Lombardi Beats the Path

In dealing with his town’s unions in series, North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi is imparting a lesson:

Mayor Charles A. Lombardi dismissed 20 town workers last night after their unions failed to meet a 7 p.m. deadline for accepting deep cuts in wages and benefits.
In all, 10 municipal workers and 10 public works employees lost their jobs. Lombardi also plans to lay off 30 firefighters following a Superior Court hearing tomorrow.

If the firefighters don’t get the message, then perhaps unions in other Rhode Island cities and towns will. The money tree has wilted; there will be no more temporary fixes that worsen our predicament; you can divvy what remains or take your brethren’s unemployment, and the municipalities’ lost services on your shoulders.
Personally, I think it would be more helpful in the long run for the unions to continue to fight and to reveal their nature. But beginning to change their nature would work, as well.

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Scott
Scott
12 years ago

i am getting so sick and tired of these union workers.
dont they know we are in a recession and 1 in 10 rhode islanders are without work?
all they want to do is bully people into getting their way.
is it possible to ban labor unions across the country?

michael
michael
12 years ago

So, North Providence is laying off firefighters. Is this cause for celebration? No, it certainly is not. When a municipality no longer finds it necessary to provide services to its citizens it is definitely not cause for celebration, yet I can feel the triumphant feeling pouring in from talk radio, editorials and letters, blogs and comments on the street.
We continue to reward those in society who live on the edge, either barely existing, using government funds and services as their private bank account or thriving, making huge profits on the backs of people whose talent lies not in how to exploit others, rather by using their backs and minds to make a living.
Keep cheering for the demise of the unions. Watch as the middle class disintegrates. Strive for the lowest denominator, its easier that way. Bring those “lucky” union bastards in line with the rest of the poor struggling masses who can’t pay their mortgages, their health care, and their grocery bill or fix their tires when they go flat. Take their power away, rather than fight for your own, all in the name of conservatism.
Write your blogs, your letters, let your voice be heard loud and clear. Get rid of the deadbeat firefighters, we never needed them anyway. Streamline government, first dump public safety, then get rid of the army, who need those people anyway? Let capitalism run wild, the market will take care of itself, survival of the fittest, right?
We’ll see.

Bill
Bill
12 years ago

Mike,
Did soemone just get a pink slip?

Patrick
Patrick
12 years ago

Michael-
Thanks for the advice and the speech. I will.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>>Keep cheering for the demise of the unions. Watch as the middle class disintegrates.
1) It is a myth propagated by (private sector) unions that they created / built the “middle class” in America.
2) Public sector unions won’t build a middle class, for their compensation is not derived from true collective bargaining, but from political clout.
>>Strive for the lowest denominator, its easier that way. Bring those “lucky” union bastards in line with the rest of the poor struggling masses who can’t pay their mortgages, their health care, and their grocery bill or fix their tires when they go flat. Take their power away, rather than fight for your own, all in the name of conservatism.
Actually, if anything, we’re emulating the liberal Democrat playbook.
Public sector unionized workers – with their above market salaries, benefits and (equivalent of) a million dollars or more in the bank to fund their lottery-winning like pensions (“gee, I can retire at 45!”) – are the real “rich” in Rhode Island these days.
We just want you “rich” to “pay your fair share.” Just like the liberals tell us we should want … we’ll call it seeking “taxpayer justice.”

john
john
12 years ago

You guys really think $45,000 a year is the rich of this Rhode Island society?

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Getting rid of all those greedy firefighters…sounds cool, doesn’t it? Put those greedheads in their place!
Gee, got a note from my insurance company today…the rate on my homeowners policy, because of the lower staffing levels and increased response time, has gone through the roof.
But we sure put those selfish union types in their place, didn’t we?

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

Justin, Lombardi is a clown. Notice how he demanded 5% pay cuts and 15% co-pays then caved on a deal with the cops that was in his words “very close” to what he wanted. Notice how the specifics of that deal are STILL not being released.
Wonder why?
I’ve been in this state a lot longer than you. I know why.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

So you’ve done the research on that, Rhody? I’ve not been able to find any data on the actual benchmarks. Losing a few minutes of response time may not affect insurance in any realistic scenarios in Rhode Island. It may; I don’t know. Do you?

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>>You guys really think $45,000 a year is the rich of this Rhode Island society?
That is probably above the average workers salary in RI.
I also feel safe in saying that with overtime the average state / municipal employee makes above that.
Teachers certainly do.
And when one factors in the gold plated benefits (health care) the public / private sector differential becomes even greater.
And that is before we discuss pensions. Extremely few private sector workers in RI will get any pension. And with public sector people retiring in their forties and fifties, and automatic 3% COLA’s, they will “make” more in retirement than they did in their working years.
Plus retiree healthcare.
Add that back into the “$45,000” per year doubles, or triples. For 35 hours a week and what, 20 “sick days” and how many paid holidays a year?
To put it another way, the amount of money that would be necessary to purchase a lifetime annuity covering the equivalent pension and healthcare benefit is well over $1 million, perhaps multiple millions.
So yes, on a relative basis, public sector employees are “rich” compared to the private sector workers whose taxes pay the freight.

justin katz jr
justin katz jr
12 years ago

As usual, Mr. Anti-Union Scab Justin Katz bashing the firefighters. Here’s some advice Justin-why don’t you and your fellow anti-union scumbags go move to some scab right to work state down south. You better hope your house never catches fire or somebody in your family has a heart attack-you and your piece of crap friends will get what you deserve.

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

justin katz jr,
Keep the insults and the threats, etc. off here…or any other public blog. You’re just giving the anti-union people more amunition against us.
I know that it’s frustrating as all hell that we (public sector unions) in general and we (firefighter unions) in particular are taking such an undeserved bashing lately, but arguing your (our) case in that manner is only going to hurt us in the long run.
Let the anti-unionists spout their untruths and half-truths and either ignore them or attempt to state the correct facts without the anger.
Most of the posters talking about my job and my pay and my benefits have no clue as to what they’re talking about. They get their information from politicians, right-wing radio and the always biased ProJo.
But please, don’t resort to that type of posting – it doesn’t do anyone any good.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Justin, next time you talk to your homeowners insurance company, ask about it – they can give you a better explanation than I can. Basically, if cutting the number of firefighters forces the closing of a firehouse, that could be a BIG problem. It’s also a big issue in places with non-municipal fire service.

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