Employer/employee coercion on HST vote has no place in a democratic and free society.
” An important public message from your friendly neighbourhood blogger.”
What would you do, if you walked into work on day, after spending the weekend posting Vote Yes to No HST signs… and found this on your desk?
Sample Letter from Employer to Employee
[Insert company logo]
May XX, 2011
With the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) referendum only a few weeks away, I want to talk about the sweeping positive impact the tax has had on our company and our jobs, and how the new changes to the HST ensure that our families will be better off than with the PST-GST double tax.
At 10%, the new HST will cost less than the 12% PST-GST. The average B.C. family will now pay $120 less in sales taxes each and every year. As well, children and seniors will receive a one-time $175 cheque to help with their costs until the new 10% HST is in place in a few years.
I want you to know that the HST is making our company stronger. It’s protecting the jobs that we have today, and has the potential to spark additional hiring in the future. A recent report conservatively forecasts that British Columbia will gain more than 24,000 new jobs by the end of the decade, something that would not be possible under the previous PST-GST system. I hope we can be a part of that number.
It is important for the future of our company British Columbia sticks with the 10% HST. Turning back the clock to the GST-PST would put our jobs and our families at risk . Bringing back the 12% PST-GST means:
- $120 more per year in sales tax for our families.
- Payback $1.6 billion in HST funding to the federal government
- B.C. businesses would incur an extra $150 million in new fees to administer the PST-GST
- Hiring 300 PST tax collectors at a cost to taxpayers of $35 million per year
Bottom line – the HST is good for our business and the HST is good for B.C. To learn more on what the HST truly means for you and your families, I recommend you visit hstinbc.ca or hstjobs.ca.
I urge you to ask me if you have any questions or concerns about the what the HST means for you.
Wow. Imagine how you would feel.
Imagine if it became known to your employer, perhaps who is a member of the Smart Tax Alliance, that you were volunteering for the Fight HST, or were simply opposed to the tax because you took time to find out the truth? How would you feel going to work everyday if your boss was putting it out there that voting in favour of the HST would help you keep your job?
Sounds like coercion of the worst kind to me, and guess what? This letter was sent to all BC Chamber of Commerce members in the province and is now posted for all to use and share lovingly with their employees.
Here is a copy of the email that was sent around:
From: Neal Wells [mailto:NWells@bcchamber.org]
>> Sent: 14-Jun-11 7:22 PM
>> To: Neal Wells
>> Subject: HST ballots in the mail – important information for your
>> Dear BC Chamber of Commerce business members,
>> Over the next few weeks British Columbians will be receiving HST
>> ballots in the mail. A “No” vote will keep the HST, and a “Yes” vote
>> return BC to the PST/GST system.
>> Attached you will find 5 documents for your use which have been supplied
>> the Smart Tax Alliance (STA), an organization of almost 50 Business
>> organizations including the BC Chamber of Commerce. These documents will
>> enable you to communicate the facts about the HST to your employees,
>> you chose to do so. It also outlines why the BC Chamber supports
>> maintaining the tax and the recently announced changes that will see the
>> rate drop from 12 percent to 10 percent.
>> The referendum ballot represents a very important decision for BC. The
>> is the largest tax policy change in decades, and addresses many of our
>> competitive and economic weaknesses in the province. Specifically, the
>> encourages investment and provides the opportunity to spur economic
>> and job creation over the medium term, making BC more competitive.
>> Thank you for reviewing these materials and for sharing them with your
>> employees and their families. For more factual information and resources
>> about the HST, please visit the BC Chamber HST page:
>> http://www.bcchamber.org/hst.html, or the STA website:
>> The STA website also allows you to sign up to receive information
>> I hope you will support making an informed decision and vote No to Keep
>> John Winter
>> President & CEO
>> BC Chamber of Commerce
>> D 604 638 8110
>> E email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Most people recall the business boycott fellow writer/blogger Norman Farrell and I started last year against those businesses in support of the HST. We received many emails from Chamber businesses who were outraged at the Chambers implied support of its members, because many small businesses were in fact, NOT in support of the HST.
This letter is a “voluntary” suggestion from the Chamber of Commerce, which is a member of the Smart Tax Alliance and has been actively lobbying the government for years to enact the HST. They will do anything to make sure this tax goes ahead, because for the large businesses and corporations in their membership, it is crucial to increasing the bottom line on their profits – which are not being passed onto to you and I.
Even more disturbing, is this email I received from a reader who just recently went through a job interview… and was denied a position she was suited for because of her volunteer work for Fight HST. Her name and identifying particulars have been removed to protect her identity, since she is still seeking employment. But here is the funny thing about democracy – you can’t control it. The people are standing firm in the truth rather than the rhetoric of the Smart Tax Alliance and Mike Jagger, who, for those not in the know, is a friend and supporter of Kevin Falcon during the leadership race. So when you see his smiley face on that HST information package that was sent out, you know why it is on the pages of a Finance Ministry propaganda package. Who is tracking the number of jobs lost because of the HST??
Sent: June 15, 2011 3:04 PM
To: Laila Yuile
Subject: My funny job interview
So I went for this job interview today, it was my 2nd time for an accounting office in ( XX city). I had seen at least 4 people and thought things were going ok/good until I met the 5th person which happens to be the owner. Now, I didn’t put this on my resume but I honestly and innocently answered this man’s question. Cause why? Because he asked.
He said, “So I see that you have done some activities, hobbies and you have some interests?” Yes as he mentions what they are on my resume. And I also answered. “I have done some volunteer work for Fight HST for the community that I live in, collecting signatures.” That’s all I said.
Well, no sooner after I had finished my answer, he replied, “Well that’s unfortunate. You are no longer a candidate for this position for this office.” End of story.
He also mentioned that I had a lack of knowledge about the HST which concerns him. Surprised by his sudden reaction and his comment, I wanted to hear his view. It felt like a debacle which had nothing to do with the job, my qualifications, education and/or skills. A complete 180 degree turn to uneasy and thinking the worst of me. Why? Because of HST????????
He quickly defends himself and his strong political views by giving examples why HST is a good, no wait, GREAT thing for everyone. Of course, some accountants wouldn’t agree and possibly people in his office. That’s just too bad he says. Wasn’t a good strategy on my part telling his office (him) that I’m a part of the Fight HST. There was no fricken strategy, I was being honest in telling him about me and what I had done and getting a good sense of who I was as a person, isn’t that what interviews are about??? All I did was collect signatures in my community and volunteered my time. That’s it. He didn’t care. It didn’t matter I volunteered. His opinion is what counts.
Now that I got a good sense of this owner, not because of this one thing but there were a few other things which I found troubling, I think I’m the lucky one.
And, if they did call, I can vouch that I will turn this position down mainly because of an unnecessary sour turn of views. And to put it simply who wants to deal with an owner who is not supportive of your views, endeavors and growth and will always view you as a HST hater. I can imagine the surmounting amount of sh**y jobs suddenly appearing on your desk that wasn’t part of your job before making it harder, difficult and uneasy.
Just thought I pass this on as my experience of being turned down because I volunteered for Fight HST. How completely insane, stupid and moronic. I wasn’t afraid to let him know that I had volunteered. I never thought Fight HST was a negative thing and I still don’t. Was it stupidity on my part? Should I not have revealed who I volunteered for? I mean, it wasn’t on my resume, I added it on top of what I had done. Should my volunteer time with Fight HST reflect on my ability to do the job?
The question remains why are we not able to voice what we are so proud of being a part of? Whether you’re volunteering, have interests, or hobbies or your active in your life. It’s who we are as a person, tells others what you’re passionate or motivated about personally. How can we be judged by that? It’s what we already do.
PS: My resume now states proudly that I volunteered for Fight HST whether it’s a good thing or not.
Tell me what you think of my experience.