No matter their situation, workers should always be paid

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To the Editor:

Talking to a fellow we know in town yesterday, I was appalled to hear that he had been phoned to do some pruning and garden work. He completed the work and went to collect his cheque but was told that the husband would write the cheque the next day. The next day there was another excuse, and another.

I think those people who have the gall to expect work to be done for nothing should have to live the winter through with these people who do snow shovelling, pruning and garden work. When there is little snow to shovel and because they are self-employed, there is no unemployment paid. Many of them are too shy, modest or don’t feel they can ask for money so they chew gum to help their hunger pains. They live in fear of losing their apartment or dwelling because they can’t pay the rent. They may walk miles to get to a small paying job, with aching limbs, no energy and cold.

These people who do odd jobs aren’t drunks, drug addicts or lazy people; they all have a story, a wrong decision, hard times or a marriage breakup that took away their savings, their self-esteem and pride or their health. Don’t say they should go out and get a proper job; they are injured and depressed, maybe ill. They are doing the very best they can, and if they look dishevelled it’s because they are depressed and feeling overwhelmed and scared, and are struggling to function normally and be self-sufficient.

It could happen to many of us if we are sensitive and not emotionally strong. If you lost your wife or your job and couldn’t find work, you could be out on the street (as is happening in big cities to people with good education).

So those who have employed someone to help out then thought they could get away without paying, shame on you! I hope you have the chance to know what it is like to be trying to live in a cold house because you can’t pay the FortisBC bill so you have to turn the temperature right down, and you can’t sleep at night because you’re so cold from hunger and lack of heat. Yes, neighbours and friends do what they can to help, but they can’t provide everything to make life comfortable with food on the table every night, hot water and so on.

As a town, Creston is a wonderful place and people are very kind and helpful where they see a need. Please be aware that there are people who fall through the cracks, who are quiet and almost invisible but are struggling to stay alive and turn their life around. Recognize that they need to live and eat too!

Christine Munkerud

Lister