Trend shows more people working at Christmas: SFL
While emergency and medical service workers have always been on shift Christmas Day, it seems more employers are requiring staff to work on special holidays.
Canadian Pacific Railway workers in Moose Jaw are among those who will work this Christmas, where a handful of maintenance workers are required to prepare trains for Boxing Day runs.
Rail worker Gerald Halverson said this is first time he's had to work on Christmas Day.
"I planned on having my mom come in so I could spend the time with family and my mother on Christmas Day. Now it kind of goes out the window because I've got to come in for two o'clock."
Another CP colleague Jim Wiens received a letter from his employer saying a handful of maintenance workers will have to be on the clock, even on Christmas morning.
"They're going to use it as a day to catch up on work," he said, adding it'll be hard on staff with young families who want to be home for the excitement of Christmas morning. "I really don't understand what the work is going to be. If there is just maybe a couple trains to fuel or something, I understand. But that's only going to be maybe an hour's work. I don't understand why they would force somebody to be here for 16 hours on Christmas Day.
"The young guys that have families — young families — new kids and they want to make Christmas morning real special, and they're just not going to have the opportunity to do that."
CP said increased demand for service made Christmas Day shifts necessary.
The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour said the trend to have employees work on major holidays is becoming more and more common.
But some people love working Christmas Day and wouldn't have it any other way. Jimmy Baiton has opened his Regina pizza parlor for 31 of the past 33 years.
"It feels like happiness," Baiton said of the family tradition.
"It's a very happy time and when people are phoning it feels different."
Larry Hubich of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour calls the trend toward working on holidays alarming. He said days of rest are scheduled to remind people to live, and not just work.