Archive for the Rants Category

Distracted Driving 

Posted in Politics, Rants with tags , , , , on 28/09/2016 by patrickivan

It is incredible. Driving while operating a cell phone is now a serious offence in Ontario. The consequences, either by collission, or HTA violation fine, is quite high. 

The message is clear and loud. Stay off the phone when driving. 

Yet every day during my commute, at any given moment, I can spot someone reading, manipulating, texting, on their phones. 

It is SO dangerous, and apparently an epidemic. 

I’d love to stop and call the OPP to file a report every time, but that would literally be a full time job.

The alternative is to pull over and fire off a quick text that includes all relevant information. 

And that is all I will ever do. Because if it is as serious as they say, and it is this prevalent, then something better needs to be done to stop them all ASAP!

#putdownthephone

Employment Agencies: Let’s stop feeding recruiters and get real jobs!

Posted in Miscellaneous, Politics, Rants with tags on 04/01/2010 by patrickivan

I remember being on assignment through an employment agency where I was responsible for posting incoming and outgoing payments into the accounting database. One day I saw a cheque to my agency and I was astonished at how much the cheque was made out for. It was exactly half of my pay. Every two weeks, I made about 800 pathetic dollars. Every two weeks, my agency made $400…. There was no one else there from the agency and the note on the cheques stated one thing- my name.

According to the Canadian Action Workers web site, 37% of Ontario workers are temp/ part-time/ contract workers. A whole industry of worker providers is living off of our work. Sure you can say that they’re providing a service to the worker as well, but let’s face the facts. Temp workers typically make poor money, if people stopped going to agencies to look for work, more companies would be forced to hire on their own. Would you make less money that way? Hard to make less than minimum wage!

I’ve been to many agencies, and one of their big selling points to employers is that they provide training to their worker drones. That they aggressively conduct background checks on workers. In the end, they supply employers with quality workers who will meet their needs.

My experience with agency training has included the following: Watching elementary blue-collar condescending WHIMIS, MSDS, and safety videos followed by an open book test. Reading pamphlets and writing open book tests.  A couple of agencies had even told me to tell the employer that I have more experience then I actually have- should they ask…

Though the most extensive background check did involve a credit check, that credit check resulted in the agency declining my candidacy for future work. My credit was fine, and they would not elaborate further. Thank you, Spherion…

That’s it. That’s my training and background checks. Yet employers actually save money by paying agencies gobs of money to hire people for them. Why is that? My only real logical conclusion is that agencies make most of their money off of low paying blue-collar jobs supplying workers to companies with a high turn over.

Let’s use the automotive sector as an example. Their production fluctuates greatly on a daily basis. They need more workers at times and less at other times. They can’t pay their employees to stand around when there is nothing to do, so they hire the bare minimum for what they need, and use temp workers to fill the gap. Any time, and day, there can be a flux of incoming and outgoing workers, barely making minimum wage, so that the company can save, or make, money.

Now I am aware of more established, higher end agencies that supply workers to companies that are using the agency as a test bed. They want a long-term worker but it’s more financially responsible to test that employee out before buying them out and hiring them. I don’t have a problem with that so much. It’s the worker mills and the companies that feed off them that I take issue with.

In the end, I hate employment agencies. They have wasted my time more often than not. They have undervalued my worth and experience. Most importantly, they have made a lot of money off of me, and YOU.

While the new regulations in Ontario seem to offer more rights to workers, they really don’t offer anything to you unless you quite literally become a slave to the agency. You can not refuse work and therefore, if you’re looking for something in your field, but you have to push 1000 lb racks onto trailers for $9.75 per hour, you have to do just that. You don’t have any real rights as an employee unless you are an actual employee.

We’re all just slaves, but try to be a slave to something you like, and it will make your life a lot more palatable. Employment agencies are the biggest slave peddlers around. Do yourself a favour and look for a job yourself. Research your industry of interest, check their web sites for job postings, call their HR and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to get your resume out to those who may not be advertising for employees. You’ll be able to thank yourself in the end.

Petition To Make It Illegal For Potential Employers To Demand Credit Checks

Posted in Miscellaneous, Politics, Rants, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 30/09/2009 by patrickivan

Even though it is a grey legal area in Ontario, more and more companies are demanding that employment applicants allow potential employers access to their credit information.

This information alone, can be a qualifying aspect of an application, solely determining if one will be considered for a job or not, regardless of ones job history and skills.

A person may have a fantastic job history. Terrific references. Great skill sets. No criminal record or activity. In other words, a respectable member of society. Yet if that person had lost a job, and missed a couple of credit card payments, resulting in a reduced credit score, a potential employer will and can use that sole reason for throwing your resume in the bin.

From personal experience, a potential employer who was ready to hire me, asked for one final step to the application process. Everything was going well until they asked to check my credit. And though I have a decent credit rating, my credit is maxed out, and they stated that as a result of this, they were unable to proceed with my application.

The theory behind this is that one who may be in somewhat financial distress, is considered to be a high risk for embezzelment, or in other words, is considered to be a threat of being a theif and stealing from their employer.

This is complete and utter non-sense, and this practise should be made illegal and stopped.

NO ONE person should be tried and found guilty of a crime by a potential employer, and this is exactly what is happing. People loose out on job prospects because of this credit standing alone, and this is WRONG!

I want you to join me. I want 100000 people in this group and I want to send my petition to the Labour Minister of Ontario. This has to stop.

If a group of teenagers can create a facebook group that changes the mind of Ontario’s Transportation Minister (re-last year’s stringent new driver’s licence proposal), then we can bloody well do this!

Comment here, and or, join my facebook group:

Petition To Make It Illegal For Potential Employers To Demand Credit Checks

Update: 29/10/2009

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission web site:

“The Code prohibits discrimination in employment on the grounds of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital status, same-sex partnership status, family status and handicap. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the Commission) considers “employment” to include full-time and part-time work, contract work, temporary work for an agency, and probationary periods. “Employment” may even include volunteer work.”

There is absolutely nothing in the code to even suggest in the least, that it is discriminatory to base the elligibility of an employment candidate based solely on his/her credit standing.

To ensure that I did not misinterpret the code, I called the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support number and was told that it is not discrimination, despite the FACT that a poor credit rating is used by employers to suppose that a candidate is a high risk factor for engaging in some degree of company theft.

The OHRLS person suggested that I call a labour lawyer, though I am uncertain what I am supposed to pay for this with, or what a labour lawyer can do if there is no law in Ontario against credit checks.

And just to make sure I’m covering my net, I contacted the Ontario Ministry of Labour and they said that they have no say in labour hiring practices in Ontario.

So. The government bodies that are set in place to help LAW ABIDING citizens, just bugger us in the end as well as the private sector.