Sarah Jaffe explains that the NHL as a whole is profitable, and owners who aren't making enough money have other owners to blame—they're just finding the players an easier target:
Mirtle notes that the bottom 10 teams in the league (in such notorious hockey cities as Phoenix) aren't making enough money to cover expenses, while the rich teams have little interest in sharing revenue the way, say, the NFL or Major League Baseball do.For some owners greed is a simple answer, or an unwillingness to pick on people their own size leading them to go after their employees. But for some, the lockout fits in a hardline ideology:
“It’s an owner versus owner problem more than it is an owner versus player one,” Mirtle writes, but as a player agent tells him, “Owners would rather try to pound on players than pound on each other.”
Take Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider. He's the chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, which is partially owned by Comcast—yes, the media conglomerate that pays the NHL's TV contract. Snider was one of the founders of the Ayn Rand Institute in 1985; after a split within the “movement,” he became a supporter of the Atlas Society, the same place where Paul Ryan gave his speech calling for the end of Medicare. He was the executive producer of the Atlas Shrugged film and has publicly stated that “Capitalists build up business so that they can give weaker members of society jobs.”Note that "weaker members of society" here means less-wealthy ones; I'm pretty sure professional hockey players are physically stronger than this guy.
A fair day's wage
- Workers at a factory owned by China's notorious Foxconn rioted, with as many as 2,000 people involved and dozens injured. The factory is believed to be producing the iPhone 5, and there are reports that longer work hours and deadline pressures for that produce increased the tensions leading to the riot. Workers say guards beat them prior to the trouble.
- Mario Batali's Del Posto restaurant has settled for $1.15 million with 31 workers who alleged tip misappropriation and wage theft, racial discrimination, and more. Del Posto has now worked with the Restaurant Opportunities Center to become a high-road employer.
- Child labor in agriculture. It's common and it's ugly, and tobacco is an especially bad case.
- The musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra went on strike this weekend over wages and benefits.
- With the American Crystal Sugar lockout going on 13 months now, workers' kids are appealing to management to let their parents back on the job.