Mar 1, 2010
Detroit’s Mayor Dave Bing had this to say about the workers in AFSCME, the largest union of city workers: “either they can’t read, they can’t add, or they can’t comprehend.”
Like the pampered celebrity boss that Bing has been, since his starring days with the Detroit Pistons, Bing has no problem insulting the intelligence of the people who actually perform miracles to make his city run, in spite of city officials’ legendary corruption and incompetence.
Bing is upset that workers won’t roll over to his demands to re-open the contract and give up more concessions.
But workers cannot only add but subtract. Bing has already cut the city work force from 13,200 last May to 11,800 today. Why let him remove the protections that are needed most of all now?
Workers can also read the writing on the wall. Let Bing get a foot in the door and he will only come right back for more, just like the previous mayors.
And workers can comprehend just fine. The Mayor and his cronies aren’t suffering. They find money for whatever else they want, like tax gifts to fantastically wealthy companies like GM.
Bing is the one who doesn’t seem able to comprehend. He needs a big boot in the rear to help him.