Risking His Life For Pennies

My father works as a window installer in Vancouver. This means that at twelve on each and every work day he is rappelling off the tops of skyscrapers with other people to install new windows for the city. In his workplace this is referred to as “abseiling”, or “to rope down”. To me it means “dangerous”. If a single knot is left weak, or if there is a single fray in the rope, I could be left fatherless, and so could my brother. People all over the world do anything in order to feed their families, and many of them risk their lives. My father is one of those people.

Recently, he had to move to another company after his other workplace claimed bankruptcy. This new company is paying him almost nothing for the work he’s doing, and I can’t seem to understand why. A lot of other people in dangerous trades have this problem, too, like loggers and taxi drivers. Every day they’re on the job, risking their safety so other people can enjoy life. A good example of this would be the fishermen out in the Arctic or Pacific Oceans. In their case, they have to worry about extreme weather conditions and heavy equipment. These are all conveniently placed above “drowning”. Their pay? A staggering $33,430 per year. With a death count of 63 in 2012, it is true that loggers have it worse, as they get $33,630 annual pay, a tiny increase of  $200 with almost double the death count of fishermen in 2012. Not a fair price to pay if someone’s risking their life. The least the government could do is make an increase in safety regulations if they aren’t planning to increase the pay.

It makes me angry and it makes me sick, but most of all, it worries me. My father will do what he needs to, but I really wish the company would actually think about this problem. I’m quite sure that if we tied up the CEO and threw him off a building (held by ropes, of course), he would actually see what it’s truly like, and most certainly raise the pay, just so he wouldn’t have to experience it again.

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