Sunday April 20, 2014

Local workers may not be in line for mining jobs

Mel Rothenburger’s recent speech on the mine was inspiring and right on the money in my view (The Daily News, Nov. 25).  

What he didn’t address was the assumption that most of the proponents of the mine are making that there will be lots of great paying jobs for Kamloops workers if the mine goes ahead.  

I think there are good reasons for doubting that assumption.  More likely there will be an army of foreign workers hired “temporarily” at minimum wage to do the work, replacing them with “new” foreign workers when their time runs out.

To quote the Huffington Post:

“Thousands of Canadian employers use temporary foreign workers. The Alberta Federation of Labour recently obtained a list of more than 4,000 companies that have used the ‘fast-track’ process since it came into existence a year ago, in April 2012.”

“We took that list and combined it with the Globe and Mail’s list of largest Canadian employers to find out which of them are using the ‘fast-track’ process. Of the
50 largest Canadian employers, The Huffington Post was able to confirm that at least 18 of them were on the AFL’s list.”

Also look at the following link for Temporary Foreign Worker Impacts Felt Far Beyond RBC ( workers_n_3073989.html)
On this post, Mark Thompson, professor emeritus at UBC’s Sauder School of
Business, says the story is much bigger than the four dozen Royal Bank workers, and it’s far from over:  

“I think there’s going to be more examples of temporary foreign workers doing things that most people in the public wonder about.”  

Thompson says there are over 300,000 temporary foreign workers in Canada in jobs that aren’t temporary in restaurants, in health care, and in many other fields.

“Normally, if you have a shortage of people, the response is wages go up . . . If you can get foreign workers for the prevailing rate where the market doesn’t clear, then you never have to raise the wages for the Canadians,” he said.



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