Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Unions, Strikes, Minimum-Wage, Job Security & the Stupidity of Some People.

I am so frustrated that there is no clear beginning.

This passion.. this dire need to strangle someone.. Is something I have not felt in quite a while.

It feels good.

... Jump back a step ...

In the last month, the city has practically gone on strike. Halifax On Strike! Well, some have, many have threatened and most of the public has complained one way or the other.

I have always been in support of strikes and unions; regardless of their inconvenience. If people feel they have been wronged, under paid, treated unfairly -- they are able to express this without worrying about their job security. All while getting paid very little.. bit over a 100$/week.. strikes happen for a reason.

Yes, I agree union workers do get paid nicely for very little work (the majority of the time).

Yes, I do realize that low-paid jobs become below-minimum wage jobs once union fees are deducted (my mother paid out to a union for 25ish years as a housekeeper in an old folks home).

Where was I going with this.. In my opinion, the positives outnumber the negatives when it comes to unions, and striking, in particular.

But a month on strike.. for a service my clients rely on for all their outings (bus services) -- it gets extremely frustrating.

I know of individuals who have been unable to leave their homes for work, recreation or appointments.. for the mere fact that they cannot board any cab or regular van with their power wheelchair. They were completely dependent on the 'sub-service' (access-a-bus) provided by the metro transit. Luckily my clients actually physically can take taxis, but how long the budget can 'take taxis' is another matter.

So yes, this strike did start to take its toll on my tolerance. On my nerves. I became irritated when trying to reach a taxi for 4 hours and not being able to get through to the dispatcher. I became infuriated at the wrong people. But it is easy to make such a mistake.. why are the cabs bogged down? Stupid strike. It is logical.

I snapped back to reality this week.

I realized how important it is for this union and all its workers to continue fighting. To continue standing outside in the -10 weather, even after.. no ESPECIALLY AFTER the government decided to enforce the open-barrel fire ban after the union rejected the government's "last offer." After rejecting the 1500$ bribe incentive offered, their blood must have been boiling enough to keep them warm all winter. Mine was. I admire their strength and commitment in their demands. I love that they are able to stand up to "the man" and demand respect.

Which gets back to reason #2 of "what got my blood boiling this week."

People should be able to stand up for what they believe in. Even if it may appear wonky to others, they should be able to say so and be heard, without fear. But let's get back to the basics of unions.

Job security.

You can't get fired for no apparent reason.

If fired, you have to be told.
You are protected.

Unless you do something stupid. Then you should expect it. But you are STILL to be treated fairly.

Seems basic.

Yet, this is not always the case.

Why do I have to go to a 2nd job today with butterflies, in fear that today my boss may have decided that I am no longer needed and have taken me off the schedule, all while never uttering a word of this to me.

It should not happen in our society. It should not be allowed to happen at all.

Apparently it still does in some industries.

In those industries that are not even worth fighting for the minimum-wage job.

The anger and frustration I feel when I think about it is enough to make me want to quit this job.

The injustice.
The stupidity.
The mere ignorance.. violation of rights.. bias.. crudeness.. inequality.. oppression, if you will.

The person I saw it happen to this week... not even one of my favorite people.
Did I like them as a human being? Hardly.

But it does not make it any less wrong.

And to think I was frustrated over having to pay under 20$ for a mistake I made, then fixed.. tried to explain.. but not even given the opportunity to show where it was fixed. Although everyone else knew and understood, 1 person was able to say "no, you are wrong. Give me the money." Regardless of facts.

So here I am, taking my frustration. Trying to calm down so I can go to this second job that would hardly come close to cover the expenses of getting to work, paying to fix my non-mistakes, buying new clothes because they get stained and the pain-killers needed for the labour... if not for the kind patrons.

But, unfortunately, I have to shut my mouth, put a smile on and go work because I need the extra few hundred dollars to pay bills, rent, loans, and save up for a home.

I am fortunate that job security is not an issue at my "real job," the one that actually pays for bills, rent, etc. What about those people who depend on these minimum-wage jobs for their livelihood.

It's not just.

Maybe I should have gone to law school after all. Unfortunately, those who deserve and should fight hard for their rights can't afford lawyers.

Sounds ass-backwards, no?

In Canada?! In a province which has been primarily NDP for however many years?!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...