Are goats taking jobs from union workers?

Now, in defense of the workers, I was actually just talking to a woman from Portland Oregon about a herd of goats the city bought to keep the city trimmed. (I guess they just wandered around doing their thing – and yes I occasionally have weird conversations with folks.) Thing is, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage was done to the city by the goats until they were ultimately removed. The animals which were supposed to be a cost saving measure actually cost taxpayers a bunch. So maybe the union workers can make a case for themselves from a cost effectiveness basic.

Maybe. But probably not.

(From The Detroit Free Press)

A battle is brewing at Western Michigan University this summer between a group of hungry goats and a labor union.

The 400-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has filed a grievance contending that the work the goats are doing in a wooded lot is taking away jobs from laid-off union workers.

“AFSCME takes protecting the jobs of its members very seriously and we have an agreed-upon collective bargaining agreement with Western Michigan,” said Union President Dennis Moore. “We expect the contract to be followed, and in circumstances where we feel it’s needed, we file a grievance.”

The grievance alleges that the university did not notify the union that it was planning to use goat crews on campus, according to a chief steward report supplied to the Battle Creek Enquirer.

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