The shaft

Donn Esmonde's Friday column puts him back in my good graces, for whatever that's worth.
"Meanwhile, job-saving ideas die quick deaths. Folks wonder why county workers won't take a pay cut to save jobs. Lawmaker Elise Cusack's suggestion of a one-day furlough per month was shot down by a union leader as having 'a snowball's chance in hell.' It's that kind of 'no way' attitude that puts workers on the street and makes taxpayers pack their bags. Autoworkers learned long ago that bending is better than being broken. 'How hard is it,' Re said, 'for (county) workers to say, 'We're in a sick county, people are moving away, we need to (give back) something because people can't pay anymore?' 'My whole life, there has been no job growth in this area,' he said. 'If we keep taxing, there will never be.' That's the message of the red budget. That's the voice of the tax-weary. They have been saying it for years. Now, finally, they have been heard. "
That's right. In lean times, businesses do what they can to survive, and good ones persuade their employees to take a temporary hit for the long-term good. The union will have none of that. Remember in 2001-2002, a company wanted to come in and buy some steelmaking facility in Lackawanna, but they wanted the Union to renegotiate their old contract? The Union refused. The company said, "forget this", and left. All of those workers lost their jobs. That doesn't sound like good Union stewardship, and I'm afraid that Erie County workers are getting that same shaft.

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