As some of you know I work in a law firm. Even though there is a hiring freeze, a pay freeze, the partners and associates took a pay cut, the attorney’s have cut back on travel expenses, and the firm has cut back on expenses in general, that did not prevent 9 people from getting laid off yesterday.
It’s a fairly close knit group of people here. Yesterday, when my boss told me what was going on, she looked like she was going to cry. It was a decision that came after several weeks of deliberation.
Last week my LYS closed. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday they had their closing sale. The owner is still going to have an online store out of Spokane, WA with the same name: Abundant Yarn. Their physical space, 4 blocks from my apartment with the cafe and free wi-fi is gone. I went down to the sale on Friday and talked to the owner a bit. One of the factors that contributed to their decision to close? Health Care. When she took over the shop this past winter, it was important to her to offer health care to the employees. When she looked over their first quarter earnings it looked do-able. With the economy being the way it is (in Oregon unemployment is 12%. If you count people working part time because they cannot find full time work, people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, and those who have stopped looking the figure goes above 20%) and summer being a very slow time anyway, they couldnt make it. They couldnt afford the space, the cafe, the dyeworks, and health care.
This is a crappy thing that happened to some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. That health care should even be a mitigating factor in why they had to close their doors is ridiculous. The US is the richest country in the world and we cant even provide health care to our citizens even when the lack of care contributes to rising unemployment is asinine. Death Panels and Death Books my ass!