Thursday, 25 June 2009

The Grand Double Standard

There's an article in today's Regina Leader-Post that reports on an 18-year-old cashier who has been found guilty of fraud for giving customers a break at the till of a local Wal-Mart. In other words the young worker stole from his employer. (see: Cashier to pay Wal-Mart back)

The employee will spend the next two years paying back $2,500 to the biggest company on the planet.

Meanwhile, a couple of years ago an employer (Poverino's Restaurant) was found guilty of stealing over $62,000 from approximately 130 young workers, and the owners are getting off scott-free. (see: Wage Theft in Saskatchewan)

And the Brad Wall government is doing nothing about it. Talk about a double standard.


Matthew Bennett said...

Did Povorino's declare bankruptcy and is that why the wages weren't paid?

Though Walmart is one of the biggest employers in the world, workers still need to be held accountable for their actions. Employee theft is still the largest reason for spillage a retailer has.

I've worked in the restaurant industry for 2 years now as a server at two different restaurants. I have had nothing but a positive experience at both places. One can imagine that keeping all employees happy Front and Back of house employees is a very difficult task for any general Manager. Of course there are going to be stories of violating employee rights in the restaurant industry (as in all industries), but as a whole I think the restaurant industry is a great place to work.
Restaurants are filled with young, energetic individuals that enjoy interacting with the public and experiencing a highly challenging yet unique work experience.

I just don't believe that the labour situation is that bad in Sask. Restaurants to call it "Notoriously bad".

Young people can work as bussers, expeditors and cooks in the restaurant industry and gain valuable personal, and working skills

Larry Hubich said...


Thank you for participating in this blog and for your comments.

Poverino's did not declare bankruptcy. They simply closed the doors and walked away owing over $60,000 in unpaid wages. In my view that's theft.

To make matters worse the departments of labour and justice are doing diddly squat about it.

Perhaps one of the workers should file a complaint with the police.

As for Wal-Mart, and their workers being held accountable for their actions - I have no problem with that. Wal-Mart and other employers need to be held accountable for their actions too. If they are guilty of breaking the law, they should be prosecuted, fined and the managers/owners forced to pay.

As for your experience as a server, I'm pleased you have had a positive experience. I know there are many good employers who treat their workers well.

But I stand by my assessment - the restaurant industry is "notoriously bad". They are constantly complaining about the minimum wage being too high. They don't want to pay benefits. They complain about taxes, labour rights, compliance with government regulatory protections, and the like.

Their umbrella organization(s) are rabidly anti-union and they employ management consultants and legal firms that specialize in union busting.

The good employers in the industry get a bad name because of the rotten apples who are out there and who appear to be control of the positions of influence in the umbrella organization(s).

The state and the justice system need to prosecute the crooks in the industry and clean it up. Too many young workers are getting ripped off, and the government is turning a blind eye.