According to the Washington Post, Mexico's largest teachers' union (also the largest union period in Latin America) has created "a monstrous system of perks and patronage" that has basically made it impossible for teachers to be fired, even if they rarely show up for work. Teachers in Mexico often work two full-time jobs, missing half or more of their classes, abuses that education officials are powerless to curb. And like some sort of medieval guild, they have the right to bequeath their job to their children - or sell it to the highest bidder, a practice that is nominally illegal but widely tolerated by union leaders. A good lesson for American education reformers: things could always be worse.
"A union's grip stifles learning," by Mary Jordan, Washington Post, July 14, 2004