage low benifit jobs has costs

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MBTA janitor is not a glamorous job or in its essence, interesting, but it must be done with care. With the union, these guys are able to earn enough to help support a family, to pay rent, buy their own food and clothing, take earned time off and save for retirement.

Their next job could be earning minimum wage without benefits, without healthcare, with less self-sufficiency and more dependence on government programs like SNAP, MassHealth and housing subsidy. And not enough income to save for retirement.

Outsourcing, or privatization, to non union labor lowers the bar. It turns quality jobs into low wage jobs that society pays for. Private interests put the savings in their pockets instead of the pockets of lower middle class employees who live in the community. There are real costs to privatization and they are born by you the taxpayer and the family that lives of the ragged edge of poverty dependent on govt assistance.

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Not exactly

The plan is reported as replacing about 30% of union janitors with outsourced contract ones.

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Not Not Exactly

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No, the union janitors are outsourced already. They are not being replaced by anyone under the MBTA's plan.

Eh the T is by far the

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Eh the T is by far the cleanest transit system I've been on, so maybe they could spare a few anyway.

This is painful to watch though.

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The DC Metro used to be

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The DC Metro used to be cleaner (although I haven't been on it in years now). They had a super-strict and strictly-enforced no food or beverages policy (tickets for bottled water!), though, which we do not, and I always assumed that was why there was such a big difference. When I lived there I found it uncivilized not to be able to have a coffee on the subway, but now when I wind up on a bus next to a person shelling and eating pistachios, I remember why we can't have nice things.

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But not as frequent as the T (usually)

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When visiting on a weekend I discovered the trains on the Red line in D.C. during the early evening ran every 20 minutes. For all the problems of the T at least they tend to run more frequently.

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Yeah. They may be cleaner,

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Yeah. They may be cleaner, but they have a number of other drawbacks. I don't know if they still do this, but at rush hours, every other red line train only ran for the middle part of the line - roughly the equivalent of every other train only going from Harvard to Field's Corner or North Quincy - so if you lived at the end of the line, distance-based fare plus peak fare surcharges meant you were paying nearly twice as much for half as much service, which really rankled when you were sweating it out on a platform in the July heat. Don't miss it.

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Its more than likely

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that 90% of the people in that video have no association with the T, their paid protesters. SEIU is an utter disgrace.

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Solidarity

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Yep. That.

99% of corporate lobbyists and legal whores aren't employees of the corporations they lobby and whore for, too.

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No labor union

has an article of incorporation with any state or federal agency. If you want to make up stuff you should become a conservative blogger.

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Ok

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So their special interest groups, similar to lobbyist.

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They operationally are

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They operationally are corporations with members as shareholders. A cartel is a cartel be it labor or business.

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but then wouldn't you expect

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but then wouldn't you expect they'd be able to sing & dance in time with the music.......?

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Yikes.

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The flash mob seemed to take the participants by as much surprise as it did the audience.

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I see the janitor at the NQ

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I see the janitor at the NQ stop mopping and sweeping almost every day, so he lost his job :( ?

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Way to loosen hold of unions?

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The MFA did the same thing a few years ago. They refused to renew a contract with long time union maintenance employees in favor of out sourcing.

I think this is a trend that the T is simply following. It's not that different from outsourcing manufacturing. It's all about saving money.

But penny saved = (British) pound foolish. Example is Amazon: By catering to the lowest common denominator of lowest price one super retailer has devastated the book retail industry. Same goes for Walmart decimating small town retail districts. By promising the lowest price the majority of consumers allow themselves to become enslaved to a tyranny of lowest price, forgetting that lowest prices equals low wages which equals full time employees still needing government assistance.

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