October 8, 2011

2011, The Year of the Lockouts

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Written by: Mark Woo
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Disregard the screenshot of the SFSS Lockout website right now and right here. That was just to grab your attention. This post isn’t about choosing sides, it’s about common sense, logic and no bullshit attitude.

If you are one of the people locked out of your job; because a Union represents you, feel free not to read any further, because this thing is about to get heated quick.

Is it just me or does there seem to be more riots, more lockouts, and more chaos happening this year? It catches me off guard all the time, and I sometimes question it with, “Well maybe there were always lockouts and riots happening every year, but this year you just decided to watch YouTube and the news more, Mark.”

Regardless, I’m talking about the SFSS lockout, the Canada Post lockout, the NFL lockout, and the NBA lockout. (If you are like me and love the NBA, read Ralph’s article on how to manage without it)

Let me make this CLEAR for BOTH sides:

NEVER make it about the “people/students” in your argument to win support. Don’t Bullshit the public. Fight your own battles.

Let me use the SFSS Lockout for an example since it’s more relevant to our readers. I’m not going to go into numbers, who said this and who said that, because frankly both sides are bashing each other like it’s a Canadian Prime Minister Election commercial.

It makes me so mad when I see signs around campus that says “Let us get back to work for the Students” or along those lines. If you cared so much about students, you shouldn’t have delayed agreeing to a trade agreement before the contract expired! If it’s “all about the Students” then you’d work for 10 dollars an hour minimum wage without saying anything! You wouldn’t harass students who go into the SFSS General Office to get club work done!

The Women's Centre and Out on Campus are open fyi…

“What club are you from?” “Do you know what’s happening?” Get the hell out of our faces! We aren’t going to stop student club activities because of your labor disagreement. Student Clubs, not SFSS employees, are there to actually work for the Students. We work our asses off to enhance the University Student experience for free. That’s right, for no pay.   

Seeing lockouts happen in places like the NBA and SFSS, infuriates the public where people know that getting a job that pays over minimum wage by itself is difficult.

Let me outline 3 “Common Sense” things to keep in mind when thinking about lockouts:

Everybody’s chasing the green.

Everybody, no matter who you are, is looking out to get money. The degree of how much money they want varies from person to person, but in general everybody’s wanting to get the maximum pay out for the least amount of work. This is the same for both sides of a lockout situation. Management/Companies want to make green, and so do the workers.

Going into lockouts doesn’t only affect the Management and the Workers, it also affects everyone else. For example, when Canada Post went on Lockout, small business suffered the most, whom relied on Canada Post for their business mails. This happened just because the Union wanted to give entry level positions more money! That’s selfish and ridiculous.

Companies aren’t charities.

People kid themselves when they think companies owe them something. If the company isn’t making any money (i.e. NBA owners, SFSS Budget) you can’t expect them to increase your wage. That doesn’t make any sense. The company might as well fold shop if it’s not profitable. If that happens, you won’t be getting paid “only” 28 dollars/hour; you won’t be getting paid at all.

Something related to this idea is thinking of a company as a huge monstrous singular object. A corporation no matter how big it gets isn’t one entity, it’s comprised of hundreds people. Most of those people in management had to work their ass off to get to where they were. I believe CEO’s earn and deserve every penny they make.

This would be more relevant today if that book was a 3DS.

Oh, you hate Capitalism/Corporate Monopolies, and think Communism/Socialism is better? Let me point to China and North Korea for you. Communism didn’t work in China, where city folk are thousands of times richer than everyone else West of Beijing and Hong Kong.

Communism didn’t work in North Korea where people starve to death and the dictator drives around a Mercedes Benz. I would point to the USSR, but oh wait! they’re non-existent.

If you don’t want to play the game called rational society, go to North Korea, go to Africa, go do something charitable, and/or just get high. Otherwise stop complaining until you have a realistic working plan other than Capitalism.

First World Problems.

Cool Story Bro. Seriously, the SFSS lockout and the NBA lockout are a smack to society’s face. Come back to me when the Owners or Employers pay you 2 dollars an hour with no benefits. Factory workers in Third World Countries work for pennies a day, and yet you stop working because the 32 dollars you got an hour isn’t enough or 4% of billions of dollars in salary is to0 much to give up? Screw you.

We are so much more privileged than most of the people living in this world. Sure lockouts and strikes are more justified when poor working conditions with no maximum work hours, no benefits, and harassment occurred but this is SFU and the NBA we’re talking about.

Anyone in your shoes would gladly work for less. It’s every basketball fan’s dream to be an NBA player getting thousands let alone millions of dollars every year. It’s every SFU student’s dream to work for SFU and not in a minimum wage retail/restaurant job to help pay their bills. Think about that the next time you go flaunting the unfairness of the lockout in people’s faces.

On this note, let’s also give a toast to students in SFU and UBC who work several jobs as well as pay for their own tuition to graduate. I’m not those people, but it’s incredible and much respect to them.

Obviously this whole post wound up to be pretty biased, but I think every person should see through the constant bashing from both sides.

It’s great to be politically correct by saying “Oh they’re workers, they’re like us, let’s support them.” But when politically correctness trumps reason and honor, that’s when you have to get a reality check.

How do you feel about the lockouts? Do you think I’m totally wrong in my points? Let me know below!

About the Author

Mark Woo
Mark Woo
Mark has written for AX3.com Asian lifestyle blog on their Tech/Gadgets section. He has also written for Foodology.ca under his M's Food Court Corner. Mark currently owns NocturnalVancouver.com. Using his experiences in Vancouver's night club industry, NocVan is a one of a kind night life blog. Mark is passionate about video gaming, tech blogging, and the NBA.

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