Chicago Cubs management (allegedly) goes to extremes to avoid providing health insurance for their grounds crew, end up tripping over their own feet
Shades of John "OMG!! Papa Johns will be forced to raise prices by 14¢ a pizza!!" Schnatter in Chicago this week...
The Chicago Cubs denied an assertion by the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday that the tarp debacle earlier in the week against the San Francisco Giants happened because the club short-staffs the grounds crew at Wrigley Field in order to avoid paying health insurance.
The short version: The nasty storm last week ended up making Wrigley Field unusable because the grounds crew was shorthanded. According to the Sun-Times, the reason they were shorthanded is because the team management slashed their hours in order to avoid having to pay for (gasp! the horror!) healthcare coverage for the staff.
As writer David Brown notes, if true, this is pretty slimy behavior for two reasons:
If a grounds crew person needs to work at least 130 hours a month to meet the requirements for health care, that's the cost of doing business. But the Cubs have gone on the cheapsince being sold by Sam Zell, and it's not just in the free-agent market.
Not to forget, it's unethical, immoral and (should be) illegal to exploit your workers. Not only did the Ricketts family allegedly cut hours to one set of employees, but it required the leftover crew to do twice as much work. Were they paid for twice the work? At least they got some overtime. Possibly.
Even if the Cubs didn't pull this stunt in order to avoid paying for healthcare for some employees, scheduling half as many people as you need to do a job just to save a few bucks is still pretty jerky behavior.