ARLINGTON (CBS) – Michael Agneta works for free, which makes him an attractive worker.The county sheriff has instituted a work program for non-violent offenders like Agneta to work on projects in the community while they serve their sentences. It's pretty much win-win for all involved - the prisoners get out of jail (supervised) and work on projects ranging from painting the police station to snow removal to general building maintenance. It gives them experience in areas where they can find work once they have served their time, and it gives the community free labor.
Agneta is among a group of inmates who’ve earned the privilege to work in the community through good behavior.
Naturally, the unions are up in arms about this.
“We have homeowners, people that live in the community, people that are trained to do these jobs, and they’re not getting a chance to work in that job,” says Paul Canning, with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.There's just one problem:
The head of Arlington’s Housing Authority says, because of budget cuts, his agency would not have been able to hire the job out anyway.They wouldn't have been able to afford union painters, so they wouldn't have had the job done. This program took nothing away from union workers. Well, that is if you don't count the fact that non-union prisoners did a job that the unions priced out of the reach of local municipalities... It's telling that the unions would oppose programs that would help people - people that might just join those same unions someday - on the basis of "ZOMG WE LOST MONEY NOW".
Yep. That's the union mindset in a nutshell right there. They'd rather torpedo this program and not have the town get needed work done - work the town couldn't have afforded to have union workers do - rather than face competition. Aren't they more or less admitting that the union does nothing but drive up the price artificially? If prisoners on work-release programs can do the same job for a lot less money, shouldn't the unions be thinking about offering something of value other than BECAUSE UNION?
Or they could continue insisting that people be forced to buy their brand of buggy whips for the next century...
That is all.