Volunteer bakers create a slippery slope

Re: Bakery volunteer pitch sparks controversy (The News, Aug 9), If the purpose of the position is to create a potential future paying position, then it should be considered as such and be valued for what it is,

Re: Bakery volunteer pitch sparks controversy (The News, Aug 9),

If the purpose of the position is to create a potential future paying position, then it should be considered as such and be valued for what it is, an apprenticeship; this would benefit the “volunteer” and the employer.

There are many programs with the college or Yukon government that the employer could participate in. If the position is for purely recreational purposes, then it should be a pay-to-learn position, again in conjunction with the college or territory. It would benefit the employer, the trainee and the community.

However, to use an unpaid volunteer with the proverbial carrot, (potential job) on a stick to help during a busy time or season is a bit disingenuous; market it anyway you like, free labour would no doubt help the bottom line and profit.

It should be noted that a commercial bakery is not a safe working environment. There are many situations that can cause potential injuries: falls, soft tissue and/or skeletal damage, cuts, burns up to the loss of limbs from machinery. From what we understand, the WCB has stated that it would not cover this person as they are not paid. I would contest that the volunteer part of the position is mute if one is paid in kind.

To receive goods, i.e. breads, pastries etc, that have a marketed value is indeed a payment/wage for work performed, and interestingly without the usual employment benefits being paid, surely a concern to government authorities. As such, the WCB could find itself liable in compensating the individual in the case of an accident and one can imagine that it would put Mr. Tuzlak’s business under serious jeopardy.

No one is attacking or targeting Mr.Tuzlak, as one would surmise from a recent letter to the editor praising his ethics, morality and business practices. And to be honest most of us with concerns were taken aback as we agree with those praises, as he has, is and continues to contribute to the Whitehorse community. And though we all understand his initial idea in “hiring” a volunteer – really what harm could there be, as such a position would be mutually beneficial to both parties? – the unfortunate reality is that it could, and no doubt would, set a precedent that would be mimicked by some businesses, be they small mom-and-pop stores or multinational chains who may not have the same altruistic motives. To answer the letter to editor dated August 16, there is no regret in protecting workers’ rights.

Louis R. Gagnon

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate education advocates and volunteers help to sort and distribute Christmas hamper grocery boxes outside Elijah Smith Elementary School on Feb. 23. (Rebecca Bradford Andrew/Submitted)
First Nation Education Directorate begins Christmas hamper program

Pick-ups for hampers are scheduled at local schools

Cyrine Candido, cashier, right, wipes down the new plexi-glass dividers at Superstore on March 28, before it was commonplace for them to wear masks. The Yukon government is relaunching the Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program as the second wave of COVID-19 begins to take place in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program extended to 32 weeks

More than 100 businesses in the territory applied for the first phase of the program

City of Whitehorse staff will report back to city council members in three months, detailing where efforts are with the city’s wildfire risk reduction strategy and action plan for 2021 to 2024. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council adopts wildfire risk reduction plan

Staff will report on progress in three months

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Nov. 25, 2020

Ivan, centre, and Tennette Dechkoff, right, stop to chat with a friend on Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. Starting Dec. 1 masks will be mandatory in public spaces across the Yukon in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Most Read