"Then when problems start, they can move on," leaving an ailing escalator under the supervision of someone with less experience. While the "Pick" system would appear to be beneficial in theory, its success is solely contingent upon the performance of the individual worker.

For those of you Beltway-ites who wonder why WMATA unions are so painfully slow to fix Metro escalators, UnSuck DC's Metro provides the explanation:

 

According to a source intimately familiar with Metro's escalators, twice a year, Metro maintenance personnel bid on the escalators for which they'll be responsible.This way of doing things, the source said, "destroys the incentive" of the younger workers who know that Brake Pad Factory if they do a good job, their escalators will be taken away by someone with more seniority.Accountability for conditions of the equipment when received after "Pick" rotation were expressed. Because employees paid to kowtow to union bosses while keeping their respective individual heads down -- well, they're certainly not going to fix elevators. Workers with the most seniority get the firstPeople respond to incentives. The intent of the "Pick" system is to expose each worker to the broadest range of equipment and service scopes, maintenance, service repair, troubleshooting, and adjusting, by rotating work stations semi- annually.This is called the "pick" system, and it was referred to as a "critical" problem, albeit in a somewhat sugar coated way, in the recent report on Metro's escalator woes:

Management is limited in its ability to use best qualified field labor by "Pick" system. WMATA employees paid to fix escalators will fix escalators.As WMATA's labor force is drawn from a union base, the ability to implement modification of the "Pick" system would require negotiations with the appropriate union representatives.""They can coast for a while," the source said