The union movement likes to paint itself as being for progressive change. It is one of the ways it picks up allies for its special interest agenda. However, when it doesn’t serve its own ends, it quickly abandons those causes. We saw that last month with news stories about unions complaining about the Affordable Care Act. Now it is the environmental movement that is suffering from the fickle tastes of organized labor.
As all San Francisco residents found out this morning, their subway system BART is suffering from a strike by its 2000-plus employees. These employees, many of whom are represented by the SEIU, are demanding wage increases of nearly twice the national average.
But let’s look at the environmental impact of their strike. In order to attempt to get their oversized wage increases, these workers are putting 400,000 commuters into their cars. According to BART’s statistics, all of those drivers produce more than 4 million pounds of CO2 emissions each day – the equivalent of the CO2 footprint of an additional 70,000 people.
Maybe the EPA should look into this and require unions to submit an Environmental Impact Report before they are permitted to go out on strike.
The San Francisco Chronicle - "BART Strike Has Commuters Scrambling"© 2013 BARNES & THORNBURG LLP