Businesses not sold on mandatory 2010 vacation
The challenge from Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee's CEO John furlong's to mandate vacation time during the 2010 Games isn't exactly being embraced by those in the hospitality industry.
"If anything we're going to make sure our employees don't take holidays during that period because clearly that will be the busiest time," says the Shark Club's John Teti.
It'll be crazy busy at bars, restaurants and hotels, where workers will be putting in long hours.
The VANOC boss says he understands his ideas won't work for some businesses, still he's asking them to shift employee work hours, adjusting operating hours and even hinting bosses should send workers home.
"You could mandate vacations," says Furlong. "That would help."
B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair says it's a terrible idea to force workers to take holidays in the middle of winter just because it's convenient for Olympic organizers.
"Most people who don't have a union only get two weeks a year at the most and so they're not going to take two weeks in the middle of February," says Sinclair. "You're not going to mandate people to take their holidays. They have a right to choose when they're going to take them."
Furlong's challenge is all part of a strategy to significantly reduce downtown traffic in February 2010, something he says will be critical for the games to be a success.
At Eye Candy Design Solutions near Olympic venue B.C. Place, they're already planning on coming to work a lot earlier.
"The hours will probably also change to accommodate the schedules around the events and whatnot because it's going to be busier than normal," says Jeff Smith.
Many businesses, particularly those near Olympic venues, also say they can't formally plan anything until they know which streets will be open or closed during the games.
About 650 people work at BC Hydro's downtown office on Georgia St.
"We're asking VANOC for more information about things that could possibly affect us, like road closures or security perimeters before we look at their request," says spokesperson Dag Sharman.
"We're all waiting for a transportation plan so we can see exactly where we are," says Teti.
VANOC is expected to reveal that plan in the New Year.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Mike Killeen