Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Over to You, Larry Hubich

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour President Larry Hubich likes Brigette DePape. He also seems to like Michael Moore.

So it seems entirely fair to wonder what he would think of Moore's job offer to DePape, considering his record as a bad boss.

As reported by -- of all outlets -- The New Yorker and Mother Jones:
"...as the staff of Mother Jones [a magazine that had fired Moore for being toxic in the office] had discovered, Moore wasn’t the ideal boss. Little by little, he began to alienate people. He disliked sharing credit with his writers. He would often come in late. He didn’t yell at people: if someone said something he didn’t like, he wouldn’t argue; he would simply not invite that person to the next meeting, or the person would be fired. … One day during production on the first season of the show, Moore called two of his writers into his office. It was, for both of them, their first job in television, and they had been hired with the title of associate producer. They were not members of the Writers’ Guild, the powerful union for writers in movies and TV, and thus were not receiving health benefits, and would not qualify later for a percentage of video and rerun sales. 'Michael said, ‘I’m getting a lot of heat from the union to call you guys writers and pay you under the union rules,’' Eric Zicklin, one of the associate producers, says. ‘I don’t have the budget for that. But if they keep coming down on me that’ll mean I’ll only be able to afford one of you and the other one’s gotta go.’

… One by one, his employees stopped believing in the Cause. The job became just a job, and Moore became just another boss in a business that had an almost limitless tolerance for bad behavior. But, because they had once believed in him, their disappointment was painful.
Particularly intriguing is Moore's speculation that he would have to fire one of his associate producers if he had to pay them Writers' Guild-mandated wages.

This becomes especially interesting when one considers Hubich's astoundingly-dishonest take on comments by Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, whom he does not like.

Wall publicly speculated that, if Saskatchewan agreed to a contract with its teachers' union similiar to the one Alberta teachers have, his government would liklely be forced to lay teachers off, as has been happening in Alberta.

Hubich had a different take. He claimed -- quite falsely -- that Wall had threatened to fire teachers over negotiations.

Judged according to Hubich's rhetorical standard, Michael Moore's threat to his associate producers is very different. They weren't involved in any kind of negotiations with Moore (one can only imagine how Moore would have reacted if they'd even mused about unionizing). Moore's "threat" -- according to the Hubich standard -- was that one of the associate producers would be fired if the Writers' Guild (of which neither was a member) didn't get off his back.

Yet Larry Hubich seems to rather like Michael Moore, but dislikes Brad Wall to a rather comical degree, despite the fact that the people of Saskatchewan simply do not agree with him.

But Wall's 59% approval rating -- which Hubich seems to be having a hard time coping with -- is besides the point. Perhaps he could be troubled to tell Canadians how he feels about the prospect of Brigette DePape being offered employment by such a notoriously horrible boss.

After all, he threatened to fire his associate producers. By the Hubich standard, that is.

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