Saturday, April 20, 2013

TFWs, RBC, and Entitlements Oh My!

Definition of ENTITLEMENT
1a : the state or condition of being entitled : right
  b : a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract
2: a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group;
    also: funds supporting or distributed by such a program
3: belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges

We keep hearing the word entitlement like it is a dirty thing. Politicians and their supporters (usually of a certain party but sometimes not) bandy this word around and usually in a negative way. They use it for things like social assistance and Employment Insurance and they tend to portray the recipients as less than well… human in many cases.

But recently I came across a new use of entitlement, one that I haven’t seen before…

But U.S. business consultant Steve Siebold says this anger is misdirected and that Canadians have no right to complain. Outsourcing is a reality, and it is not the bank’s responsibility to provide Canadian jobs, he said.
“It’s time to drop the entitlement mentality that just because you live in the neighbourhood [that] means a company should hire you. At the end of the day, you are responsible for what happens to you,” he said.
“To expect that the government, a local bank or anyone else is going to come riding in on the white horse to save you is ridiculous.”

Did you catch it in there? “Entitlement mentality”?

This comment was lifted from an op-ed piece in the Huffington Post on the use of Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). You may have heard about this, it has been all over the news.

Our friend Steve Siebold says that it is A OK for a profitable business like the RBC to bring in temporary workers to replace their current employees and I’ll wager he thinks that it is peachy keen that the RBC have those soon to be former employees training the TFWs that are going to replace them. He goes on to accuse people who think this is wrong of having that entitlement mentality and then tosses in some blather about governments and banks on white horses riding in to save you… Well, let’s put it this way, I’ve never seen a banker or a government riding a horse, but I have seen them shovel a fair share of horse excrement in our direction. Maybe they named a pile of it “Steve”?

I think Steve is looking at this bass ackward. You see these other things that get called entitlements are really parts of our social safety net, our social contract. People saw what happened in bad times and how people were left destitute and suffering and society decided that this had to change. If you lose your job and you have been paying into the Employment Insurance pool you should be able to collect payments. If you are unable to find work and EI runs out, we have social assistance to tide you over until you do find work. We don’t want people starving in the streets, begging for pennies from those who are fortunate enough to still have their jobs. We’ve seen that before, we don’t want to see it again.

But there is another social contract that Steve ignores. Remember when you were younger and people told you to get an education so that you can get a good job? If you have kids you’ve probably told them that too.

These reason that I lump this into the social contract is that it wasn’t just parents saying this to their own kids, but it was everyone. It was the teachers, the community leaders, everyone on up to the government.

But we’re not talking about people trying to get jobs at the bank. We are talking about people who have jobs at the bank.

The entitlement mindset doesn’t belong to the workers, it belongs to Steve Siebold and the RBC. They believe that as an employer they are entitled to toss perfectly good workers into the street because they can get some people from India or wherever to do the work for cheap. So cheap in fact that they can afford to pay a middleman or an agency a fee to bring these TFWs into Canada for them.  

Do you see the government running to the stables to get on their white horses? No, they’re running there to cover their asses, or burros, or donkeys, or whatever it is that Cabinet Ministers ride now days.

Speaking of horse poop, I see Mike Duffy managed to make the news again, and the Harper Party still doesn’t like the electoral boundaries in Saskatchewan, and they officially announced that they put the Royal back into the Military (again), and how about those pesky backbenchers…

I’ve read lately that the Harper Party’s issue with the TFWs is not that it happened, but that we found out.

That wouldn’t surprise me, but that’s just my opinion… I’m still entitled to have one.

Cheers! BC

1 comment:

  1. Just fooling around with these fancy comment precursors to see if they actually work, being as how I am still a novice at this stuff. Good reading ... again.