Jump to content

Union Not Happy About Eagle Project

Recommended Posts

Where I work we have a lot of different unions.

One group of workers do belong to the Service Employees International Union,as does HWMBO.

We are not allowed to ever go on strike. All of contracts are reached by a arbitration process.

Members of different unions do hold regular Work/ Management meetings with the facility managers.

For the most part these meetings go a long way to ensure that everyone in the facility is safe.

The members of the union I belong too are trained in what they do.

Sure we are very protective about not allowing non-union members to do work that should be done by our union members.

Not only are these people at times not trained to do the job.

But all to often once someone starts doing something that should be done by our members, management will claim that because of "Past Practices" we have given up the right to have this job done by our members.

While of course I don't have all the details about the case in question here.

Having volunteers do this 200 hours work sounds great.

But at one time the City Council must have felt that there was a need to maintain these pathways.

They agreed that union workers would do this.

What happens when the paths fall into a state of disrepair again and no volunteers can be found?

No! Hiring illegal immigrants to do the job is not the right answer!


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 96
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Here on the Chesapeake Bay, we have an annual "Clean the Bay Day" manned by thousands of volunteers, including Scouts. Guess we won't be able to do that any more, since there are Union workers out there who could do it. Wonder if they will want the patch, since they are made in China? (Note: the most numerous item of trash cleaned up by far is cigarette butts)


In my opinion, this union just lost a lot of sympathy from the public. This was a Boy Scout, for Pete's sake...not a competing contractor. He can "look into the Boy Scout" all he wants...there was no Union contract with the scout OR the Council, thus no duty was breached.



Link to post
Share on other sites

The more I look at it, the more I see this path as a great idea


1)I suppose the City could pay the union guys to maintain it. Tah Dah! Instant paying work!


2) The pack/ Troop could maintain it. Maybe even tie into some sort of conservation, green Earth project?


3) A great excuse for a weekend scout outing. Everybody gets together, does community service,goes to the park for hot dogs afterward, and has fun in fellowship.


4) Maybe a good place to a PL to get some experience detting up a duty roster: Tom will rake, Billy pushes the wheelbarrow, Joey picks up bottle trash paper on the ground. Tom (because he is oldest) prunes back branches that are sticking into the path.

Pl does his best to make sure everybody is doing their job and that al spirits are up.

The following year/ 6 months, another PL can again maintain the path with his duty roster.


OR..The union guys can attack the scout, demand the city lets the path grow over( since they didn't do it), the newspapers writes a story about it, and everybody loses.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Well we're living here in Allentown

And they're closing all the factories down

Out in Bethlehem they're killing time

Filling out forms

Standing in line ..."


artjrk, this is a District one over from me, I don't know the complete description of the project but I can tell you I know the Eagle coordinator of this District, and there will be leadereship shown, I can promise you that.


I thought the Eagle leadership project was supposed to be one that was beyond "normal and routine" care, that it was to be something singular and unique and beyond the normal scope of what is usually done. We had to turn down an Eagle project when the project was repainting the inside of the Local Municipal ice skating ring, it was routine maintenance and repair. This appears to be different. The scout's project is to carve out a walking and biking trail along the river. SO, its work that was not scheduled, its a new trail and once completed it will represent more trails for the union to maintain, since we know that routine maintenace is not a fitting Eagle Project.


On the other hand, I can see the unions point that if the trails were desired, why weren't they part of the scheduled trails improvement plan that the employees would do.


In all of the Eagle Projects I have either helped with on-site, or in my role as member of the District Advancement Committee approved, I never considered how the employees of the sponsoring organization viewed the project.


It may be worth considering, or not




Link to post
Share on other sites

Towards a side note mentioned earlier - It doesn't provide a complete description of the project, it doesn't mention getting the parks department and city council to buy in to the project, it doesn't mention whether or not he had any volunteers that he led(or not) but all of the above are leadership functions in regard to the Eagle project, and I would believe that one could fairly safely assume that one Scout alone didn't clear a 1,000 ft - a little longer than a football field - path in less than 250 hours without some additional labor. Especially since one would normally think that for a biking and walking path that some kind of base material was also put down, if it wasn't paved - but none of that is specifically mentioned - so why do we have to think the worst of a prospective Eagle, his Troop, District and Council - all of whom would have pre-approved the project?


Towards the Union issue, - I am currently without Union representation and am an At Will employee, however I have done union work for employers who would have gladly re-hired everyone daily if they could squeeze an additional 3 cents out of each employee. They (the Unions)were, and still are necessary. Is there an evil side to the Unions, I would prefer to say that in any organization which holds power and sway over people that there are bound to be SOME abuses of that power.


In this case, it makes for an interesting discussion and lots of mud slinging but one would think the Union Rep and the City Council member liason could have quietly had this dicussion , wait for it,


over some pie, and maybe a nice fair trade cup of coffee. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

All of us have heard about Boeing going to South Carolina because of union problems in Washington state, well a good friend of mine is a union member there he even feels that his union may have gone one step too far and that his plant will probably be closed within the next five years as Boeing moves manufacturing into non union states. I look at towns back east that were once manufacturing giants until the cost of labor made the companies uncompetitive with foreign companies. You can brag all you want about the necessities of unions, and in the distant past they were well intentioned, but now our country's manufacturing is all but dead and all those towns are full of long term unemployed people.


So how big a price do we all have to pay to preserve these unions, look at what it has already cost our economy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is sad


In those cities that have unions the union and city typically have contracts that spell things out in very clear language. Many of these agreements have been in place for many years and have been reviewed by many lobbyists, lawyers and legislators.


The most positive way that us Scouters can alleviate these issues in our towns and cities is to become active in the local government. When these types of contracts become due for renewal we need to tell the writers and approvers how we feel.



Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never been a union employee and given my line of work, probably never will be. I know all of the complaints and arguments against unions. That being said, I realize and understand the value that unions have played and continue to play for the common worker. All of you who dislike unions, but enjoy your vacation days, sick leave, pension plans, regular work hours, etc. can thank unions for those. Businesses left to their own devices would have never given those benefits on their own without the organized efforts of unions. I realize that the argument can be made that now that those itmes are the norm, the union has outlived it's usefullness. But that is kind of like disbanding the military after WWII was over or leaving your door unlocked after you've been robbed. Business is always looking for ways to cut costs. Look at how many businesses have moved operations overseas. People blame the unions for wanting too much, but consider this.....without the union, those same businesses would prefer to pay YOU the pennies on the dollar that they are paying grade school kids in China to do the work. And those kids do it with absolutely no benefits. That is where businesses would begin to go if unions were totally eliminated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In reference to the article, I think the union rep needs a common sense check.


As for unions overall, I have mixed emotions as my grandparents were union members when they were working, and I know they benefitted.


BUT I also see the problems they have caused, even with pro-union companies. Best example would be Higgins Industries. Great company to work for, one grandfather worked for them and they helepd him out tremendously during a very difficult time, and the owner WANTED a union to reperesent his workers durign WWII. However when a disagreement wth the AFL over the WORKERS vote to terminate the AFL union in favor of the CIO union (this was before the AFL-CIO merged)resulted in a lawsuit against the company, Higgins decided to abandon his plans for the post WWII economy, close the company entirely, and laid off hundreds of workers b/c it was cheaper for him to close down than go to arbitration.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The first of several limitations to an Eagle project is this:


Routine labor (a job or service normally rendered) should not be considered.


The question is this - It is the city's job to maintain and clear the trails? If so, the project should not be approved. Granted cities do not always maintain themselves. Playgrounds get run down and swing sets need paint, but have these jobs been assigned to a city department? Is it in somebody's job description to perform these tasks? If so the Scout needs another project idea as this one meets the limitation criteria.


I live in a big city that is run down. There are only two city plumbers on the payroll. Plumbing problems don't always get addressed. But let's say a police station has a broken bathroom sink and it's been out of service for months. Should a policeman who knows something about plumbing decides to repair it himself, he has performed someone else's job. As silly as this sounds that is how things work in the big city.


I once had a Scout who wished to install smoke detectors in his neighborhood for his Eagle project. It sounded like a great idea. But unfortunately, the city fire department had a smoke detector program. The city made it a function of the fire department to install smoke detectors.


The Scout was told he could not do this as a project as it was a service normally rendered.


Just my two cents.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But SR 540, American companies have already been doing what you suggested and moving their manufacturing to China and Mexico(Ford Co.) and to non union states and their reason is that the cost of unionized american labor makes them noncompetitive in the world economy. Our steel, auto, and textile industries are all but gone, and our high tech industry has been taken over by other countries as well. Our country is in serious economic trouble and a union that is worried about a small project like this just showcases how bad off we really are.

Link to post
Share on other sites



"The question is this - It is the city's job to maintain and clear the trails?"


Actually, that isn't the question.

The question would be: "What trail?"


The one the city already has, or the one that did not exist until the boy made it?


Basically, The city can't routuinely maintain and handle upkeep on something that isn't there.

The scout is not cleaning up or redefining a trail. He is in fact, creating from scratch, the trail in question!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in the city which would have got the new 787 line for Boeing. Boeing never in good faith bargained to keep it in Everett. The union, the city and the state worked hard to keep it here. But the company never had the intention to keep it here. The line workers here make $25 + an hour; in North Carolina without a union they make $12-14.

Boeing claims a month long strike is why to 787 is 22 months behind schedule. No it is mismanagement.


Back in the 80s in Portland Oregon the bus service had the same dust up over an Eagle Project taking union work. Back when I was in student government in college, we had student legislature reps try to block a student flower planting day over union work. It is not a new issue and the unions have a contract signed to do that work.

Just imagine if there was no union involved. ABC Trail Construction inc. had signed a contract with the city to build that trail. Then the local trail association volunteered to build it. So the city told ABC to take a hike. ABC would have the city in court so fast you heads would spin.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scoutfish, from what I have read, the trail was complete except for a few missing connections. In other words, there was a dedicated trail that was mostly complete. Perhaps the city had future plans to eventually finish the trail.


The question still remains it is within the job description for workers in the city public works and parks and recreation departments to make and maintain trails within their parks? If so, the project (though it sounded good), should have never been initially approved to begin with.


A sharp advancement chairman would ask these questions prior to approving any such project within city limits. The Scoutmaster as well in directing the Scout should ensure the Scout understands this so he has a chance to investigate his concept with city officials prior to approving any such project concept.


Was the city public works and recreation department notified of the project concept?


There are many missing details to this story so I can only comment on what has been initially written. The link to the original story is no longer active. I live within a large city and understand union labor and job descriptions.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...