In an unexpected turn of events, the entire lawn care industry serving Riverside has unionized. As a result, beginning this month, the average price for a Riverside lawn to be mowed, trimmed and leaf blown will jump from $25 to $750 a week.
“The low price, brought about by a competitive free market, was not in anyone’s best interest,” said Hector Greenman, a union organizer and the newly appointed head of the Riverside Lawn Laborers Union (RLLU) Local 96.
While the price increase is alarming, the RLLU contract also includes an exhaustive list of work rules. Suffice to say, conditions need to be perfect, or your lawn won’t get mowed.
Greenman insisted, “It’s all about the grass. Mowing requires thoughtfulness, planning and continuing education. Believe me; you want guys with full benefits and rock solid health insurance working under optimal conditions mowing your lawn. The grass will know.”
Commensurately, in what may best be described as a “perfect storm,” a group of climate change activists have pushed through an ordinance requiring all power equipment in the village to be licensed.
The ordinance provides that each piece of equipment be inspected annually and assessed a $5,000 operating fee.
“We realize residents may chafe at spending $15,000 a year on fees for a mower, weed whacker and leaf blower to take care of their lawn, but the potential for carbon reduction and revenue for the village outweigh any cost or inconvenience,” said a spokesperson.
Resident Chester Smallot, clearly irked by the new rules, remarked, “I’ve been in the private sector my entire life. I’ve worked for seven different firms over a 20-year career in the financial services industry. Downsized three times, let go once and consolidated in private equity deals twice. The vested amount of my 401(k) is just about equal to my power equipment fee each year now.”
Others were more sanguine. Wendy Govcare a 49-year-old retired elementary school teacher and ardent environmentalist embraced the new ordinance.
“Although I live in an apartment, I feel it is important for others to do all they can to reduce their carbon footprint.”
She was concerned, however, the Lawn Laborers contract didn’t included full dental.
William H. Anderson Jr.
Ed. Note: Hey, folks, this isn’t real. It’s satire. Calm down.