Friday, April 12, 2013

Dear Gordo

A RESPONSE TO GORD NIXON, CEO ROYAL BANK OF CANADA -- So your kitchen has gotten a bit hot? That’s a damned shame. Too bad some of the $100,000,000.00 (ballparked based on published figures) you have personally made in the last five years didn’t allow for a cooling system in such situations. Obviously you were overpaid in relation to conscience or ethics.

I love how you refer to this situation as a ‘debate’. It is absolutely clear you have not yet learned that you are attempting to defend the indefensible. Instead you choose to insult us, treat us like we are totally ignorant of the games that you play, yet deny. You apparently have been taking some coaching from that uber-spin-meister Zabeen Hirji.
For starters, there is no evidence that you ARE in compliance with the regulations. Show us that proof. You said you have no foreign workers there. Then you said there was one. We have seen interviews with people who are working with many, and we have seen news interviews with people who actually are/were foreign workers employed in Royal Banks... so who the hell are we supposed to be believe? You? Lemme think... if anyone has reason to skew the details and split hairs, it would be you, so quite honestly you have absolutely zero credibility at this point in time.

‘Despite our best efforts, we don’t meet everyone’s expectations...’ Well, that might be true in all situations, but here is why this is the first of many insulting, obnoxious statement in your pitiful attempt to justify what you are doing – you are making NO attempt to meet anyone’s expectations other than your arrogant elitist Board of Directors... and of course tending to your own personal needs. You are making NO effort to meet the expectations of your employees, your customers, your communities or your country’s economy, but you know that.

You should have been more helpful to those being outsourced? Seriously? You actually said this? Shame on you! Here is what you are not getting; you should not be outsourcing any of the damned jobs that Canadians can do. Who the hell are you helping by doing this? Actually, that’s a rhetorical question. We already know (see previous paragraph).

Reviewing supplier arrangements? We are talking about PEOPLE here, Drill-head; not a god damned stapler or paperclip. This is probably the biggest offense, and this alone explains a whole lot of why this is happening. Unless you are one of the ‘beautiful people’ – aka so rich that loonies fall out your ass – you are not really a ‘people’ at all. When did it become okay to list employees as nothing more than furniture? This dehumanizing makes it possible to have people train their replacements, to have jobs go overseas leaving loyal employees with nothing and forcing many into early, unplanned retirement. This is what aids your ilk in getting a good night’s sleep – you don’t need to worry about how ‘supplies’ are treated in India, or how foreign workers here are treated, or who is being exploited just to line your pockets with another thirty pieces of silver.

Your call centers are located in Canada? Well, whoop-de-frigging-do. For how long? Why don’t you address that issue? What departments are next to be shipped away? How do I know that my account information is secure now that it has been spread over several continents? When I got my financing, why wasn’t I told that it would be handled and all the information would be maintained in a third world country where blackmail, exploitation and criminal elements, including within the governments and certainly within those corporate entities, abound? How can you guarantee that my money and my personal information there is safe? Trying to gain brownie points by telling us of ONE aspect of your business that is still in Canada is pitiful, and again, insulting as all holy hell. As for your new initiative for young people? Well, that might have been nice to have presented before you sent the jobs away. Why train them if you are planning, three years into their employment, to make them nothing more than a redundant supply? My god, Mr. Nixon, you really are a piece of work, and I do not mean that in the good sense.

You employ over 57,000 people in Canada. Well, thank you for that. How many are contracted out in other countries? How many have been let go because there weren’t jobs for them in the latest round of ‘transitions’ and how many had no choice but to take early retirement? (and don’t you DARE say or even imply, like Ms Hirji did, that they all wanted that. Don’t you dare try to spin that like she did, because, Sir, that will remove even the slightest hope that you are not a complete and total douche) Why do you cherry pick the numbers you want to share with us? If you were honest, if you really gave the furry crack of a rat’s butt, you would acknowledge the number of people contracted through iGATE and every other ‘supplier’ (there – I closed that loophole for you – the buck now stops with you*) over the last ten years. You would acknowledge the number of TFW’s brought in during the same time – both by RBC and by every other supplier. You would acknowledge the amount of money that was made just by this practice alone and perhaps you might even feel a twinge of shame at ruining so many Canadian lives with absolute indifference.

As for your community record, well... you can shove that too. The only community record that exists at this moment is the amount of profit you made, personally and as a bank, and the number of people who paid for it with their employment, their homes, their savings, their livelihoods and their health. There is a huge human toll for what you do, that far outweighs your value.

Riddle me this while you’re doing your plate spinning routine: When you have sent every possible job oversees, when you have trimmed your need for Canadian ‘supplies’ as much as possible with either exploited workers in other countries or machines here, and every other big company has done likewise, who the hell is left to support the economy? How do you and your greedy shareholders make money then? Who buys the crap they bring in, or takes out a mortgage or puts purchases on their credit card so you can charge us absolutely unjustifiable interest rates? Who is going to need a car loan because no one will be able to afford a damned car? Who is going to be buying all that gas and oil that is going to keep us filthy rich? What about the countless small businesses, the backbone of every community, who are being totally screwed over by this practice, as they close their businesses because no one can afford to support them? It is well past time that you, and corporate Canada, woke the hell up and realized that you are cutting off your noses to spite your faces. You, with the government’s more than willing help, have made it impossible for Canadians to find work, to get work that comes with benefits (because it saves you so much to have only part-time help) and have crippled as many unions as possible, again reinforcing the fact that employees – PEOPLE – no longer enter into the equation at all. RBC might not be doing all of this themselves, but they certainly support... no, they lead a culture that does, and that is more than evident by the revelations of the last week. As you work to widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots, you are destroying your own future, and that of your children, just like you are destroying ours.

On Monday, I was prepared to say that you were a whipping boy for the whole issue of outsourcing, and admittedly for the gross incompetence and unmitigated greed of the government of the day, but your response has earned you special wrath in my world. I see people suffering, losing homes, working three part-time jobs to make ends meet in this current economy. I see them unable to afford food, clothing or anything else – hard to take while RBC executives bomb around on private planes to shop in the US with their wives. I really don’t care if that seems unfair to you, that everyone else is doing it, that the government created a loophole large enough to drive a rig through. YOU made the choice to exploit that loophole and your employees, and in the process have definitely earned the distrust and disgust of the people. YOU are the one who is national, who has received taxpayer backing, who we trust implicitly with our money and our savings, our hopes and dreams and plans. Yes, every other corporation needs to be taken to task for doing this, but YOU, as a bank, make an intimate personal bond with your customers, a promise, a pact to protect us, our money, and our hopes for tomorrow, and YOU, sir, betrayed all of that. This is not as simple as a cell-phone plan or who provides my television cable service. This is personal and your insincere, pandering, insulting half-contrition only makes it worse.

You do, however, have something to give thanks about. You are not an elected government official. The fact that you have been allowed to do this, unchecked and with impunity for years now, means that the Harper government has been complicit, and for this reason, there should be calls and there are definite grounds, for the Governor General to dissolve our current parliament and demand an election. You should be glad that you won’t be put through that sort of scrutiny (you should be, but you won’t).

*Pun intended


  1. awesome. !!! makes me proud to be Canadian to read these impassioned words! Oh please please please let us remain fired up about this - let people repeat this message until the banks beg for mercy, until the government crumbles, until we fully and completely understand that we DO HAVE THE POWER!

  2. We absolutely do. Someone has to hold corporations accountable. The goernment isn't, so it's time we stood up and said enough! Thanks for the read, and for your comment.

  3. Our governments only support big business. Let's see if a federal NDP government can realign legislation and direction of our taxes to the people.

    The NDP must be stronger still on insisting that Canadians and landed immigrants are hired in all jobs we go for, skilled and unskilled within the labour laws we have collectively worked for this past century!