The unfortunate truth is that an NHL lockout is not just about players and owners fighting over a $3.3 billion pie while the fans watch from the sidelines. Professional hockey helps local economies and if it goes away temporarily due to a lockout, everyday workers will suffer financially.
“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, according to a CTV News report.
“We’re talking about waitresses, bartenders in pubs that have a big spike when there is NHL hockey being played.”
One example of that is the Shark Club in Vancouver, which has 30 people doing shift work on a night when the Vancouver Canucks are playing. On any other night, the place needs under 10 employees.
“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,” Shark Club owner John Teti said.
Jim Sinclair from the BC Federation of Labour estimates that there are “tens of thousand of people all over North America who will be affected by this directly, in their pocketbook.”
In other words, if there’s a lockout, the Shark Club’s story won’t be a unique one.