Union embarrasses itself in BCWA “war”

Bristol County Water Authority executives and directors are right on the money in their plan to change the way unionized employees are paid, despite the embarrassing posturing and intimidation it has earned them from a powerful union leader.
For years, BCWA workers had a great perk: Get a call to go to a work site, and start collecting your pay as soon as you pick up the phone. Never mind if it took you 30 minutes or even more than an hour to get there. Like many “benefits” picked up in the days when unions were even more powerful than they are today, the practice makes little sense to a public unused to cushy perks and special treatment.
Oh, but just try to take it away.
The BCWA’s executive director, Pam Marchand, and board of directors had to figure there would be some backlash when they decided to kill the long-standing practice earlier this summer. But it’s doubtful they expected the embarrassing response from Bobby Mahoney, ostensibly a professional with a prestigious title: “Senior National Representative” of the Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO.
In a series of meetings and letters following the policy change, Mr. Mahoney pulled out the old stereotypical union card, doing the following:
He “declared war” on the BCWA and its executives. He ironically insulted the BCWA’s attorney, writing that he was “not to bright.” He spoke of past run-ins with other companies, saying they “could not beat us” and that his union’s power “almost ruined their companies.”
And he showed Ms. Marchand what time it is:
“I have no respect for management teams that think the best way to deal with my members are by lying to them. How we deal with such a team is by declaring WAR on them and exposing them for what they are.”
Mr. Mahoney has done his union no favors through his posturing, and there is word that some local members are trying to distance themselves from him. We hope they do.
While BCWA executives have deservedly taken much heat in recent years for raising rates and being poor communicators, they’re right on the money on this one: Their “clock in before pay” policy makes sense, is good for ratepayers and is long overdue.
Mr. Mahoney should be embarrassed.


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