Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Police may boycott NHL’s Winter Classic

City police officers are threatening to boycott the Winter Classic in dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers over holiday pay, raising questions about whether there will be adequate security at the nationally televised outdoor hockey game, which is due to draw tens of thousands of fans to Heinz Field on New Year’s Day.

At issue is whether off-duty officers scheduled to work during the Jan. 1 Penguins game against the Washington Capitals will receive holiday pay, or 2 1/2 times their normal rate, which is what they are paid under their contract with the city to patrol on a holiday.

Even though it’s a hockey game, the pay dispute involves the Steelers, who have a lease on Heinz Field.

The Steelers have proposed paying officers time-and-a-half, which is what they make working security at games that do not fall on holidays, said Sergeant John Fisher, who schedules 36 officers to work inside the stadium.

Mr. Fisher sent the officers an e-mail this week urging them not to work for anything less than holiday pay. He said he sent the note after conferring with Lieutenant Thomas Atkins, who schedules about 30 officers to work outside the stadium, directing traffic, among other duties.

“As of writing this, it appears as though we will not be working this event,” Sgt. Fisher wrote. “Due to the fact that this is a major police holiday we have informed the Steelers and Heinz Field that the appropriate holiday pay rate is applicable. Heinz Field and the Steelers have balked at this rate and have indicated that they will not pay the same, they have taken a position where they want to dictate our pay rate to us and this simply cannot be permitted. …

“I would implore all of you to stand together on this issue and not work this or any other detail, on a holiday, at a reduced rate. It would be unwise and foolish to break from this standard,” he wrote. …

What’s unwise and foolish is for Pittsburgh to have an agreement with the police mandating double-time-and-a-half for holidays. It’s no wonder Pittsburgh is having financial difficulties.

The Steelers ought to bid out security to the lowest bidder. I bet many private security guards would take the offer at time-and-a-half or perhaps even straight time.

Moreover, and not just for this event, Pittsburgh should outsource ALL traffic direction jobs to an outside firm. It does not take a police office to do this duty in the first place.

Public Unions vs. Private Unions

The problem with pandering to public unions is ordinary taxpayers suffer the consequences when politicians get in bed with unions. In private industry, when unions wreck the company it goes under. Alternatively, unions stupidly vote themselves into oblivion.

In a case of the latter, the Firearm blog reports Union negotiations fail. Olin (Winchester) moves 1000 jobs.

Olin Corp. is moving its Winchester Centerfire plant to Mississippi after the Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 9. Union rejected their proposed contract for the second time. BND.Com Reports Olin to move 1,000 jobs to Mississippi after union says no to new contract

The Clayton, Mo.-based company said that its Winchester Centerfire division in East Alton and the unit’s approximately 1,000 jobs will be relocated to a new 500,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art plant to be built in Oxford, Miss. The relocation is expected to take place over several years.

The union voted “no” Tuesday in the revote — 593 to 470. The union also voted against this contract on Oct. 17 by a two-to-one margin. St. Peters said most workers refused to accept concessions because they believe the munitions manufacturer has been profitable.

Winchester Union Shoots Self in the Head

Bang. Just like that, 593 out of 1063 voted that it was better to have no job than take a pay and benefit cut.

Heaven forbid union members have to give up a 5th week of paid vacation. Lordy! Admittedly the 7-year wage freeze Olin demanded sounds bad, but not when the alternative is working at Walmart or wherever for minimum wages (assuming jobs can be found at all).

The smart thing to do would have been to accept the contract, keep the job, and if the opportunity arose, take a better job elsewhere. Instead it’s goodbye Alton, Illinois; Hello Mississippi.

Olin was the sixth-largest employer in the metro-east. It will be impossible to replace those jobs.

In general, Illinoisans don’t seem very bright. This is proof: 33% Tax Hike Will Hit Illinois; Another Stiffed Illinois Vendor Stops Servicing State

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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