Shane Getson put his foot in it at a town hall in Alberta recently when he suggested Albertans receiving CERB are lazy and spending the money on cheesies and drugs while watching cartoons.

Seems like political suicide to say that about your constituents, eh? 1/25+
Only, not only did Kenney not ask for his resignation, he backed Getson up. And then his issues manager, Matt Wolf, got busy doubling down. 2/25+

Employers are complaining that their employees are refusing to go back to work because of CERB. But let's unpack that a bit, shall we? 3/25+
First, the minimum wage in Alberta for most workers is $15 an hour. CERB pays $12.50 an hour based on a 40 hour work week. So, why would employees prefer to make less on CERB than go back to work? Hint: it's not just about the money. 4/25+
First of all, many employees do not get to work 40 hours a week. They might get 12 hours from one job and 15 hours from another job. In addition to their 27 hours a week, they are spending a lot of time in transit, getting to these jobs. 5/25+
Now, if an employer needs a person working all day in their business, why are they hiring two or more people to do the job, giving them each less than full-time hours? Well, they incentivized to operate this way. They don't have to pay for benefits for part-time employees. 6/25+
They save money by making other people's work-lives precarious. Furthermore, hours are a lever with which they can control employees. If you piss off the boss, your hours can be cut. That threat ensures compliance/no complaints. 7/25+
Second, many workplaces are pretty awful. I have been talking to people, hearing stories about their jobs. One person, an employee at a small retail store, had to have foot surgery. They had a doctor's note saying they couldn't work for several days. They were fired. 8/25+
Another person told me they had just got to work & they were going through to the staff room and another employee came out fast and the door hit this person in the face. Nose gushing blood, they asked to go home. They were told they had to work their shift or not come back. 9/25+
So, that person spent the next 8 hours in blood-covered clothing, face swelling and bruising, with a crushing headache, working their shift, because they could not afford to lose the job. 10/25+
Another person I spoke to worked a job where they would sometimes be sent to operate a kiosk at a trade show several provinces away. They were not given any per diem. Getting there, staying somewhere, and eating, while working 12 hour days, left them out of pocket. 11/25+
Still another reported working 21 days straight recently. They were scheduled to work a shift 6 days in a row and have a day off, but for 3 weeks they were called in on their day off. 12/25+
Most hospitality servers have to tip everyone else in the business, including the bartender and cooks, who often make more to begin with. Some also are required to tip the management. For the privilege of working there. 13/25+
Some people talked about getting no breaks, even though they were entitled to them. Some talked about workplace health and safety issues. One person described working in a place where the floor of the walk-in freezer was always covered in ice... 14/25+
They were supposed to use the ladder to reach things on higher shelves, but the ladder was incredibly unsafe on the uneven, icy floor, so the staff all climbed the shelves, which was also unsafe... 15/25+
Another spoke of finding out they were in debt to the CRA because their work had not been deducting tax. They use an electronic payroll system so this person never saw a pay stub and didn't know nothing was being deducted until they got a letter from the CRA. 16/25+
They are now working a second job to pay off their tax debt.

I have also heard of A boss using personnel records to find out where an employee lived and showing up to throw snowballs at their window. Which is actually, not only illegal, but creepy AF. 17/25+
One person talked about being ill (dizzy, unco-ordinated, headache) at work for days and finally going and sitting for hours in ER to see a doctor and get a note to excuse them from work, and then having the employer accuse them of forging the note. 18/25+
They then had to go through a whole process of tracking down the doctor and getting the doctor to speak to the employer so they could get the time off they needed to get well. 19/25+
I have also worked in toxic environments. In one job I had two bosses, and they seemed to be having some sort of pissing match. They both loaded me up with work, trying to claim more of my time. As hard as I worked, through lunches and breaks, I couldn't keep up. 20/25+
Whichever boss' stuff was falling behind would scream at me. This was a weekly event. By Sat evening I would feel sick knowing I had to go to work on Monday. Working as a server in a bar, management was ok, but I had to deal with inappropriate advances every single shift. 21/25+
People who work with the public, especially in retail and hospitality, have to deal with abuse on the regular. If the management does not back them up, or worse, if the management berates them in front of customers, it quickly becomes a terrible place to work. 22/25+
Casual sexism, casual belittling, riding roughshod over workers' rights and disregarding their feelings and well-being, all contribute to a worker preferring to stay home with less money over going back to a job that made them feel awful. 23/25+
And employers are freaking out now. Employees are choosing less money, or less but more steady, reliable money, and far less harassment/degradation/bullying, over going back into a toxic work environment. 24/25+
Employers need to look at their management practices. They need to ask themselves if they really treat employees fairly, if they respect their employees' dignity, or if they are, in fact, horrible, exploitive bosses. 25/25+
They need to ask, "how would I feel if someone treated me like this? Would I like working here?" And they need to find ways to fix what they are doing if they want to be able to retain employees. 26/25+
Employees are people. If you don't treat your people well, they will not want to work for you. Up until now, though, the employees had little choice. They needed to pay rent and buy food and so on. 27/25+
So, what is really upsetting a lot of employers and conservatives, is that suddenly employees have options. They are no longer indentured to endure whatever treatment bosses want to dish out. It is reckoning time. 28/25+
Finally, the pressure is on the employers to shape up, if they want to stay in business. And they do not like it. Not one little bit. 29/25+
I welcome your stories of employment. Toxic workplaces, unreasonable or downright evil bosses, even good bosses, because they can be a model others might draw on. Please post your experiences in the comments! 30/25+

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More from @Norlaine

21 Oct
This argument that "Alberta has fossil fuel gunk in the ground so we have to dig it up and ship it out" is weird. It's like saying you have to keep eating a cake even after you start to feel sick and are having regrets... Because there's still cake... 1/6
It's like saying "you've spent an hour at this party and you're having a bad time, but you have to stay until the end because the party is going on..." 2/6
It's like saying "we haven't caught all the fish in the sea yet, so we have to keep fishing. We have to build more, bigger boats and huger drag nets, we have to grow and expand until there is no life in the oceans...." 3/6
Read 6 tweets
20 Oct
Conservatives like to talk about "corruption". A lot. But do they mean the same thing most people mean by the word? I think many people would consider a political party doing something that does not benefit the people, but rewards their friends as corruption. 1/22
Say, for example, a Minister of the Crown who passes legislation liable to directly benefit a family member or themself, to the detriment of the public good. That seems like corruption.…
Or a government that invents panels & advisory positions for friends & donors & arranges for these panels and advisors to return reports and recommendations that mirror what the governing party wants to do, but with the guise of "research" and "impartiality". Seems corrupt.
Read 22 tweets
17 Oct
In 1955, the US Supreme Court issued its second Brown v. Board of Education ruling. They called for dismantling of segregation in public schools, across the US, "with all deliberate speed". #cndpoli
Now, some people in Virginia, including the president of the University of Virginia, Colgate Whitehead Darden Jr, were appalled by this. They felt it seriously over-reached into "states' rights".
Any state, they felt, should be able to discriminate against any people they felt were inferior, because of race, religion, gender, or whatever damn thing they chose. They saw it as a deliberate attack on the cherished values and way of life of southern Americans.
Read 20 tweets
15 Oct
I have read it. Here's my take on what it means.... #ableg
Policy 1: Cutting services to reduce debt
Policy 2: Referendum about equalization
Policy 3; Right to Work legislation/union-busting
Policy 4: Support to O&G
Policy 5: Out-of-court traffic charges settlement
Policy 6: Control spending and dramatically reduce size of government (i.e. fire public employees and cut the programs they deliver)
Policy 7: Privatize all support services
Policy 8: Take Alberta pensions out of CPP
Policy 9: Reassurances about elderly in care
Read 12 tweets
10 Oct
While all conservative premiers are moving in the same direction - allowing more for-profit health care, encouraging private education, gutting environmental & labour laws - I think Kenney is the test balloon to see how fast this can be done to all of Canada if the CPC form gov't
Of all the conservative premiers, Kenney is the most ideologically driven, almost fanatical. And he really doesn't care much what people think. The others are a bit more timorous, worried about backlash. Kenney is going in guns blazing...
And, by conservative calculation, Alberta is the most ripe for harvesting. The far-right has a stronghold here, more so than any other province. There are fewer voices that will stand up and call the UCP out.
Read 13 tweets
1 Oct
Ever have thematic problems? One year it was water problems. The basement flooded 2x. Then a toilet mysteriously overflowed while we were out & damaged the drywall in the basement. Then the septic alarm went off in the middle of the night & we had to get an emergency service 1/5
Then the outdoor tap froze and cracked and created a huge ice sculpture attached to the side of the house. And the shower leaked and had to be seen by a plumber 3 times before it was resolved. And then the dishwasher hose came unattached... 2/5
Another year it was mice. Mice got into the cottage in the summer. Then mice got into the house just before Xmas (we think they came in from the garage in a box of ornaments). It took ages to be mouse-free. Now our mouser dog inspects anything coming in from the garage. 3/5
Read 5 tweets

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