Bar, arena workers more vulnerable to NHL lockout
Published Monday, September 3, 2012 4:53PM PDT
With the NHL’s contract deadline less than two weeks away and no talks scheduled, many workers who count on the Canucks for their paycheck could be hit hard by a lockout.
Although people may not feel sorry for rich players and owners, plenty of other people’s livelihoods may be at stake.
“It is the part-time employees, those who are relying on a little bit of an extra bump to meet ends on their a car payments or on their mortgages,” sports business commentator Tom Mayenknecht said
“We’re talking about waitresses, bartenders in pubs that have a big spike when there is NHL hockey being played.”
Shark Club owner John Teti said his business will suffer as a result of a NHL lockout.
“Hockey in this market in Vancouver, in Canadian cities, is a tremendous economic generator, especially for the hospitality industry. So it’s a major setback,” he said.
On game nights Teti has about 30 people on shift, while on other nights he has less than ten.
“In our situation we obviously aren’t going to be hiring, like we would normally be bringing on some extra people. And plus our regular staff, there’ll be cut backs now in their hours. There’ll just be less work, less days,” he said.
There will also be less work for people who earn their living at Vancouver’s sports arena.
“At Rogers Arena downtown, it’s a major workplace. There’s 1,500 people that go to work there, not just at the game night, but also to keep the maintenance up, to keep the place running, to put the ice in, to take the ice out,” said Jim Sinclair from the BC Federation of Labour.
The Calgary Flames told its 175 full-time employees to expect pay cuts during a lockout, and other team owners are expected to do the same.
“The bottom line is there are tens of thousand of people all over North America who will be affected by this directly, in their pocketbook. Not just that we don’t get to watch hockey, but they won’t have a job,” Sinclair said.
Canucks hockey host Black Price said what’s happening is part of the business of hockey, and that the NHL will recover if there is another lockout.
“No fans will pull out of hockey, and any that tell you they are, are lying,” Price said.
“We all have strong opinions about it while it’s going on, but as soon as we drop the puck again, we just love our hockey.”
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Shannon Paterson