Thursday, May 16, 2013

A sight for sore eyes.

A sight for sore eyes, eh.

A friend of mine asked me for a lift to the liquor store as the LCBO may be going on strike.
He went to college for four years. He studied Early Childhood Education and even has some letters after his name.
He earns minimum wage. He and his wife both work in the same field. They have a kid and they live in geared to income housing which is pegged at one-third of your income in terms of rent.
This involves an agreement between the Housing Authority, the landlord or developer, and the tenants. They are lucky to have it, as you may well imagine.
The folks at the LCBO, and this is why I bring it up, are supposedly, according to him, in dispute with the employer due to the fact there are no (or very few) full-time employees.
These employees make $25.00 an hour according to my buddy, which sounds like a pretty good rate if you’re on minimum wage, pensioned off or just plain out of work.
It’s all part-time work.
That way, the employer—the Province of Ontario, doesn’t have to provide all kinds of employment benefits, which on sheer speculation might include group life insurance, health and dental plans, more vacation time after so many years of service, burial benefits, death in the workplace benefits, late shift premiums, increased vacation pay, matching contributions to retirement; or education plans for dependents, the list of potential benefits goes on. The exact same benefits as other full-time provincial employees currently receive, for example.
There’s more to it than that. If they get laid off, and liquor sales do have some seasonal aspects, their unemployment benefits, at whatever rate, perhaps 55 % of base pay according to the calculation, the fact that they have never worked full time, it kills them. It takes longer to even qualify, for it’s pegged to the number of hours worked in the last time period, often six months or a year.
My buddy and his wife mentioned some astronomical figures in terms of student debt.
I went back to college a couple of time and racked up some debt myself along the way.
But I find the whole thing a bit amusing because in the story, ‘The Note,’ the author mentioned with some exaggeration that the protagonist moved six hundred kilometres from home to earn $140.00 a week plus expenses.
They work twenty-eight hours a week so they can’t call it a full-time job. They all went to college or university…there’s a dress code, where the protag’s mom, who is so proud of her son’s new career, buys him a bunch of nice clothes and puts it on her credit card. He's got some college too.
They’re white collar workers. They have a career rather than just a job. And that’s an important social distinction.
Certain fields of endeavor look good up front, it’s only once you really get into it that you realize it’s not all a bed of roses.
I’d take $25.00 an hour part-time, and the liquor store’s not a bad place to work.
When the strike’s over I’ll get my ass over there and put in a resume.
I didn’t pick up any booze myself as I’m out of work and flat broke. Anyhow, at least I now know someone with a forty-pounder of Crown Royal.

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