Democratic Mayor of Scranton, PA Cuts City Workers’ Pay to Minimum Wage

Visit the Internet homepage of the City of Scranton, PA today and you’ll see a picture of suburban bliss.  There’s a big smiling photo of Democratic Mayor Christopher A. Doherty dominating the website because… well, when you think of Scranton you think of a big photo of a smiling middle-aged white guy who thinks his personal political career is the most important thing in the whole wide world.

“Looking for a future for your business?  The future is here in Scranton, Pennsylvania” the website declares.

” ‘Money’ ranks Scranton as one of the ten fastest growing real estate markets in the Country [sic].”  Oh, wait, that article was “last updated May 15, 2008″.

And we are told that “Forbes” magazine says “Scranton is ranked 30th as one of America’s fastest recovering cities”!

Oh, oh.  That story was last year’s news.  We mean the year before the year before last year’s news.  (It’s from 2009 if that last sentence is making you dizzy).

And “Business Week”!  Everyone loves “Business Week”, right?  Of course we do!  And “Business Week” says that Scranton, PA is “one of the best places to raise your kids!”  Well, it was back in 2010, anyway.  And they also say Scranton’s one of the USA’s best places to start over!  Oh, darn!  That statement was based on the March 2009 unemployment rates!

“Oh, this running a city is too hard!  And promoting it is even harderer!  When do we Democrats get to be Senators and go to Washington and run the country into the ground?  We’re sick of running Scranton into…”

Shhh!  You’ll give the game away!  Don’t wake up the sleeping American working class!

You see, life in Scranton isn’t good.  And the phony government of the phony Democratic Mayor who even now pretends on the city’s website that all is well, is facing a bit of a budget shortage.

That’s right.  You see, this city of 76,089 flag-waving, tax-paying, god-fearing, sound-fucking-asleep Americans has – as of yesterday, July 9th – just $133,000 in cash… and $3.4 million in outstanding bills, due the day before yesterday.

So, what’s a progressive Democratic mayor of a progressive city to do?  How about this:

“Cash-strapped Scranton, Pa., has slashed pay for all city employees—including police and firefighters—to minimum wage, sparking furor among unions that now say they plan to sue in federal court… Last week, [Democratic Party Scranton Mayor – IWPCHI] Doherty abruptly cut pay for all 398 city employees to $7.25 per hour, saying it was the only way to keep Scranton solvent.”  Problem solved!

[Source: Yahoo News: “Scranton mayor slashes pay for all city workers… to minimum wage” ]

Now, you tell us what could be more progressive than a Democratic mayor, faced with the complete bankruptcy of the city he’s pretending to run, unilaterally ordering that if the city council won’t adopt his budget proposal – which includes a 78% tax increase over the next three years – he’s going to order that all the unionized city employees will have their contracts shredded and will be forced to work for minimum wage?

Now, to us, the mayor’s proposal is not merely “progressive” – it’s thinking completely outside the box.  Like there never was a box to begin with.  It’s radical.  And it should earn the mayor a prompt, good old-fashioned American tarring-and-feathering and a one-way ticket out of town on a rail, courtesy of the worker-citizens of the City of Scranton!

OK, let’s not use tar… that’s not environmentally sound.  We’d use honey instead.  And fresh flowers instead of feathers, in case the mayor’s allergic to feathers.  And we’d leave him under a beehive and let the bees have him and THEN we’d run him out of town on a rail, if he hadn’t already figured out that he should beat it before we get really mad.

But is that what the city unions, also run by the Democrats, going to do?  No!  Far from it!  They are going to go on strike, right?

In an election year?  Not on your life!  That might embarrass the head phony – Democrat Barack Obama!

No, the unions – mad as hell, and not going to take it any more! – are furiously, militantly…  going to go the “civilized”, “peaceful and legal” route:  they’re taking the mayor to the capitalist court system, where signed union contracts are recognized as ironclad agreements…

Doh, oh!  Wait a minute!  That doesn’t make any sense, does it?

Well it does to the useless sellout bureaucrats who run the city workers unions in Scranton, PA!

[Source:Scranton Times-Tribune: “Scranton’s Police, Fire and DPW Unions Will Sue in Court” ]

But don’t fear, sister and brother workers!  The piecards who “lead” the city workers unions in Scranton, PA are not going to take the mayor to court all by themselves!  Oh, no!  The stalwart, heroic, Quixotic union “leadership” of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 2305 is going into battle, riding backward in the saddle, on their fine thoroughbred pantomime stallions… alongside the equally heroic union “leaders” of  International Association of Firefighters Local 60… and those ever-loving friends of labor – the Fraternal Order of Police E.B. Jermyn Lodge 2! [Cue loud farting noise here]!  How can they lose?

Isn’t this just the picture of a big, heaping, steaming plate of bullshit?  Doesn’t it make you “proud to be an American union worker”?  The “friends of labor” Democrats shove the shit down the throats of the “labor leaders”, who dutifully try to eat it all as fast as the Democrats can shovel it, all the while having “sweet nothings” whispered into their ears by their friends in the racist cop “unions”!

Brothers and sisters – the time to organize an Independent Workers Party was the day before YESTERDAY!

What are we waiting for?  More proof that supporting the Democrats is a dead end?  More proof that the useless, pro-capitalist, class-collaborationist trade union “leadership” is killing our unions?  Does this bullshit have to happen to each and every one of us individually before we finally decide to drag our asses off the couch, away from the TV commercials and get busy defending our and our families’ futures before it’s too late?



2 responses to “Democratic Mayor of Scranton, PA Cuts City Workers’ Pay to Minimum Wage

  1. The mayor does not sound like he is a Democrat. A true Democrat would do things alot different?


    • He’s a “true Democrat” all right. As much of a Democrat as all the other Democratic Party mayors who spent all last fall and winter having thousands of “Occupy Wall St.” demonstrators arrested and jailed for exercising their Constitutional rights, and who have spent the last several years gearing up for major budget-slashing showdowns with county and municipal workers unions. It’s the Democrats who are leading the attacks on worker rights and unions by tearing up union contracts and forcing union workers to accept big pay and benefit cuts – or else.

      The Democrats are not now – and never were – “friends of labor”. They, like their Republican partners in crime, defend the capitalist system to the end – a system that is fundamentally based on the exploitation of the working class. The only difference between the Republicans and Democrats when it comes to the exploitation of workers is a tactical one: the Republicans say “cut wages and benefits and if the workers make a fuss, send the cops out to beat them into submission”; the Democrats send the workers flowers and say nice things to them, believing that their masters in the capitalist class will get a higher rate of exploitation out of the workers if they give them a bit of sugar from time to time. And if the workers make a fuss, then they send the cops out to beat them into submission.

      That’s the “choice” we workers have in the US’ phony democracy. It’s way past time we had a real workers party that stood up for the rights of the working class – whose interests are not the same as those of the capitalist class, but directly counterposed to them. That is what the Independent Workers Party seeks to be: a party of the workers, by the workers and for the workers, and one that will fight for the gradual abolition of the capitalist system and its replacement with an egalitarian, planned economy run by and in the interests of the working class internationally.


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