CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Last May, we found city workers mowing grass on the west side of the Center Street swing bridge in the Flats. On it's face it doesn't sound like much of a story. That is until you learn that the workers were being paid $80 an hour to mow the grass. That's right $40 each...an hour.
We introduced ourselves and asked one of the workers a question, "You think this is the best way for the city to be using your skills. You're an iron worker." He replied, "Yeah I am, yes I am."
Why would the city have highly-paid iron workers mowing grass when less skilled workers or summer help could do it far cheaper?
A second worker told us, "You gotta call city hall on that one brother."
We did call city hall back then, and got a call back and an e-mail which said the expensive iron workers are assigned other duties like grass mowing when there isn't relevant work for them to do as iron workers.
We're told the practice stopped.
To check, we went back this week and found it hasn't stopped. Workers were mowing, and yes in true city of Cleveland fashion, they were iron workers.
The truck they drove is equipped with welding and other iron working equipment. Much like last year, the workers were just following orders and did nothing wrong. Unlike last year, their pay has changed. Rather than making $40 each, they make closer to $45. A total of about $90 an hour, to mow grass. Its a story that just keeps growing.
We asked the Mayor's Office for an explanation by email on Wednesday morning and have heard nothing.
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