Kevin Anderson just wanted to earn his Eagle Scout badge. Instead, he's come under fire from Allentown, Pa.'s biggest union boss who wants to investigate the underage do-gooder after he unknowingly ruffled union feathers.
Anderson has logged in more than 200 hours to clear a 1,000-foot walking path along the Lehigh River. "I decided to do my part in completing this part of the trail," he told the Morning Call newspaper. "In that way, others could enjoy walking along the river."
But his good deed has drawn fire from the Service Employees International Union. President Nick Balzano threatened to investigate the 17-year-old high school junior.
"We'll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," he reportedly to the city council.
Last July, the city decided to lay off 39 union members who work in the Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments. And the young Boy Scout was doing work that typically would've been handled by union employees.
City Hall has decided to step into the fray as the teenager faces the wrath of a scorned union. "We would hope that the well-intentioned efforts of an Eagle Scout candidate would not be challenged by the union," Mayor Ed Pawlowski wrote in an e-mail to the local newspaper. "This young man is performing a great service to the community."
The union boss said he's not targeting the Boy Scouts and stressed that it's not personal. Nevertheless, he's playing hardball.
"No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path," Balzano said.
In other words, at least in Allentown, the only legal hoe is a union hoe.