Last weekend the Wall Street Journal carried the story about the cushy pay and early retirement benefits for California prison guards, but that’s nothing compared to the Journal’s eye-popping detail in this morning’s story about air traffic in Europe:
When air travel plunged following the global recession in 2008, Spanish air-traffic controllers suffered little impact: They were earning, on average, a half a million dollars apiece. Last year, as the Spanish government tried cutting those payouts to below $300,000—still 10 times Spain’s average salary—controllers protested by staging wildcat strikes during December holidays.
It’s gets even better further into the story:
By 2005, only two-thirds of Spanish controllers’ annual hours were on standard salary. The rest was on overtime, paid at triple-time rates. In 2009, some controllers earned more than $1 million, according to Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea, or AENA, the state aviation agency. Early retirement was allowed at age 52.
File this under Derb’s heading, “Why We Should All Get Government Jobs.”