It is one of those stories that you chock up to fake news. Except it isn’t. A union has filed a grievance against a group of goats. Yep, goats!
Work humans don’t want to do
In order to clear a plot of woodland on Western Michigan University a group of goats was hired to eat away the poison ivy and other invasive plants that cover the area. Seen as a solution to protect workers from being exposed to the nasty plants, university horticulturists hired a goat crew. According to the Detroit Free Press:
“For the second summer in a row, we’ve brought in a goat crew to clear undergrowth in a woodlot, much of it poison ivy and other vegetation that is a problem for humans to remove,” Roland said. “Not wanting to use chemicals, either, we chose the goat solution to stay environmentally friendly.
However, “the 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”, said the Detroit Free Press.
Union is serious
Union President Dennis Moore said “AFSCME takes protecting the jobs of its members very seriously and we have an agreed-upon collective bargaining agreement with Western Michigan. We expect the contract to be followed, and in circumstances where we feel it’s needed, we file a grievance.” They contend that the university did not inform the union that they were going to bring goats on campus to take the jobs of union workers.
Would it help if the goats were unionized?
The twenty goats are part of Munchers on Hooves. They are rented out to land owners as an effective and inexpensive way to clear land. The goat crew of 20 is currently ahead of schedule in clearing the 15 acre lot. I bet not a single one has called in sick either and no complaints have been heard from the goats about how difficult the work it.
Perhaps union leadership should take on meaningful battles rather than looking like asses in their work.