Is fraud with compensation to workers a crime? That's not the case for unionized city workers in New Orleans.
The New Orleans Fire Fighters Association and other labor advocates are concerned after the city government used its $ 40 million crime camera network to contest a workers' claim and justify the dismissal of three city employees, according to the newspaper Lens.
The New Orleans Fire Department recently obtained surveillance footage investigating a claim by a firefighter who said he was injured by a defective door at a fire station in June 2020. The department, armed with surveillance footage, denied the claim and fired the fidgeting firefighter, as well as a another firefighter who had confirmed part of the saga. Later, a sewage worker in the city who made overtime ̵1; and was caught lying down by cameras – was also fired.
Union critics argue against what they call "surveillance insects", which are described as using a surveillance system, introduced for a reason to discourage violent crime, only to be used later for other purposes, such as keeping track of the city's workforce. The real violation, they say, is being monitored.
"All city workers should be able to serve the city without being unduly supervised," said a statement from the New Orleans City Workers Organizing Committee, a newly formed group of city workers seeking union recognition. "NOCWOC is adamant that public crime cameras should only be used in cases where a crime has been committed or public safety has been jeopardized."