Detroit has long been viewed as an example of a catastrophic failure of a city with soaring crime, unemployment, and the continued reelection of corrupt or abusive politicians (here and here and here and here). Unable to pay bills, the city has left whole areas without street lighting and even proposed allowing buildings to burn rather than spend the money on fire fighters. However, the Detroit horseshoer remains fully employed . . . even if the city does not have a single horse to shoe.
It turns out that the water and sewerage department for the city of Detroit employs a horseshoer. Efforts to fire the horseshoer have run into problems with the local union president said it is “not possible” to eliminate positions under union rules.
The job is defined as requiring a person “to shoe horses and to do general blacksmith work … and to perform related work as required.” The article below says that the description was last updated in 1967.
A recent study found that the DWSD was bloated and required about twice the number of people to do the work to produce water than Chicago when measured in per gallon production. The study recommended that the department be reduced by a massive 80 percent. However, John Riehl, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 207, insists that the department needs more not fewer employees.
By the way, the horseshoer position pays $29,245 in salary and about $27,000 in benefits.
Source: Michigan Capitol