Thursday, 25 June 2009

$ 60 million dollar day

There really is something wrong with our society (no, this is not a revelation to me), but honestly folks, with people losing their jobs due to inefficient management at (Nortel Networks) who's CEO's and others at the top of the pile are taking HUGE payouts and leaving the worker-bees to fend for themselves. Friends of mine have been laid off one by one, these are single mom's with kids, father's and mother's of the same family who have kids and other friends of mine who are in their 60's and 70's who thought they would have their retirement to live on for the rest of their days. No, No!

The top guys are leaving with millions in their pockets, while my friends have their retirement funds taken back and are left wondering if they have to now look for jobs at age 70, because everything they had, stocks, retirement funds, everything is being yanked away from them.

There is something terribly wrong with this.

Now, don't get me wrong, on this next topic, as I have been involved unions myself at one point or another but here is the most absurd issue EVER.

In Toronto, the largest city of Canada and yes, Toronto considers itself to be the centre of the universe, we have striking city CUPE workers who collect garbage on strike as well as the unionised workers who operate day-care's within the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) . This has gone on for several days, the garbage is piling up and it is stinking to high heaven with the record breaking high temperatures we are experiencing. Now I live hours away from Toronto now, but my father is still there. He says it is very distressing. There has been no real effort to stop this madness nor have they even come close to reaching an agreement with the union.

but here's the clincher;

The province of Ontario has also been in contract talks Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). The LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) want to roll back the number of full time employee's, hire them back as casual labour and therefor do not have to pay for their benefits, pensions and health care as well they can cut their hours of working without having to justify it since they would be considered "casual labour".

"The main issue is the breakdown between full-time and part-time jobs, said Robinson, who added that 60% of LCBO workers fall into the casual worker category and earn an annual income of less than $20,800 per year.“The central issue is what kind of jobs do we want in Ontario?” he said. “ Do we want ones with decent pay and benefits, or insecure part-time, throwaway jobs?”"

It was announced on Tuesday, June 23rd, the LCBO would be going on strike at midnight that night.

People across the province rushed to their local Liquor Control Board of Ontario store in fear that the liquor retailer would be closed for the upcoming long weekend. Many of the stores had their shelves cleared and a spokesperson for the provincial retailer said the LCBO racked up as much as $ 60 million in sales yesterday -- setting a corporation record.

With the fear of a province going dry and with the fear of losing such a cash cow, the province and OPSUE went back to the bargaining table and ratified some of the contract. Therefor no strike. The LCBO is a multimillion dollar corporation and yes, they do pay back and pay forward with monies going to hospitals etc., but are we controlled by unions? Would this have happened if it were privatised and the local depannier or grocery store could sell liquor? The province would never give up this cash cow.

What truly astounded me was the number of people who flocked to the Liquor stores to stock up, it was incredible. (yes, I was one of them, I picked up two bottles of red wine (Domaine Boyer) and a 6 pack of beer, yes, Molson Canadian).

Now, why can they divert a strike when it involves closet alcoholics and huge income maker and not divert a strike which involves the health and safety of a city like Toronto?

I am not educated in such things and do not profess to even begin to understand. And I'm sure I'm missing the point in some cases but really, it make you wonder.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


I took that photo on June 23rd!!

oh, I've also been running 5k and cycling - GO ME!!


chia said...

yaaay! Glad you're able to get back up and at it -- hope it's feeling alright.

I too cannot even grasp wtf is going on nowadays. Maybe the secret is in the wine. I'm going to go with that ;-)

Marlene said...

Like you, I'm not eductaed in these things and I only loosely follow the news - but what a load of crap. Makes me so mad!

(P.S. Why is that photo making me so thirsty?!)

Just_because_today said...

mmmm, I would have also picked up a few cases of red wine myself

Runner Leana said...

I find it interesting that the majority of us are just hoping that we survive this. The power of unions is something else. Many folks at private corportations are dealing with losing benefits or are being asked to take furloughs. Add a union in to the mix though and a strike seems like the viable option. I love this quote in the Globe and Mail:

“We knew it was not going to be a popular strike,” said Local 79 president Ann Dembinski, who represents about 18,000 indoor workers. “We're asking the public to be understanding.”

We are all feeling the economic pinch...and you want us to be understanding as the garbage rots in the summer heat. Hmmm....

Sorry...not to get all political, but I am glad that I don't live in TO.

Runner Leana said...

Oh, and yay for the running and cycling!!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

amen... i'm with ya. Thankfully i live about 5 minutes north of the GTA border, therefore have garbage, but I think this whole garbage this is ridiculous. Fire them all, and i'm sure they'd have people lined up that have already lost their jobs, that would be willing to work for the same # of sick days, $, whatever the issue is. i'm not political at all... it's just maddening. I have a blogger/friend coming from Australia next week, i'm embarrassed to show him around the city with all the nasty stinky garbage. grrr.

Kim said...

Go You!
Great job on the running and cycling.
And that glass looks tooooo yummy!
Thanks for the kind words. You're a doll!

TNTcoach Ken said...

So now I have a reason to stockpile my BEvERages! Who needs to park in their garage in the summer, I'll have a lot more room for BEvERages... Thanks for the heads-up.

Judi said...

i hate the man lilly. hate him. politicians are evil. so are the big ceo's w/ their big ass bank rolls. glad you got stocked up tho. have a glass for me. :) and rock on with those runs!

bluecolnago said...

remember what ron reagan did when the air traffic controllers went on strike?

i have molson in my fridge too. imagine that!

Wes said...

I do not like unions, but I understand the necessity of them from a historical perspective. What it comes down to, is we allow this stuff to happen. We are the sheep of the world....

Keith said...

It's horrible enough having to live in Trahna, let alone with a garbage strike going on. Striking about rolling back the 18 'sick days' a year they can collect and cash in at retirement indicates a complete lack of recognition about the economic world. At the other end, it's obscene that the CEOs can still take home hundreds of times what the average worker makes even when the company is losing money. Something badly wrong there.

I remember the LCBO and the Beer Store. Privatize, that's the only word you need to know. Worked great in Alberta.

Anonymous said...

hmmm here's the thing. Most any benefits that any worker has is directly attributable to a union somewhere at some level.

Governments have to be at the leading edge of benefits and rights for emplioyees if they want the private sector to even think about providing the same benefits to their own employees. If government doesn't lead, then the private sector won't even try. 1 year matnernity leave? thank unions for pushing this. Sick days of any kind - vacation time? health and safety rules? Labour laws of any kind are thanks to Unions. Even today in the 21st century I hear terrible stories of how workers are badly treated by employers in Canada, in my home town - I hear about abuse and power plays by managers, of unfair and unsafe practices. It is through unions that this stuff is policed. There is a lot of good here.
Garbage workers, day care centres, and other city services - all jobs that are NOT well paid, that have huge requirements and the city won't play ball. You start taking away peoples earned sick leave and other benefits then where does it stop?

As for the LCBO? Changing the rules on those who are hired under certain assumptions - not fair. HOWEVER as new people come in - sure go ahead put them into another category and see how it works for you. LCBO is retail outlet like any other. Full time paid work with benefits for bagging booze seems to be a cushy job frankly. SO I am of two minds here too.

I think that rather than getting upset about the LCBO - let's get rid of the Beer Outlets and that distribution network - now there's an outmoded idea that should be kyboshed. Integrate the beer stores into the LCBO - get rid of the distribution networks that limits who can sell what beer in the province - sell beer in grocery stores for pete's sake and the province will save a ton of money.
all myho
Proud card carrying union member
hey Lily... that's my rant for today!

Lily on the Road said...

All well and good Ter, but the majority of jobs (employers) are rolling back pensions, health benefits, maturnity leave (paid) and every other "cushy" item going as well as freezing wages, forcing mandatory days off without pay, and getting rid of company shares with no payout i.e. Mitel.

More and more companies hire "contract" not full time employees, moi included.

Gone are the days, (well other than being in the Government)of well paid jobs, ask the kids coming out of university!

Having been a Vice President of a Union in the 70s & 80s, I have experienced the good and bad side of it. Unions, although good when necessary and when civilization was entering into the industrial revolution, Charles Dickins aside. They retard the growth advancement and help keep "deadwood" employed.

So, there is my rant, Happy Friday,
Still Love YA!!!

Bert said...

Maybe the LCBO shouldn't be in the business of actually selling the stuff, just 'controlling' it... I'm with you on the lamentable loss of 'real' jobs as opposed to part-time throwaway jobs. If people stop being proud of what is they do to earn a living and who they work for (and receive a decent salary & benefits), it will surely be reflected in their job performance. The companies who are making these decisions for short term monetary gain are going to pay a very steep price, in the long run, for lost productivity, no loyalty, absenteeism, etc. etc.

AKA Alice said...

Unions? Politicians? They're all about the same to me. Some people get into it initially because they want to do good for the people, but eventually, they all get sucked into the power vacuum and become primarily concerned with their own success and power rather than being concerned with what's best for everyone.

On a positive note though..Yay for running and cycling. If I couldn't run, I'd go nuts (which explains my crappy mood these days...GAH!)

Getting wine and beer was a good choice!

Bluenoser said...

It's all politics. Notice how they never have a garbage or beer/wine strike during a good snowstorm. Who'd smell the garbage or would want to go to the LC?


MrDaveyGie said...

Hmmmm, interesting, I think, that pure capitalism, or unions left to rule unchecked wouldn't work. So I think each brings a check and balance that is needed. But what do I know? But more important Lily is getting back, recovering. running, and biking. Run Lily run.

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