Poking fun at the unions . . .

I had to laugh at this report in the Telegraph.

When a French rail worker got so drunk last month that he burned down a signal box near Paris, embarrassed state railway officials sent out a memo reminding staff to exercise “common sense” concerning aperitifs during work hours.

To stop staff drinking on the job, managers were asked to “inspect fridges” for alcohol and “if necessary to conduct surprise checks with breathalisers at their disposal”.

But that may not be enough to placate one disgruntled passenger, who became so fed up with problems on France’s railways he has decided to create a satirical board game in which players seek ways of creating the maximum number of delays.

In Cheminot Simulator (“Rail Worker Simulator”), unionised rail staff with cushy conditions seek to work as little as possible and make life hell for passengers in a variety of ways, from strike action and work stoppages, to snow on the line and assault.

The player who wreaks the longest delays wins the game – a concept that has created a buzz at a time when millions take to the railways during the holiday season.

Jérémie Paret, 29, the game’s inventor and a frequent rail user, said the idea came to him “when there was an incident on one line and the drivers in mine (a different one) decided to stop working.”

“They caused so much hassle for so many people that I decided to laugh about it rather than cry,” he told Le Parisien.

There’s more at the link.

I think I’ve run into unions like that myself . . . or, rather, not run into them, because their members are usually so seldom at work that encountering one in the flesh is a major achievement!  I wonder if someone in Detroit could come up with a similar game about the UAW?



  1. Having worked as a security contractor in a couple of Detroit's auto plants back in the day, I can suggest that the game involve much drinking on the job, sleeping, felony theft, timecard fraud, drug use and sales, assault and destruction of any new machinery that the union thinks might displace a dues-paying member, often during the busiest shifts yet with no witnesses. All of these would result in firing and eventual re-hiring with back-pay and seniority restored.

    Oh–and you'd have to make shoddy cars, too.

  2. To quote my Father-in-law when asked, how many worked at a major aircraft manufacturer we were both employed at, "About Half." Between management and the union it's a wonder any of those planes got off the ground.

  3. The International Longshoreman's Union has been a thorn in my family's side for three generations now.

    They finally screwed up enough to let us break them and go non union. You cannot imagine my glee seeing the shiftless, methed out slackers who used to start at $15/hr begging for work at the day labor agencies. The great irony is that they rejected a deal that would have paid them well over the pittance that they now earn.

    Is this game available in English or Spanish? It would provide hilarity at the upcoming family reunion.

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