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Thinking about wages

Posted by Richard on March 27, 2006

The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) is facing a strike later this week. Drivers, mechanics, and light rail operators voted overwhelmingly (95%) to reject RTD’s "last, best, and final offer." By law, the union has to give three days’ notice, which I assume they’re doing today.

I haven’t paid enough attention to know who has the stronger, more sympathetic case in the dispute. I heard a union spokesman say the drivers’ wages have been frozen since 2003 and some of the increase RTD offered would be eaten up by health insurance cost increases. I heard an RTD spokesman say the offer included benefit improvements and the largest wage increase in RTD’s history — $1.80 – 2.10 per hour.

But the news clip that got my goat was of a driver declaring in angry, hurt tones, "That ain’t even a loaf of bread!"

Per hour, dammit! A loaf of bread per hour! 40 loaves of bread per week. Is she really unclear on that concept, or was that just a cynical attempt at manipulating viewers’ sympathies?

I suppose it just wouldn’t have the desired effect if she expressed her anger this way: "$72 – 88 per week (plus overtime)? That’s barely enough for a fancy dinner out for two with a decent bottle of wine!"

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2 Responses to “Thinking about wages”

  1. VRB said

    Actually some people have no concept of math. Try giving some cashiers 6 cents, if something cost like $9.96.

  2. VRB said

    It would be easier to give the casher a penny, but sometime I have six pennies I want to rid of.

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