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peterboro
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join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
reply to Steve

Re: Hamilton workers ran errands instead of fixing potholes

said by Steve:

Isn't this where the union thugs and stooges show up with "the other side of the story" ?

One story that needs explaining is what were the supervisors and managers doing that this took so long to substantiate and why do you need a PI when supervisors could have done the investigation?


ekster
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They were too busy running their own errands.


Steve
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reply to peterboro
said by peterboro:

One story that needs explaining is what were the supervisors and managers doing that this took so long to substantiate and why do you need a PI when supervisors could have done the investigation?

We don't know how long it took, but the managers are supervisors are the ones who figured out that something was wrong based on review of the productivity reports, and corroborated this by checking the GPS records.

And supervisors and managers in a public-works department may not have the proper training and experience for surveillance, especially considering that the employees presumably know what they look like and what kind of cars they drive.

If all you're trying to do is tell the workers "Hey, knock it off and get back to work", I'm sure the supervisors would have been OK, but when one is trying build an iron-clad case against union thugs who have no shame (and whose lawyers have even less), this is really the kind of thing that ought to be left to the professionals.

Steve
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Stephen J. Friedl | Unix Wizard | Security Consultant | Orange County, California USA | my web site

peterboro
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Peterborough, ON
said by Steve:

We don't know how long it took, but the managers are supervisors are the ones who figured out that something was wrong based on review of the productivity reports, and corroborated this by checking the GPS records.

If it was more than few days or weeks then they weren't doing their jobs as supervisors.

said by Steve:

And supervisors and managers in a public-works department may not have the proper training and experience for surveillance, especially considering that the employees presumably know what they look like and what kind of cars they drive.

Granted. But do they need detectives who cost 10s of thousands and prolong the time this went on and the loss of further 10s or 100s of thousands in productivity when they had GPS logs all along and could inspect the areas where no work was done?

said by Steve:

If all you're trying to do is tell the workers "Hey, knock it off and get back to work", I'm sure the supervisors would have been OK, but when one is trying build an iron-clad case against union thugs who have no shame (and whose lawyers have even less), this is really the kind of thing that ought to be left to the professionals.

From what I've read in other venues it's the union lawyers, hired privately by the way, who conduct themselves reasonably and it's the institution lawyers and the administration that are usually slime bags. Have a read of one of hundreds of examples on record and probably thousands we will never hear about. »canlii.ca/en/on/onlrb/doc/2011/2 ··· 614.html


Steve
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Spoken like a true union lackey.

That some employees went off on personal errands once in a while is not really a big deal, in the category of "Hey, knock it off", but if you want to get rid of truly bad apples, you have to have a real handle on the full scope of the problem.

Did they just take one day off? Is it just once a month? Just one guy? Just one team? If this is a chronic problem, getting a sense for just how deep it goes, in order to get all the bad apples, with a case that's so overwhelming that it a) looks like a formal review and not one manager's vendetta, b) is iron-clad in court or in front of some grievance board, and c) sends a message to everybody else that this city doesn't mess around; all points to the correctness of "overkill" on the investigative front.

From what we've read — and I would certainly say that we don't have the whole story — the worst offense of management is perhaps inefficiency, but it appears that the "workers" were in fact stealing from their neighbors.

peterboro
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Peterborough, ON
said by Steve:

Spoken like a true union lackey.

That some employees went off on personal errands once in a while is not really a big deal, in the category of "Hey, knock it off", but if you want to get rid of truly bad apples, you have to have a real handle on the full scope of the problem.

Did they just take one day off? Is it just once a month? Just one guy? Just one team? If this is a chronic problem, getting a sense for just how deep it goes, in order to get all the bad apples, with a case that's so overwhelming that it a) looks like a formal review and not one manager's vendetta, b) is iron-clad in court or in front of some grievance board, and c) sends a message to everybody else that this city doesn't mess around; all points to the correctness of "overkill" on the investigative front.

From what we've read — and I would certainly say that we don't have the whole story — the worst offense of management is perhaps inefficiency, but it appears that the "workers" were in fact stealing from their neighbors.

Spoken like a true corporate apologist. I haven't been in a union for decades and have been operating businesses in the private sector ever since. The fact that 30 guys are involved demonstrates this is not an isolated incident and had to have been going on for months or years, unless that is you propose that all these guys just happened to start all of a sudden to do this. This does not go to satisfying a burden of proof at a quasi-judicial body or arbitrator but common sense. How could it be this pervasive, which means it must have been ongoing for a while, yet managers were clueless until they called the PIs in?

How many managers were fired? I thought so. None. Institutional CYA in full bore here.


Steve
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dishonesty > incompetence

peterboro
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said by Steve:

dishonesty > incompetence

I don't think the managers were dishonest just incompetent. The workers were outright thieves and dishonest.


J E F F
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Kitchener, ON
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1 edit
reply to peterboro
said by peterboro:

said by Steve:

Isn't this where the union thugs and stooges show up with "the other side of the story" ?

One story that needs explaining is what were the supervisors and managers doing that this took so long to substantiate and why do you need a PI when supervisors could have done the investigation?

Okay..so you bring up an excellent point.'

Now....okay...so I am NOT defending these Hamilton road workers at all...they deserved to be fired. HOWEVER:

Generally this type of work is usually tough...AND....If you look at the work that city hall staffers do...(including managers and supervisors) you'd wouldn't find a single one of them that actually do more work than these non-working road workers.

It is estimated that office workers and managers spend about 70% of their time "looking" (EDIT NOTE: Looking for things, as in, looking for previous read e-mails, looking for yellow highlighters, looking for change for the coffee machine..."looking for things" is meant in a literal, non-symbolic way) for things or in "pointless" meetings..usually discussing how to get their work done. This leaves 30% for breaks, lunch, sick days and holidays.....oh, and to do actual work.

So if you wonder where their supers were..you can bet the bank that they were doing nothing productive.

These workers were simply mimicking their bosses.

I guess they thought if their boss can earn $80,000+/year doing nothing, so can they.

I will point out..again, not defending these workers since they weren't working, if you fired the highest paid city workers, likely you'd not notice for a very long time, if ever. If the lowest paid workers all got fired, you'd notice immediately..especially true of facility (arena's, pools, community centre's, etc) workers.
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If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein


Steve
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reply to peterboro
said by peterboro:

I don't think the managers were dishonest just incompetent. The workers were outright thieves and dishonest.

Thank you.

From the information we have so far, there is much stronger evidence that the workers are culpable than that the managers were culpable. The latter seems likely, but the former is all but certain.

I do hope that all the facts come out, and if it turns out that this has been going on forever, I can't see why heads shouldn't roll in management too - I don't expect managers to follow their workers out in the field every day, but to not check up on them at all? Really?

peterboro
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reply to J E F F
It begs the question, "Like wtf did the managers do all day that they were not doing even minimal checks on these guys?"

I don't think this goes on here as the city guys are very visible and it is a small town. In fact I have been keeping an eye on a bunch that go to the Timmies near me at night for coffee break to make sure they aren't taking longer than 30 minutes.

I am acutely aware of the physical work that paving requires, well old school paving not sitting on the mobile or roller all day, or raking out the wings. I worked as a paver for a short stint and we had a tailgate, which broke all the time, and I remember 12 hour days of shoveling tons of asphalt by hand.

peterboro
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reply to Steve
said by Steve:

I do hope that all the facts come out, and if it turns out that this has been going on forever, I can't see why heads shouldn't roll in management too - I don't expect managers to follow their workers out in the field every day, but to not check up on them at all? Really?

I will be reading the decision when it is posted. At this point we only have managements story.


J E F F
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reply to Steve
said by Steve:

I do hope that all the facts come out, and if it turns out that this has been going on forever, I can't see why heads shouldn't roll in management too - I don't expect managers to follow their workers out in the field every day, but to not check up on them at all? Really?

Depends on the manager/supervisor. Part of their job ensure work is being done. Being that these 29 men/women were fired, you can be 100% sure this wasn't a one off. You don't get fired for slacking off for 1 day. This likely was going on for a while, with the guys doing minimal work. At some point, management caught on, and started to investigate. It's very unlikely that them taking entire days off was ongoing, but you can be guaranteed that this style of slacking off had been. I also propose that between the union and highly unknowledgeable and management staff (since cities only higher managers with a MBA's now), the managers would be totally clueless with how long it should take to fill a 2' by 3' pothole with a 2.5" inch depth.

What I'm basically saying is that these guys were likely given insufficient work and felt it okay to take lieu days with their co-workers.
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peterboro
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said by J E F F:

What I'm basically saying is that these guys were likely given insufficient work and felt it okay to take lieu days with their co-workers.

I think they were given enough work to put in a reasonable effort for the money. However they realized no one checked that they did the work and they took advantage of that situation. I remember in one union job I had the managers would usually follow at least one guy on their crew at least once a week. We are not talking just checking the work was done but actually following us around to make sure we didn't spend one more minute than we were allowed on break or extra stops.

Look what goes on in this forum. A bunch of IT and related guys with computers on their desks posting here all day cause they know they can.