Archived Story

Union could lead way on cleanup push

Published 12:00am Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fighting against a volunteer cleanup effort that has virtually nothing to do with their jobs is exactly the type of action that has given public employee unions a proverbial black eye in recent years.

That was exactly what happened when the Ironton Chapter of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees filed a grievance over next weekend’s citywide cleanup effort. Common sense and community pride were apparently tossed out like garbage by a few individuals who are against this effort.

First and foremost, it is not a city project. It is led by the Lawrence-Scioto County Solid Waste Management District and the Ironton Municipal Court’s Community Service Program.

However, it would certainly be nice if the city of Ironton and its employees could be partners rather than opponents.

The idea that it is taking work away from the employees or endangering jobs is ludicrous. The event is focused on removing discarded items and rubbish from the city’s alleys and just generally cleaning them up. These duties are not part of the city sanitation workers’ job descriptions, aren’t getting done now and really have not for years.

We hope the AFSCME union reverses course and gets on board with this project. The union should drop the grievance and volunteer en masse to make this event as successful as it can be.

We believe the city’s AFSCME employees are good people who really do care about Ironton and how it looks. This is an opportunity for them to show that.

Unions were instrumental in the development of our country and are still relevant today in terms of protecting workers’ rights. But, as is often the case in life, the actions of a few or a couple of bad decisions can tarnish the image of an entire whole group.

It isn’t too late for Ironton’s alleys and its AFSCME union to come out looking great.

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  • Poor Richard

    Neither did I tiggeroo. The city did not violate its contract even if the job descriptions align with the cleanup since the arranagement was not made between the city and Solid Waste.

    I support unions but this is a classic example of why many folks, including the Ohio governor want to break the unions. Unions should choose their battles wisely in todays anti-union climate and in my opinion, this situation does not reflect a battle with a good outcome or community support.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    The comment “The event is focused on removing discarded items and rubbish from the city’s alleys and just generally cleaning them up. These duties are not part of the city sanitation workers’ job descriptions,”. Are they part of the job description of any other municipal employees? It would be interesting to read a description of the sanitation workers job description. It is obvious the AFSCME feel their contract is being violated. Any honorable individual recognizes and respects a contract. Due process will determine the validity of the unions claim. I feel, if the unions claim is rejected and volunteers are permitted to perform the cleanup, it would behoove the Tribune Editorial Staff to “volunteer en masse to make this event as successful as it can be.” Union bashing is not becoming to the Tribune and exhibits a lack of character.

    (Report comment)

    • tiggeroo

      Sorry, Mick, but I did not read this editorial as union bashing.

      (Report comment)

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