Tuesday, June 12, 2012
TRIMET EXECS TRYING TO INTENTIONALLY BANKRUPT TRIMET?
Trimet watchers have to really wonder what is actually going on behind the public facade.
Mcfarlane decided to "impose his will" on the union employees.
He did that by quoting a law that says he could make those kind of decisions. In the same body of that law it said if that did indeed happen to employees they had the right to strike.
Nobody challenged his decision or decided to take advantage of the second part of that law, the right to strike.
He then instructed his budget staff to redesign the budget with all of his 'imposed' savings taken into account.
A very devious move by a very devious man. At no time should Trimet's budget been redesigned assuming that Trimet would win in the end.
But the brilliant part of his strategy worked. With the help of the corporate media, he was able to be the first public executive in Oregon to publicly join the world wide movement against unionized labor. And his strategy worked with the sector of the population who are traditionally against organized labor. He also made Trimet budget problems focus on the union rather than the mismanagement of the Trimet executives.
Remember that several years ago he "imposed" (which is what Mcfarlane does) a hiring freeze and even threatened layoffs? It went on for two years.
Then one day, as if by magic, that all disappeared.
There was never any explanation given for the wild turn around, but it started with Mcfarlane hiring numerous new executives. Now they are hiring like there is no tomorrow, loads of new drivers and even bringing back the cleaning crews
I suppose now that this was a grand bluff to the union, the problem now is that Trimet created serious driver shortage which has resulted in RUSHING new drivers into full time service.
Not exactly a SAFETY FIRST attitude.
Mcfarlane then created a horribly hostile work environment for his union employees.
Bad enough they allowed some employees to be hung out to dry, but Mcfarlane took his problems with the union public.
He started making comments like "Trimet is being turned into a health agency over a transit agency" and Trimet union employees have the richest benefits in the country! Ridiculously absurd, but an ignorant public believes everything that is thrown at them (actually to the citizens of Portland's credit, his lies were not routinely accepted) (by the way, I have heard the EXACT SAME LANGUAGE used in other fights in other parts of the country)
So the drivers now are dealing with a resentful public, not the kind of thing a person with any sort of ethics would do. All the while 'clamping down' on all sorts of other things. We all became the enemy! Many long time drivers (me included) ran for the hills. We left because Trimet became a very horrible work environment. Maybe he wanted the experienced staff out, I can't for the life of me understand why he would want that. The worst disaster in TRIMET HISTORY was caused by an inexperienced driver. Sandi Day had been an operator only five years when things went terribly wrong. It takes 10 years of safe driving to be able to call yourself a "PRO" as a bus driver. ( I had 15) So what does it get for Trimet to make all of us want to leave? Now I get my little pension and my health care. Rather than working for it I get it for free. That adds to the expenses of Trimet and hiring a new person at low wage and no vacation is not going to make that a cost effective deal. (although I haven't done the math)
And we see that he is making some VERY SERIOUS CHANGES TO BUS SERVICE.
No changes to rail, not even WES. (no surprise of course)
And to add insult to injury Trimet executives (with full cooperation of the board of sock puppets) decided they would DOUBLE the reserves, from 10 million to 20 million, in the MIDDLE OF THE BUDGET CRISIS?
Now why in the world would they want to hold back $10 million dollars when they are asking riders to pay more for less service.
All these crisis going on and now it turns out that Trimet is going to take on MORE DEBT!
Over $100 million according to JACK BOGDANSKI one of the best watchdogs of government misdeeds.
This while Trimet 'debt service' (which to average citizens translates as credit card debt) is already at $40 million a year, far larger than the union benefits. (something the corporate media completely ignores in the drive to destabilize workers wages so banks can make more profit)
So what does it all mean?
Other than Mcafarlane and his cronies have one hell of a nerve manipulating public finances as they do, they must be intent on bankrupting Trimet!
They continue building away with the mystery train, which is hardly needed. (Maybe in 20 years it will be needed)
They continue taking on more and more debt.
They have gone a drunken sailor hiring binge, all the way from top executives to lowly cleaners.
They must be trying to bankrupt the place. Either that or they think they are immune from financial disaster.