Friday, November 9, 2012

An Open Letter to Rachel Notley, MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona

I will preface this post with the following -

Generally, I don't comment on political topics that often.  Mostly, this stems from my disdain for politicians in general.   Also, it is connected to my workplace and one thing I've learned  over the course of my working life is that its never a smart idea to bite the hand that feeds you.  In this case, though I thought I'd make an exception as there has been an issue floating around that has generated some chatter, namely the issue of a random drug testing policy for one of the big sites here.

A local union took issue with this proposed policy and the matter went to court.  The union sought and won a court order preventing random drug testing of employees and order that Suncor is now contesting in court.  Apparently, a union lawyer thinks that  random drug testing can "cause psychological trauma for workers."

Yeah, peeing in a cup was an unbearable hardship for me when I had to do it prior to being hired on by a contractor a couple years ago.

Anyhow, NDP MLA Rachel Notley has put her two cents into the mix  and of course back the union's position.  Yes I know....NDP.  They do apparently exist here in Alberta, albeit in ridiculously small numbers.

Dear Ms. Notley,

Firstly congratulations on winning your seat in our most recent provincial election.  I admire your tenacity and courage in pursuing a political agenda that has been overwhelmingly rejected continuously by the Alberta electorate for years now.  Thank you also for visiting our fair city.  It's always nice to have out-of-towners turn up here d tell us what to do.  I do think that sometimes as a politician you forget that I don't work for you but you in fact work for me.  To that end, please don't dictate my health and safety to me.

Unlike most politicians, I have nothing to hide.  I have absolutely no problem with random drug testing.  Just as police officers do random stops for drunk drivers, I have no problem with peeing in a cup.   I am not a user now, nor have I ever been.  I guarantee you that my job area and scope is much more dangerous than yours.  In fact, I was down in the plant just yesterday with a small crew.  Trucks, forklifts, pipes, valves, overhead workers, steam, high decibels, H2S and I could go on.  Its an inherently dangerous place.  I have a son, a mortgage and a cat that misses me when I'm gone which means I have a lot of responsibilities and like to work and come home safe.

I've worked out on site for a couple of years and I admit I've had a couple close calls but I learn from them, re-focus and soldier on so to speak.  There are many things I do to keep myself safe and if random drug testing should be another, then so be it.  Again, I have absolutely no problem with it.  I can only control what I actions, my decisions my frame of mind.  What I can't control are the actions, decisions and frame of mine of others around me on the job.  This is where you need to do your job and support, not detract from, random drug testing.  Remember, you work for me.

I won't go so far as to say I would hold you personally responsible should, knock on wood, I was ever injured in the workplace by someone impaired by drugs or alcohol but let's get with the team here.  This is a workplace safety issue and I take it very seriously.  My safety is more important than some mystical psychological trauma of urinating for a good reason.  Unlike most politicians, I have nothing to hide.


Darcy Steele

Proud Fort McMurrian by choice


Anonymous said...

FWIW, it's Syncrude not Suncor.

Way Way Up said...

Nope. Suncor. Regardless, many people go from site to site anyway.

Anonymous said...

I think we could be forgiven for believing the author of this post can't read.

If you actually go and look at what this MLA said, it has nothing to do with dictating the lives of others, as this author seems to imply. Quite the opposite, in fact:

"Work is what you do to make money, feed your family, and to be a part of your community; you do not sign over every element of your integrity to your employer 24/7," Notley said. "I'm very concerned about the invasive nature of this drug and alcohol testing, and it's impact on the privacy of the folks that do so much of the important work that's keeping this province running. they are people, and we need to remember that."

Further, if drug-preventative measures actually worked, there wouldn't be any drugs around. The war on drugs has utterly failed. The best solution seems to be a community-based one, perhaps similar to what MLA Notley suggests.

So, advice to the author for next time: check your facts. Also, learn how to read a little more carefully.

Way Way Up said...

Anonymous November 13.....

Reading ability and comprehension are actually two different things. Example....I can READ Germand and even Inuktitut rather well but am not always sure of what I'm saying.

More to the point, according to your logic then, we will never catch alll speeders, so why even bother.

And I'm actually arguing the opposite of what you say in your opening paragraph. Notley is against drug testing as it implies a certain level of control oveer people's lives. I, on the other hand, am saying I have no issue with this if it keeps me, and others, safe.

"Work is what you do to make money, feed your family..."etc.

Exactly. But I also don't want to be injured or killed because of some idiot's choice. Period.