Contract workers fucking it up for everyone

Two big stories in the news this week where contract workers were used in place of Union workers and/or career employees, and promptly fucked things up royally.

First, we have the explosive decompression of an airplane, and the terrifying flight back to the airport while the passengers wore those drop-down plastic masks. Sweating, praying and pants-wetting all around, I am sure. The cause of the hole in the fuselage? Scab workers ran into it with a forklift.

An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said baggage handlers had bumped the plane’s fuselage with loading equipment and caused “a crease” in the side of the aircraft. The handlers are contract workers hired to replace unionized workers in May.

About 20 minutes after takeoff, the crease blew into a 1-foot-by-6-inch hole, said Jim Struhsaker, an NTSB senior air-safety investigator.

Good thing those awful union workers weren’t around to slow things down with their silly “procedures” and “policies.”

Additionally, some private company was kind enough to provide the Red Cross with some contract workers who promptly milked the system for cash meant for Katrina victims.

This is what happens when the race for the bottom line throws out people who know their jobs and replaces them with people who will work on the cheap. You get what you pay for.

I had a long discussion on the train last night with someone who was downing transit workers for striking to protect their pensions. Look, you pay people in the public sector crap wages in exchange for good pensions and decent benefits. That’s the trade-off. Going back on that deal as these folks approach retirement is dishonorable and cheap. If they strike and they are fired for striking, then replaced with scab labor, well, you get what you pay for. Do you really want some guy who the temp agency provided driving your train?

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