Monday, September 19, 2011

More jobs lost

Due to technology change:
Motorists’ bane, magnet for thieves, and memorialized in the Beatles’ “Lovely Rita,” the diminutive parking meter has led an outsize life. But its days in New York City are about to expire.

The city will remove its last decommissioned single-space parking meter in Manhattan on Monday, transportation officials said, the start of a yearlong process that will eventually eliminate all the steel-and-sludge-hued meters in the city.
But at the Transportation Department’s repair shop in Maspeth, Queens, where meter surgery is still performed with butter knives and nail files, mechanics are bracing for an era’s end. Stephen Kerney, the shop supervisor, wondered about his team’s fate as he surveyed shelves and tables filled with hundreds of discarded meter innards.
“At one time,” he said, “we were the largest shop in the world.”
Some of the meter shop mechanics will be retrained or reassigned, city officials said.        

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