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19th of November, 2017

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Some Moves in the Right Direction


For about 4 weeks now, the garbage collectors in Stuttgart have been on strike. They’re protesting the lengthening of the work week, which, they argue, will cost jobs. It might, I guess, if garbage collection were a zero-sum game. But they completely ignore Zonker’s beloved Parkinson’s Law:


work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.


So, since the strike began, the garbage piled up in Stuttgart, a city of 590,000 people. Last week, the municipal authorities lost patience and hired private sanitation firms to swoop in and clean up the place. According to a report I watched on German news channel N24, the private workers get paid about 25% less than their civil servant counterparts, and work longer hours. But they were happy to get the work, as was obvious from the good-natured interviews they gave to the N24 crew.


Of course, the garbage has to go somewhere once it’s picked up. The striking workers physically blocked the private drivers from reaching the city’s landfills and trash incinerators, which is dangerous, not to mention illegal. It amounts to thuggery, though I expected nothing less of union workers. Germany has a 12.5% unemployment rate, and if there’s any justice, that number will get a sizable bump by the firing of the entire municipal garbage-collection work force of Stuttgart, and the dismantling of the ecology of union bosses, financial supporters, and strike organizers that could let such idiocy thrive.


An interesting development to keep an eye on is the proposal of the FDP, which passes for a conservative party in Germany, to tax the supplemental payments that unions pay their workers during strikes as normal income. Why this isn’t already done is beyond me, but I guess that’s life in the Worker’s Paradise. This would definitely take a bit of the piss out of the risible organzisation ver.di, that profits by blackmailing some of Germany’s largest employers, local city governments, with threats of strike.


And they wonder why German industry is slowly draining away to Eastern Europe.

Comments

Sandy

Oh wow...we used to live in Stuttgart for a few years...I love that place...great malls but sucks about their garbage men..

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