Profit Over People: Companies and Storm Days

For the most part, we have had a fairly tame winter thus far (thanks to global warming- yikes) Except for the past few weeks of February. These past few weeks have brought us some nasty snow and ice storms. Driving conditions were horrendous, schools and a lot of small businesses were shut down, and even Acadia campus closed down for one of the storms.

  However, some people still had to risk their lives to get into work for their minimum wage job. Big box businesses like Wal-Mart and Costco stayed open the whole day forcing employees to navigate the treacherous roads. For a lot of folks, they had no choice whether or not to call in. Sometimes, that eight hour shift is critical to being able to afford groceries or any bills at all that week. This means that workers have to risk their lives just to make ends meet. Most jobs do not include paid sick day policies, especially for part-time or non-unionized workers. 

Once upon a time, when I was 16 year old and trying to make money to cover my phone bill and going to the movies every now and again, I worked at an undisclosed shopping centre in Halifax… It was a nasty winter that year. I had just gotten my licence and was excited to be able to drive myself to work. Except my workplace was hard pressed to close even during a blizzard. In fact, if individual stores took it upon themselves to close for their employees safety, it was possible they could be fined by the mall for closing. Now, this may have changed since I have worked there. However, what hasn’t changed is large companies/businesses complete lack of regard for the safety of the people that keep their businesses afloat. 

Even when workers are able to muster up the courage to speak to their supervisors or bosses about not coming into work in dangerous conditions, their bosses normally give them a hard time about it or try to persuade them to come in anyway. All work is valuable no matter the nature or wage, but workers should never have to risk their safety and potentially their lives to go into work.