Today is Family Day, an Ontario holiday. It’s also observed in Saskatchewan and Alberta. But because it’s a provincial holiday and broadcasting is a federally regulated industry, it’s not a day off for us unless we have booked it as a regular holiday day.
I forgot to book it until it was right on top of us and it was too late!
Lots of other employers don’t, or don’t have to recognize Family Day. Bars, restaurants, anyone working for an essential service such as police and fire, those whose collective agreements don’t allow for it, etcs, are exempt. Employers that should legally close for the day, such as retailers, can be fined $295 for refusing to give employees the day off and corporations are risking tens of thousands of dollars for making people work. Some could simply refuse to come in, but it’s risky business.
Speaking of work, Home Depot recently made a big, hairy deal about 2,700 jobs it was adding across the country, including hundreds in the London area. Dozens of people lined up at London’s Home Depots and every single one of those jobs, no matter the department or the experience level of the worker, paid minimum wage. So the former engineer from one of London’s many shuttered manufacturing plants who can’t find work, will probably take the job because it’s a smaller blow to his pride to walk people over to the lightbulbs than it is to pour coffee and bag a donut. And I hear that Tim Hortons pays above minimum anyway. The point is, our city council can brag about job growth in London, but the new positions aren’t equal to the ones that left.
Happy Family Day!