Alberta oil industry smoking in work place

SS-SECOND HAND SMOKE

Contains approx. 4,000 chemicals, dangerous to the non-smoker who is near a smoker. Worse in the workplace where humans must work and stay all day long. A person who breathes secondhand smoke is breathing the same chemicals as someone smoking. During my over ten years in Alberta’s oil industry I was actively inhaling those chemicals.

While developing an unwanted craving for it, caused by second-hand smokers. I am a non-smoker. Sinus surgery, respiratory problems. Thank you, Mr. Oil company executive for your impressive social responsibility propaganda.

Alberta big oil – in support of smokers – against all principles of their proclaimed social responsibility.

Why ? because smokers are more productive ? or, at times of intense periods of oil companies’ takeovers and layoffs, its easier to kill employees with second-hand smoke, rather than being forced (for pretense) to pay them (Micky mouse) severance pay to get rid of them ? (Micky mouse meaning 3 months’ pay or a little over $10,000 – that was in the 1980s).

Here is the interesting part of this (my insider) story: Those who were heavy smokers on the job sites, in offices, remained in their jobs, when after another corporate takeover many positions were culled and long-time employees were laid off.

Examples of being exposed to second-hand smoke: In the systems and computer department we were mostly housed in one big area, each having their cubicle. On and off, I also had an office – as project leader. Some of the heaviest smokers, they put two in an office, pretending to somehow shut them inside away from others.

For many months, and years, I suffered, inhaling second-hand smoke. During that time I also had a sinus surgery – around 1983. Resulting to have to come to work with blood running from my sinus cavities into my throat daily.

Hudson’s Bay Oil & Gas Co. – first one I started working when coming to Calgary January 1977. As Senior Systems Analyst & project leader for computer projects. There was this one guy – always smoking. Carrying his smoking cigarette in his hand while walking in open spaces. I had just got myself a new office suit, he managed to burn a hole into it. No excuses or offer to repair.

Then in 1983 oil company takeover by TCPL (TransCanada Pipelines) Resources. By 1986 massive layoff campaigns had started. For this, Headquarters in Toronto sent down an ENFORCER. Who was charged with severe harassment of computer professionals and employees, daily changing assignment routines, moving people around, assigning me as senior project leader with company-wide studies on ‘How to eliminate certain positions’. Which entailed for me to interview former colleagues and friends. Needless to say, they were not happy with that ! And then present a report of recommendations to those now in charge with laying off the same people I was forced to interview. Filthy attempt of creating diversion and resentment.

At the same time I had to complete my major projects of converting all software to 4th gen DB systems architecture, lots of work still to do with all those programs.

As a result of all of this ? I lost my home in Alberta, and my family. My son left for the United States in 1990 to also do his graduate studies there, far away in Alabama. Stayed for thirteen years, then decided to move back to his homeland, the Netherlands.

While I staid behind alone, being unfortunately now a Canadian citizen. Just memories of corrupt companies.

[Previous posts on this s.a. [ https://renataveritashistory.com/2013/07/06/smoking-in-the-work-place-tcpl-resources/ ]

TransCanada and Keystone XL

[ http://www.ec.ca/news/politics/keystone-xl-letter-from-canada-vows-ghg-emissions-cuts-1.2559585 ] – Globe & Mail Wed, March 5, 2014 on CANADA WRITES U.S. TO PUSH KEYSTONE.

Emissions cuts. Good one. What does a company like TransCanada knows about cuts to any pollution, or control and regulation of any dangerous pollution to humans ? or, in fact, how to treat their own employees humanely ?

Turn back the clock to the 1980s when this company still operated under the name TransCanada Pipelines/TCPL. The way I know this company is as a former employee, working as IT professional in their computer systems department. How else I know this company ? Through their irregular, asocial and inhumane tactics of treating their employees. Sending down from their Toronto Headquarters an ‘Enforcer’. To deal with most of us professionals following TCPL’s takeover of Maligne Resources, Calgary.

You think, this is so long ago that nobody should care about this anymore ? I do not think so. As the unprofessional way that employees got laid off has had resounding effects to their future lives. Financially and health wise. Because — during the 1980s TransCanada’s policy also included the permission of chain smoking inside the work place. And now with their fancy pipeline project, they dare to even mention the word emissions control.

What would interest me is, if there is anybody still alive who during that time was my co-worker, also exposed to 24/7 cigarette smoking by others close-by in those big open cubicle type work places ?

NOTE. On May 15, 2003, TransCanada Corporation received regulatory approvals to establish it as the parent company of TransCanada PipeLines Limited. Shareholders voted in favour of the change to the corporate structure of the company at the Annual and Special Meeting on April 25. For background on this issue, please see the letter to shareholders and Q&As from Board of Directors’ chairman, Dick Haskayne and chief executive officer, Hal Kvisle, as well as information included in the Management Proxy Circular.

TransCanada – TCPL the 1980s – inside story

TransCanada. [http://www.energyeastpipeline.com/home/pipeline-101/ ] Parent company of  TransCanada Pipelines Limited (TCPL), a company operating during the 1980s among others with an oil related division = hence the name TCPL Resources. Calgary 1983. Following the take over of the former Maligne Resources oil company and all of their employees. Initially all, but soon transferring many managers to other outside companies and/or somewhat related companies. Big shuffle. At that time I was one of the employees, and had been part of the systems and computer department, as a senior systems analyst and developer. Also project leader for a number of big computer re-design projects, both hardware and software and complete re-writes. Lots of work. Difficult work, because one of the vices common inside those companies was “the permission to chain smoke” on the job and inside the open floors, thus forcing all innocent bystanders (non-smokers) to inhale those deadly fumes. At the same time expecting them to perform their heavy quota of workload.

Apart from that, it started out nice when TCPL Management came on board. But wait a minute: after couple of years the tables turned in a terrifying and tasteless way. Not only was everybody by that time sick of that cigarette smoking, but also TCPL sent down from their headquarters in Toronto, an “Enforcer”. Tasked with identifying, how many people were supposed to get laid off, kicked out or otherwise harassed on a daily basis, until they knew no better, than to leave anyways.

That’s not what you do with professionals, ‘Mr. Enforcer and Prosecutor’. That is not how you treat human beings, unless you don’t care to be openly perceived as a racist and human rights violator. By 1986 numbers of professionals had been kicked out into the street with a couple bucks remuneration. Our (computer) department, starting first with females and single mothers. But how it was done by the Enforcer was tastelessly unprofessional: Assembling large documents with hundreds of pages of all sorts of lies on some employee (who was supposed to read that ?), and sign some silly legalized (bullshit) document? Which nobody of course did. We just left, in the middle of the (oil industry) recession, trying to find some other job. In Alberta at that time almost impossible. I lost my home, my family got ripped apart and I had to go to Ontario. One thing I got, though, is a number of excellent reference letters from the highest level of Management, testifying to the specifics and the quality of all the projects I had done for this company.

End of story. And now they want to go with their big new Eastern pipeline. Trans Canada. Is this legal ? Of course, it is. As is their treatment of experienced and qualified professionals who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time  (meaning “being employed by the wrong kind of company”).

On May 15, 2003, TransCanada Corporation received regulatory approvals to establish it as the parent company of TransCanada PipeLines Limited. Shareholders voted in favour of the change to the corporate structure of the company at the Annual and Special Meeting on April 25.

For background on this issue, please see the letter to shareholders and Q&As from Board of Directors’ chairman, Dick Haskayne and chief executive officer, Hal Kvisle, as well as information included in the Management Proxy Circular.

TCPL Resources / Trans Canada – a history

TCPL Resources, 1980s subsidiary of Trans Canada Pipelines. Inside the culture. Eye witness account. During the 1980s, when Canada’s National Energy Program almost killed the oil industry in Alberta, many of us employed by those oil companies under false promises suffered. I personally was subjected to two company takeovers (Hudson’s Bay Oil & Gas Company takeover by Dome Petroleum around 1980 – HBOG does not exist anymore). I left HBOG after 4 years as a Sr. Systems Analyst/Designer shortly before its takeover. To accept a Senior IT position with Maligne Resources Ltd. (also does not exist anymore). By 1983 Maligne Resources [ http://www.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/f/finances/index.html?query=MALIGNE%20RESOURCES&field=org&match=exact ] was taken over by TCPL Trans Canada Pipelines Resources (Division).

Interesting, how large oil & pipeline corporations can create divisions, departments, and subsidiaries in a blink of an eye, for the sole purpose of either taking over other oil companies or divisions, or for the purpose of instigating massive layoffs (“culling”) campaigns. Mostly accompanied by a blatant disregard of human rights.

As a professional having worked for over 40 years in the IT and computer services field, in many international organizations in Europe and then – following my graduate IS program at Syracuse University, USA – many years in the Alberta oil industry. The experiences in the Alberta oil patch cannot be compared to anything I had experienced anywhere in the world, as far as professional conduct is concerned.

Hudson’s Bay Oil & Gas Co. was a good solid company. Too bad, they had to go down in history, after several takeovers. The worst experience was with – what does not exist anymore now – TCPL Resources, presumably at the time during the 1980s formed to takeover Maligne Resources Co.

[ more on this : https://renataveritasopinion.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/secondhand-smoke-tcpl-resources-ltd/ and http://renataveritashistory.com/2013/07/03/trans-canada-pipelines-tcpl-resources/ ]

SECONDHAND SMOKE – TCPL Resources Ltd.

Innocent bystanders swallowing poisonous smoke from smokers. Basically, I don’t care if anybody smokes or how much they smoke, the more the better.What I as a non-smoker care about is, though, to be forced to inhale that poison that others blow out. In other words: Swallow it. So, that I can continue to live.

A horror story follows: While working in Alberta’s oil industry from 1977 until the beginning of the 1990s, I was exposed in the workplace, in the offices, to second hand smoke. Myself I do not smoke, but many employees – particularly in the computer systems departments – did. This kind of (socially irresponsible) behavior lacking any controls or policies for protecting their employees resulted during those years in sickness, diseases of the lung and respiratory diseases. This to employees who were innocent bystanders, so to speak. Not only did our clothing get burned by employees walking around the workplace, burning cigarette in hand, but also during the last few years in the beginning of the 1980s while employed with TCPL Resources [ http://www.transcanada.com/splash/ ] this situation defied all descriptions. Arriving before 8 am for work, by 12 noon the air in the offices and corridors could be cut with a knife. Worse, because we in the computer department were sharing the air freely while working in open cubicles.

TCPL Resources took over our company Maligne Resources (a division of Dow Chemical) in 1983 . By fall I needed my first sinus surgery. Since the atmosphere inside TCPL Resources was such that we were not allowed to take out extended sick leave, I needed to go back to work soon after the surgery. My days were horror! My bleeding throat was almost choking me, while at the same time choking on others’ cigarette smoke. Of course, I commented on this situation, especially since already in all elevators in those Calgary, Alberta, high rise offices were notices posted on NO SMOKING. Result: By 1986, the new management (sent down from Toronto) started laying employees off in droves.

First to go were those (complaining about the smoking) and single mothers – like myself. The heavy smokers were kept.1986 was a bad year for finding any employment as a female systems professional (single mother with child). Not only did I loose my (almost vested) company pension benefits, but had to leave behind my home in Alberta and my son, go East (Ontario) and finally launch a job as a Systems (self-employed) contractor.

Years later, I found listed among others in relevant sources on companies and their social responsibility status, TCPL Resources (this arm may not exist anymore). Makes me really sick, when companies deliberately ‘kill’ their employees, than apply dirty business practices for layoff, then appear – newly born and re-invented – as socially responsible!

SMOKING CAN KILL – the Lung Association British Columbia : [ http://www.bc.lung.ca/ ] [ http://www.ilo.org/safework_bookshelf/english?content&nd=857170157