Saturday, October 08, 2005

City Of Baytown Fires Employees For Evacuating

The City Of Baytown has apparently fired some employees for evacuating during Hurricane Rita. Apparently the city doesn't understand the difference between a meter reader and an emergency worker like a fireman:
Millions of people across the Houston area fled southeast Texas before the hurricane hit. But, at least 12 city of Baytown employees who evacuated before the storm told KPRC Local 2 they were fired for evacuating.

City officials said they had the right to fire them because they were city workers who abandoned their duties. The city said of its 650 employees, half of them were told to evacuate; the other half were housed during the storm.
Officials said the 12 employees who were fired evacuated before the city said they could.


"Either before or after a storm, anyone is liable to do anything. Every one of our job descriptions has the line, 'Other duties as may be assigned,'" Leiper said.
No, they won't. You're going to take a meter reader and train him to repair downed power lines in a couple of hours? I don't think so.
"You can't look back after the storm and say, 'Well, we didn't need them.' That's like saying we are not going to pay our firefighters this morning because they didn't have a fire last night," Leiper said.
To hell with hurricane force winds and flooding rains. You still have to get that read, fella. The future of civilization depends on it.

I know what my reply would be, but I don't use that kind of language on this blog.

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