From the NY Post:
An arcane union rule allowed 34 Long Island Rail Road grease monkeys at a Queens maintenance shop to earn a total of $2.5 million in overtime last year, and some of that staggering sum was paid just for heading home and going to bed, The Post has learned.
Under the rule, the railroad is required to fill vacant slots on all work shifts -- regardless of whether the manpower is needed -- allowing senior repairmen to pick up enormous amounts of extra hours.
If a repairman is out sick or goes on vacation, for example, the rule requires the shift's empty slot to be filled by another mechanic, even if he's not needed or on OT.
There were hundreds of instances last year when mechanics worked 24 to 32 hours straight, racking up time-and-a-half and double-time pay. The system then dictates that these OT kings be sent home to collect an additional eight hours of pay for no work.
Many accrue 40 consecutive hours of pay in a single stretch, ringing up a full week's wages in less than a day and half.
And the gravy train doesn't stop there. Another mechanic can then pick up the vacant slot left by the sent-home worker and receive time-and-a-half pay.
Rule 24 has ratcheted up some mechanics' income by more than three times their base salary.