If you’ve been following me on social media and/or reading my blog posts, you’ll know that I always try to keep it positive. If you could see me right now, however, you would see steam coming out of my ears and my face an angry shade of red. As a perverse follow up to my previous blog post where I write about serving my community through my business, I now feel a need to rant and rage about several news headlines this week that highlight one of the worst aspects of humanity – corporate greed.
On the second day of this new year, we were informed that, before most Canadians were clocking off for their (unpaid) lunch break, 100 of the top CEOs had raked in more than 200 times an “average worker’s” annual salary of $49,738.00 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/ceo-income-pay-canadian-worker-1.4462496). And, let’s be honest here, there are far more people making only a fraction of that “average worker’s” wage while working full time at crap jobs. You’ll find these hard working folk lining up at the food banks, because their full-time salaries won’t cover both rent AND food, while the fat cats roll in the millions and stash it away in off shore accounts. Anyone else starting to froth at the mouth with fury yet?
Just in case that story didn’t put you off your donuts, just one day after this stomach churning revelation of inequality hit the news, we learned that the heirs of hockey legend turned donut mogul Tim Horton, have decided to ream their employees the minute the Ontario government made moves to improve their dismal work conditions. Ontario, rightfully so, has raised minimum wage in hopes of tackling the pervasive poverty among service industry workers. Concerned that this might bite into their excessive profits, the donut chain heirs immediately dodged any potential losses by taking the money right back out of the pockets of their employees (http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/tim-horton-s-tims-timmies-doubledouble-minimum-wage-ontario-kathleen-wynne-labour-1.4470215). “Besides losing paid breaks, the document states workers with more than five years of service will have to pay 50 per cent of the cost of benefits, and employees with between six months and five years service will have to pay 75 per cent.” These guys aren’t messing around when it comes to stealing from the poor. This kind of daylight robbery is truly despicable.
History tells us that when economic disparity grows so wide that more and more people go hungry and homeless while the privileged few flaunt their vast wealth, ugly things happen. I don’t need to bring up all the details of various revolutions, but you would think that history has repeated itself enough to remain a cautionary tale to all.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – running a business puts you in a position of social responsibility. As a business owner (CEO, thank you very much!), I am no longer just responsible for myself and my family, but also to my community, my employees and my customers. As a business owner, I have the opportunity to make a positive or negative impact on the world around me. It may inconvenience me a bit financially and otherwise to ensure that my Singing Bowl Granola community is looked after however I can, but I have every intention of creating a positive impact on those who are affected by my business. For me, that is plenty.
Wondering what you can do to fight corporate greed? The most powerful action you can take is to buy as many locally produced items from small, independent stores as possible. Share your local purchases on social media with the hashtag #buylocal2018 to encourage others to do the same. Make this your new year's resolution. Together we can make a difference.
In case you're wondering why my cats are the featured image, it is my attempt to share a little positivity in this post of fury.