Monday, October 14, 2013

Are Canadian Workers Once Again Training Temporary Foreign Workers...

...To Take Their Jobs?

Alison thinks so.

And she makes a pretty good case that it's happening in Tar Sands country:

Fort McMurray Today reports that 270 unionized welders and pipefitters contracted to the Husky Sunrise tarsands project were laid off and replaced by cheaper temporary foreign workers from Mexico, Ireland, Portugal and Italy.

Husky says their work was over but a commenter under another article who was a worker on the site disputes this :

"The work contracted to Black and McDonald was no where near complete. We had to conduct a handover to Saipem (a mostly Italian workforce), detailing to them where we had stopped work so that they may continue. In the final week, Saipem foreign workers were actually in the facility working side by side with us; a very uncomfortable situation for those of us about to be laid off."

Meanwhile, Alison also notes that Blair Leckstrom is doing his very best to become a vision of derision straight outta something from our Neil:

Got a man of the people, says keep hope alive... Got fuel to burn, got roads to drive...


Well, it turns out that the former member of Gord's Golden Minstrel Ministry has gone to work for HD Mines.


That's right.

That HD Mines:

Months after controversy gripped a Chinese-backed company's efforts to bring in temporary foreign workers to mine coal in British Columbia rather than hire Canadians, newly surfaced documents show the federal government granted a key dispensation to a different, similarly Chinese backed B.C. project to hire nearly a hundred workers on the basis that they spoke Mandarin.

The project that drew criticism and court challenges in the fall was HD Mining's attempt to hire 201 foreign workers for its Murray River coal project near Tumbler Ridge, B.C. Newly revealed Services Canada files show that a partner company in HD Mining was itself given permission to bring in almost 100 foreign workers after listing Mandarin as the sole language requirement...

All of which is just another way of letting you know that, if you are not visiting Alison's 'Creekside' regularly, you are missing a lot.

Passage about HD Mines 'criteria' for workers to work in British Columbia mines is the lede of a solid, well-researched story by Jeremy Nuttall last spring in The Tyee.



cfvua said...

Must be a well paying gig. Blair was a shop steward for a time during his former life at BCTel. And was the onlyMLA to ever stand up once against Campbell for labour. How politics can change people.

Alison said...

Aw shucks, Ross, you are always so generous to me.

Re HD Mining. You remember how when it came out that both Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the BC gov was harassing Human Resources and Skills Development Canada on a daily basis to speed up the ok on Mandarin workers, Christy said it was a federal matter :
“It’s a federal program. I mean, they decide how they let in temporary foreign workers,” Clark told CKNW’s Bill Good last month.

Bit of a whopper from Christy.
According to HD Mining correspondence, CIC directed them to the Provincial Chief Inspector of Mines to determine "what language requirements are needed." And that's where they hammered out the agreement that at least the mine and shift managers should speak English and health and safety regs should be translated into Mandarin.

HD also promises to try to add 10% Canadian workers per year so Christy's promised 6,000 new jobs there will presumably mostly go to temp foreign workers till 2026!

chuckstraight said...

Canadians unfortunately voted for this.They seem to almost crave punishment.

kootcoot said...

They always claim current or oncoming labor shortages. The only shortage is in the government's willingness to support education, training and apprenticeships or heaven forbid require companies to provide training and apprenticeships.

Of course trained Canadians would expect wages that would enable them to live in Canada........there's the rub!