Although outsourcing is currently a global trend, there are some jobs that were not meant for getting off the payrolls -- at least in the North of Europe. And one of these jobs involves helping Santa and his reindeer make their yearly epic trek. According to a Reuters Dispatch, "A Finnish court ordered Santa Park in the north of the country to pay compensation to three of the underground amusement park's former elves for replacing them with temporary worker. The park -- which is located in the town of Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle and boasts that it employs the world's only 'official' Santa Claus -- has been ordered to pay the employees 5,600 euros ($8,300) each in damages ... Santa Park director Wille Rajala said the lay-offs were necessary for the struggling business, which fired all its full-time elves the following year."
The irony of this is that in the United States, Santa and his elves are most likely working for free -- or minimum wage -- and are most certainly contractors. Alas, that's probably why they can afford to be so much more generous with parachuting in lower-taxed toys in this part of the world. Of course, the entire reason that Santa's U.S.-based henchman might have agreed in the first place to give up their collective bargaining rights might have been a result of lead-based paint rubbing off on them over the years or an accidental ingestion of an Aqua Dot. Hat-tip: Amy Edwards.