Posts Tagged ‘unions’

Anoka is So Not Post-Racial

Minnesota Public Radio has a story on the secret racists of the Twin Cities and how they’re not comfortable voting for Barack Obama.

For those who don’t think race will be a factor in this year’s election – you only need to listen to George Ziegler, a semi-retired barber from Anoka.

“I wouldn’t vote for that n—-r,” he said. “I wouldn’t vote for him. No way in heaven’s name would I give him a chance to take my vote and go in there. I’m smarter than that.”

This is the kind of shit that makes me want to stay as close to the city center as possible. This is the kind of shit that you think, at the very least, that people have the good sense not to say out loud. To a reporter, no less! And so it still surprises me, and scares the shit out of me.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union rep Bernie Hesse has this to say about the membership. Note that his union officially backs Barack Obama.

I also think with some of the older members, it’s a thing of entitlement. And they don’t think of it as race but think of it as, how dare a young black person run for president? He hasn’t put his time in, and why is he entitled to this?

“Entitled”?! *head explosion*

So is it better for folks like George Ziegler to be up front about their racism or for folks to be sneaky about it? Ron Walters, a political science professor at the University of Maryland who studies race and politics, says plenty of folks are sneaky about their racism.

“People may have a racial motive, but they may say that Barack Obama lacks experience,” he said. “So they may use any pretext not to vote for him and support him when the real reason has to do with race and not something else.”

I never have a good answer to my question. And I’m staying the hell away from Anoka.

Take this job and shove it?

It appears that money is becoming a hot topic in keeping the Saint Paul Police in town. The police union is even mockingly threatening a mass exodus of cops to other towns.

This from TwinCities.com

Will St. Paul be suffering an exodus of police officers to the suburbs, where they can get paid more?  That’s the specter presented by the police union in a radio ad being released today.  “It’s a short drive to Eden Prairie and Edina’s next door,” the ad begins with a man singing. “Cops from St. Paul can move to either and make thousands more.”

The sticking point for the union, which represents nearly 700 people, has been salary. The city has offered an annual 3.25 percent pay increase for 2008, 2009 and 2010, which is what the city’s other bargaining units accepted, city officials have said. The union is seeking an extra 2.37 percent boost in the final six months of the contract

The cities suggested raises translates to the following,

“The city’s proposal would have St. Paul officers with five years of experience making $66,866, compared with $79,064 for Eden Prairie and $70,459 for Edina, Shannon said. “

 I think the Saint Paul police do a great job, but it seems to me that almost 70k before overtime is a pretty nice salary. Is it fair for the police union to demand more money when everyone else is getting paltry raise or,as is often the case these days in the private sector, no raise at all?

What do you think?

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