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Two readers express different views on hospital worker walkout

Union members deserve more respect

Re: “Yes, we know how to do laundry,” David Marsden, column, Oct. 27.

Yes, David Marsden, there is something special about the people employed in our hospitals. They are the essential service glue that keeps our hospitals together.

To be dismissive of their worth is demeaning. Why should they not have “gold-plated pensions” (your words, not mine) and sick days? How elitist.

The people you have dismissed as not worthy of a decent lifestyle are the folks who live in this area, subscribe to and read the Advocate; thus helping ensure that you have a job.

P.S. I have never belonged to a union, and toothpaste is overpriced.

Margaret Linklater, Lacombe

Spare a thought for the unemployed

Let’s get right to the point. There are about 300,000 persons unemployed in Alberta.

That’s a significant number. And you can bet there is a considerable percentage of those persons who are on the brink of losing their homes and vehicles, or just struggling to put food on the table.

An unemployment statistic that extreme would certainly warrant the top story of the day, or at the very least, a close second behind COVID, right?

Nope.

Actually, the top news story isn’t about the plight of the unemployed, but rather the unhappy and dissatisfied fully employed.

You know, the ones with government paychecks, paid leave, paid holidays, paid sick days and pension plans. The placards are everywhere, as they complain about their deplorable circumstances.

We have 300,000 persons unemployed. They don’t want more, they don’t want handouts, bailouts, or welfare. They aren’t threatening to leave town or the province if they don’t get their way.

And they certainly aren’t asking for sympathy. They just want work – any work. We call them unemployed, but there was a time in their household when they would have been considered an “essential worker.”

OK, we get it. It’s hard to sensationalize unemployment, so it’s not hard to see why the coverage is obscured.

It seems it’s far more dramatic to have a reporter standing out in the elements telling a story while a dozen protesters yell out their demand for more, than it is to explore the circumstances of someone about to lose everything.

Harvey Kelts, Red Deer