Dateline The North Pole (AP)
From David Ian Associated Press Correspondant
Due to the intensive elf strike in which neither labor nor management seem to be budging, it is probable that Christmas is in danger of being canceled. The elves cite poor working conditions, overworking and mandatory overtime during "Crunch Time" and an "unreasonable" Health Plan which does not include covering frostbite, hypothermia, or many other cold related conditions.
"We're ELVES for cryin' out loud," says labor union leader elf Tingleberry, "we're made for dwelling and frolicking in FORESTS! Have you ever tried to "frolick" out in that cold wasteland out there? Well???"
"They bring it on themselves if they go outside without proper thermal protection," says management leader Fritz Frolo. "We won't subsidize this kind of irresponsibility through the Health Plan which is already skyrocketed in premiums."
North Pole management was already planning on bringing in brownies and gnomes to replace the elven workforce, but this move was countered by the sympathy strike by the Brotherhood of Flying Reindeer which put the final blow for the future of this year's Christmas.
"Let's see him scab-out replacements for US," said Blitzen in very recent press release commentary. "What could he use to pull his sled and make his world-wide one night schedule? Owls? Flying squirrels? I don't think so!"
Santa could not be reached for comment, though it is understood that alternate methods of present delivery are being sought, and high level talks at press time are being conducted between the major parcel service carriers and North Pole representatives.