Humble Dogs

That they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts. Matthew 13:15b

Archive for the category “Employment”

Love and the Single Mom

Her husband lost his job as construction foreman after the building downturn 5 years prior and in the following year accepted a lower pay job with a private contractor in a small town just outside a military base. They were happy there, got to know their neighbors, attended a local church, along with their two children, they just wanted to fit in. Then the unthinkable happened when one day at work he was killed in a machinery accident. The contractor he worked for did not provide insurance coverage and after the accident, mom and children were left nearly destitute. With only social services to rely on, she was forced to leave the family home and move to a small apartment.

Social services provision not being sufficient to live on, she was forced to work part time at a local diner. Having to leave her children unattended for several hours each day while she worked, the authorities threatened to remove her children from her care. Sometime in her despair  she was offered a drug to hide the pain, she was hooked. Now in deepened desperation and in dire need for money, the woman felt the only way she could manage, was to resort to prostitution. The army base nearby provided ample customers for her illicit services. Her self worth crumbled, she became ashamed to be seen in public.

At the church she attended, she was beginning to feel very uncomfortable. The greeters at the door, although polite, did not seem welcoming anymore. She began to notice people stare in her direction. No one asked her to help out at any of the festivities in which she had participated previously when her husband was alive. No one even comes over to talk with her any more.

Her son has quit soccer and is now a victim of bullying at school. Her daughter is skipping classes and the police have picked her up twice for shop lifting. She has become exceedingly depressed.

I know this woman. I believe you know her too. She arrives just as the service starts, sits near the back of the church and leaves before the service ends. She is a single mom, one of possibly the most ostracized group in the country. To clarify; Not all single moms give in to drugs nor will many resort to prostitution but, well over half are left close to defined poverty. Almost all need help in some way. Most single moms will leave the church. Institutional counselling cannot provide the the care and attention mom and family require.

Consider:

  • The single mom is one of the fastest-growing identified groups of our population, why has the church ignored them for so long?
  • By “appearances” the perceived make-up of most churches is run by and for married couples with adequate incomes.
  • It is difficult for many single moms to ‘Break the Ice’. They feel they will be a burden and their meager contributions just cannot measure up to the standards.
  • There is a stigma attached to being a single mom. “How dare she get pregnant.” or “How dare she get a divorce.”
  • There is often a shield put up by married women to protect husbands and family from the single mom.
  • How has the condemnation of abortion without guidance and support led to the huge numbers of pregnancies ending in abortion?
  • How has the lack of adequate counsel (for both girls and boys) led to so many young girls becoming single moms.
  • How has inadequate marriage and family counselling from the church led to so many divorces?
  • How has the condemnation of divorce without concrete support led to so many single moms leaving the church?
  • Apart from seasonal support at Christmas, often through secular agencies, single moms are very much forgotten.
  • The emotional state and spiritual condition of single moms is as important, if not more so, than the food and clothing.
  • The most precious gift the church can offer a single mom and family is to be welcomed as Christ welcomes.
  • Will single moms place a burden on the church? No!
  • Will single moms use much of the resources of the church? Yes, Be glad in it!

For more information for what the church can do for single moms, type in or copy, ‘single moms and the church‘ to your search engine.

In my peruse of the internet I came across this blog entry:

Illegal Immigrants

Richard Rohr
December 18, 2011

This morning after celebrating the 8AM Mass here at Holy Family parish in Albuquerque, I had finished talking to folks in the vestibule and aisles, when I noticed one middle aged woman standing to the side weeping. I approached her and realized she could not speak English, so I invited another lady to translate her Spanish. She was holding a baby, but said she had three more under 13 at home.
Read more…

Workers Needed in BC

Does any Canadian want to work underground in a coal mine for $12/hr?
Apply at Dehua International Mines, Tumbler Ridge BC.

The median starting wage for coal mining in Canada starts at $55,000 per year / $25.00/hr.
Peace River Coal Inc. an operation nearby typically pays its employees 10% over median.
Sherritt International in Alberta pays approx. 12% over median.

Canadian Dehua International Mines Group Inc., a consortium of Chinese companies has put up $1 billion to develop metallurgical coal from B.C.’s northeast. After posting publicly for miners and offering $12 to $15 /hr. and getting no Canadian takers for the jobs, they are now bringing in up to 400 Chinese temp workers at 15% less pay, $10 – $11 /hr. Its hiring policy has the support of Canada’s federal government, which has already approved temporary visas for the Chinese workers, and the provincial government, which sets regulations regarding mine operation and safety.
The Chinese management at Murray River has stated that Canadian miners don’t know longwall mining and preference is given to workers who speak Mandarin.

This is union busting at it’s lowest degree. Not only is the government permitting this atrocity, the Chinese miners will be paying bare minimum income tax on their wages if any at all. The coal that is mined is sold directly to China at a discounted price leaving less royalties paid in Canada and, because of the below market price, most likely a trumped up loss on the books of Dehua International Mines meaning no corporate taxes paid either. It is a lose – lose – lose for Canada.

Just another brilliant example of resource management by the Feds.

Seeing the safety and performance records of Chinese owned companies, can they really be trusted?

Yukon Zinc Corp., another Chinese mining company operation has been closed for safety reasons by the Yukon Government after several deaths over 3 years and a massive cave-in occurring February 2011.

Two imported Chinese workers have already been killed while erecting a storage tank at a Chinese site in the oil sands.

Minimum Wages

Recently, the Government of Alberta launched a study called; Speak. Share. Thrive. in which they want the public to discuss the guiding principles of the Social Policy Framework, especially at this relates to Early Learning and Child Care.  Alberta has the highest “Cost of Living” across Canada and Alberta enjoys the highest take home pay average in Canada and yet has the lowest minimum wage of all provinces. How does this relate to the Social Policy Framework of Alberta?

We can not look at the social and economic factors surrounding minimum wages without regard to the effect on children in families living at or below the poverty line in any society or province. The economic conditions in which they grow and develope are not of their making and yet they are hindered by economic circumstance in: social and cultural adaptation, education, opportunity, sport, and health. All these factors lead to social problems which they will have to meet and overcome as the reach maturity. Empirical evidence shows that most if not near all remain in the lower spectrum of the economic scale. Economics are only part of the hurdle facing children in low income families but, it is a major part and needs to be addressed. Minimum wage levels do play an important role in the economics of low income families.

Questions pertaining to minimum wage.

  • What is the social responsibility of a government to set minimum wages at a liveable rate?
  • Do families struggling to get by on low paying jobs place a greater burden on social services?
  • Will the burden to social services be eased by raising the minimum wage?
  • Does raising the minimum wage increase inflation?
  • Do companies have an obligation to pay a liveable wage to all their employees?
  • Does raising the minimum wage lower a companies profits?
  • How does raising prices to compensate for higher minimum wages effect the community/province as a whole?
  • Should the minimum wage be set by indexing to the Consumer Price Index?
  • Does providing free child care services or other benefits for minimum wage earners justify a lower minimum wage?
  • Do students require a higher minimum wage in order to help pay for schooling?
  • Should some sectors of the work force be regulated at a lower minimum wage? ie. farm workers? restaurant workers? child care workers? homes for elderly workers? semi-retired workers? students? temporary foreign workers?
  • Do employees who collect gratuities (tips) require the same minimum wage as employees who don’t?
  • Is it discrimination to set a lower minimum wage for servers who receive gratuities?
  • Is it proper for restaurants to include a gratuity as part of the bill?
  • Does an employee working a secondary income to a well paid primary job holder require a sustainable living wage?
  • How could the labor laws differentiate between those on secondary income and those who need a decent wage to provide for the family?
  • Would it be fair to increase taxes for secondary income employees in an effort to make secondary incomes at the lower wage end mostly not worth holding the job and therefore provide greater opportunity for single earner families?
  • If minimum wage is increased, should the requirements for social security and remaining on employment insurance be strengthened?

Employees Needed

Seeking the person who is willing to work a minimum 1 hr. per day for a large national corporation and pay for the privilege of doing so?
Apply to any television carrier in your area.

Each time you watch 3 hrs of television, that’s 1 hockey game, you have sat through and watched at minimum 1 hr of commercials during that time. The TV producers will even hold up the game, TV timeouts they are called, so that they can run the ads. Fair enough, some one has to pay for the air time, but, did you turn to that channel to watch commercials or watch the game? The commercials are deterrents to your enjoyment of the game and therefore the viewer should be compensated for his time. Since we pay the carrier, Direct TV, Bell, Rogers, whomever, to deliver that program, why then should we not be compensated for the time spent watching the ads. The producer is getting paid, let the advertiser pay the carrier to deliver their ads to the viewer. Why should the viewer pay twice?

Does the post office require the receiver of mail to pay for another stamp? NO. Does UPS expect to be paid by both the sender and the receiver? NO. Why then for TV? It’s just another product. I wouldn’t mind paying for the product commercial free, but even pay for view has those commercial time outs and includes subliminal advertizing.

What adds insult is oft time the carrier owns both the program or the rights to and the network you are watching. That is triple payment.

What I’m really waiting for is the television carrier who offers free satellite TV. The first carrier to do so will capture near all the business and force the TV networks to pay the carrier to include their stations. It will happen some day. Just not soon enough.

Advertizing is everywhere and people are just not willing to show their displeasure even when they pay to watch it. Purchase a video and the very first thing you see is advertizing. The producers of the video are being paid twice. So bold are they that they have even made it so that you can’t skip or fast forward over the commercials. Yet very few people complain.

A question – Would you be willing to trade in your digital wide screen TV for a 30″ analog without commercials and no carrier fees?

Interesting reading on advertizing – Why Americans Hate Advertising “Sixty percent said their opinion of advertising “is much more negative than just a few years ago.” It’s always been negative. Why should anyone like advertising? It’s a tax you pay to be entertained.” “…life in the early 21 st Century can’t be lived without continuous obeisance to Mammon.”

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