Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Fire All Striking BART Workers Now!

The unionized employees of BART are on strike.  They are under the delusion that their skills are irreplaceable.  I've got news for them.  They are as irreplaceable as this hole I just punched in the air with my fist.

The skill required to drive a BART train is about as elementary as it gets.  I've peeked inside the BART train control cabin several times in my many years of riding the trains around the Bay Area.  You know something?  I'm convinced I could drive the train myself with a couple of hours' worth of instruction.  It's nowhere near as difficult as driving a two-axle, four-tire, single unit automobile, which any teenager can do after passing a written test and a few minutes of live evaluation.  The BART train operator has a couple of buttons to push and a speed control.  That's about it.  Oh yeah, they have to look out the window briefly while approaching or leaving a platform to ensure some crazy idiot doesn't jump onto the tracks seeking martyrdom.  That is not a six-figure job by any stretch of the imagination.

The mechanics do not deserve to make six figures either.  Armored vehicle mechanics in the military work on systems much more complex than an electric train, making a fraction of the salary.  If the spoiled union mechanics don't want their jobs, there are plenty of ambitious military veterans who would love to take those jobs.  How unpatriotic of those striking union slobs to stand in the way of veterans' development, and on the cusp of our nation's Independence Day no less.

Here's a searchable database of BART employee compensation.  Look at these wasteful pay levels.  It's bad enough to see station agents making $62K for an entry-level job requiring no skill beyond pushing a couple of buttons.  It's totally abhorrent to see "assistant managers" making $200K for pushing paper.  Perhaps the out-of-control stupidity on pay isn't entirely the union's fault if the greed starts at the top.  Across-the-board pay cuts for managers and workers would solve that in a jiffy.

Here's the very generous retirement plan available to BART employees.  They get both a deferred compensation plan and a money purchase plan (i.e., much like a 401(k) plan).  That is comparable to the plans available to highly-compensated professionals in financial services whose occupations are far more intellectually demanding than running trains.

Every day this strike continues causes enormous disruption to the Bay Area's economy.  People need to get to work, for crying out loud.  The taxes levied on the private sector pay these BART idiots' salaries.

These striking transit workers make me sick to my stomach.  None of them deserve jack squat.  Fire them all immediately.  They can then have the life-enhancing experience of finding productive jobs with no cushy breaks.  They deserve no more sympathy for their union-induced greed than the union musicians of the San Francisco Symphony whom I so rightfully took to task during their own strike.  Both of these groups serve the public.  Both of them have widely held skill sets that are easily replicable.  Neither of them have garnered any public sympathy with their immature tantrums.  Neither of them deserve to be rewarded with employment for their greed.