Globe Column Blasts Carmen's Union For "Drama Queen Rhetoric"

BOSTON -- In the latest setback to union bosses' over-the-top, anti-reform tactics,Boston Globe columnist Joan Venocchi slammed the Carmen's union for "drama queen rhetoric" in their opposition to MBTA reform. Vennochi criticized labor leaders for "attacking anyone who challenges labor’s right to call the shots." Vennochi's column is the latest criticism of the special interests' attacks on Governor Baker's common-sense MBTA reform, coming on the heels of editorials from both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald in recent weeks. 
The Boston Globe's Joan Venocchi Slammed Union Bosses' "Drama Queen Rhetoric" In Their Opposition To Reform.

"Governor Charlie Baker's plan to turn over a few late-night MBTA bus routes to private vendors is part of a vast right-wing conspiracy to destroy unions — backed locally by a subversive think tank called the Pioneer Institute.


Based on drama-queen rhetoric like that — during Boston’s annual Labor Day breakfast — you would think Massachusetts was headed back to the era of the famous Boston Police Strike of Sept. 9, 1919.

"Baker’s plan is a byproduct of 2015’s harsh winter, which saw the T shut down and chaos ensue. Commuters, abandoned by rail, flocked to gridlocked roads. In the aftermath, lawmakers agreed to a three-year breather from the so-called Pacheco law, which makes it harder to contract out services currently performed by state workers. Of course, the Massachusetts Legislature is controlled by Democrats, and their capitulation to political reality displeased their union backers. As Steven Tolman, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, warned Democratic officeholders: 'You have to do more than show up at a Labor Day breakfast. . . . We need your votes.'
"There’s a lesson in that for labor: Hot rhetoric works when you are preaching to the choir. It takes more than angry words to shape public opinion."
(Joan Vennochi, "Labor’s hot rhetoric grows cool without facts," Boston Globe," 9/14/15)
The Boston Herald Blasted Union Leaders For "Blowing Hot Air" In Their Opposition To Reform

"Politicians, including the president, packed the Labor Day breakfast in Boston Monday but believe it or not there was even more hot air blowing outside the Park Plaza Hotel.

Most of it came from the direction of a few hundred protesting MBTA union members, their leaders and supporters upset that Gov. Charlie Baker is considering every possibility — including privatizing some bus routes — to fix the transit agency that last winter failed passengers at nearly every turn.

They’re fighting for jobs, all right — just not the jobs of passengers who can’t always rely on the bus or the train to get them to work on time."
(Editorial Board, "A labored approach," Boston Herald, 9/9/15)
And The Boston Globe's Editorial Board Called Out The Special Interests For A "Phony Attack" On Gov. Baker's Reforms

"Having won a three-year break from Pacheco, the Baker administration is now exploring the possibility of contracting out that service, as well as other low-ridership and express bus routes. That exploration has brought a loud protest from Boston Carmen’s Union President James O’Brien, who calls it 'a betrayal.'

But this hardly constitutes a privatization of the T. And though it may reduce T overtime, it’s not a move intended to result in layoffs at the agency or cuts in service. Rather, the administration says T drivers and buses freed up by contracting out those routes would be reassigned to improve service on higher-demand bus routes.
Whatever his motivation, however, he’s wrong to portray this as some sort of bait-and-switch by the governor, who is simply doing what he said he would. For that, Baker deserves credit — and not an unfair attempt portray him as a double-dealer."
(Editorial Board, "A phony charge against Governor Baker," Boston Globe, 8/28/15)