Yes, goats are taking away our jobs, says AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.
It happened at Western Michigan University, which has a contract with the union barring non-AFSCME employees from certain jobs, including grass-trimming.
The basics are simple:
- The goats were brought in during the summer to clear poisonous brush and overgrowth around campus
- Those tasks are hard for humans to do
- Renting a team of 20 goats for the summer was a good way to do it, environmentally friendly, and inexpensive
- The goats, rented from a local farmer, were very effective, cleaned out the 15 acres quickly, and were ready for more.
- Since the school had already rented them for the rest of the summer, they decided to let them continue grazing as a “lawn-mowing” service.
- That was not the school’s original intent, but it was a useful, if unexpected, way to save taxpayer money.
- Lawn mowing is normally at AFSCME union job.
- The union considers the goats scabs and has filed a grievance.
Comment: A spokesman for the goats said they were concerned about “cheaper Chinese goats.”