Randstad Canada HR Blog

Trouble in the Toy Factory - Christmas 2013

Posted by James Rubec on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 @ 02:32 PM

Merry Christmas - Randstad CanadaWe found this really interesting post from a newspaper at the North Pole that speaks about employer branding and working conditions in manufacturing facilities. It made for a very entertaining read and our hearts go out to everyone up in the North Pole this time of year.

From the North Pole Observer, this report, “Trouble in the Toy Factory”.

Trouble in the North’s largest gift production facility

By Ebenezer Scrooge


Speaking under the condition of anonymity, for fear of his job, a gift assembly operator reveals his story of a shift in labour conditions at one of the North Pole’s largest production facilities.

It was the week before Christmas and all through the shop, not an elf was there working, production did stop.
All is not well this yule-time season, as a labour shortage has created tough times for St. Nick in his Northern most production facility.

It started with competition for my skilled manufacturing labour,” explained Mr. Cringle, also known has Santa Claus. “With production increasing for smart phones like the Galaxy 4, and the iPhone 5S, my elves are being poached, they are diligent workers and the most experienced manufacturing staff on the planet. Think about the pension you could rack up with over 400-years on the job.

Cringle explained that 15 per cent of his labour force has moved south in the last two quarters, which has put pressure on his remaining staff. The result has been a general work stoppage as the Elves United Union (EUU), is looking for a wage increase and an improvement in the quality of hot-chocolate that is served during work hours.

Speaking under the condition of anonymity for fear of his job, the North Pole Observer spoke with a gift assembler who feels that the changes at the facility are affecting giftwrapping quality.

We aren’t asking for a lot, we really just want improvements to our vacation packages and we want to switch from President’s Choice Hot Chocolate Mix, to Tim Hortons, it came to a vote and that’s what the EUU has requested,” the assembled explained. “My worry is that the number and quality of bows on gifts has dipped, and my fear is that we might end up spelling names wrong on gifts. Nothing is worse that writing ‘To: Timmy’, instead of ‘To: Jimmy’. The letters we get for that are horrible.

Looking to bring the work stoppage to an end Cringle is wavering on his hardline stance of vacation time as suggested in a heated meeting with the EUU and the Reindeer Transportation Authority (RTA), that he’d create a relocation exploratory committee.

Speaking at the meeting Cringle said, “It is obvious to me that the issue at hand was less to do with vacations, and more to do with our facilities’ location. Perhaps building a new clandestine facility on the western coast of Canada, near the distribution hubs of Vancouver will improve relations.” Which, seemed to mollify the EUU but brought questions from RTA president, Rudolph Rednose.

While I appreciate the living and working standards in the North Pole can be difficult, I worry that bringing a production facility closer to traditional transportation systems may reduce the relevance of flying hooved transportation. We’ll have to look into how this move would affect our overall carrying volume,” said the reindeer president.

The meeting concluded with both the RTA and EUU agreeing the Cringle’s exploratory committee suggestion with an ending to the work stoppage scheduled for Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. EST. “All gifts will be received as scheduled, and that’s my commitment as the jolliest, oldest elf of them all. I’m the boss, I’m Santa, the buck stops here.


Happy new year - Randstad Canada

Tags: James Rubec