There’s a bit of a scandal in Boston this morning. It turns out that the longshoreman’s union leaders have been doing some quiet hiring of relatives, putting them on the union rolls.
Now, that’s not nothing unusual. It’s a long-standing tradition, and rarely questioned or challenged.
But when the relatives being hired are kids, at least one of them barely out of diapers, and reportedly showing up to load and unload ships, that’s going a bit far.
It’s a rather clever scheme. Union officials allegedly issued the children union cards and put them in for a couple hours a year, despite their most likely never showing up. It doesn’t really mean too much — at least now.
But when those kids become adults and actually seek jobs as longshoremen, that’s when the payoff comes. Here’s little Johnny, just turned 18 years old and hoping Uncle Mike can help him get a job. He gets hired, and then they look at his union card. Since Johnny has had his card for 16 years, he suddenly has 16 years of seniority over his peers, and automatically gets more pay and better jobs.
And Bob over there, who’s just turned 30 and has 12 years on the job? Screw him. Johnny gets the better jobs and more pay.
It’s quite a racket, and shows a bit more forethought than is usually attributed to crooks. But there are always people who will put forth amazing effort to beat the system, regardless of who gets screwed in the process…