Monday, October 14, 2013

Fast-tracking fucking over Canadian workers


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."
Six months ago, we learned that employees of Royal Bank - and all the other banks - were being forced to train and work alongside the outsourced foreign temporary workers who were to replace them at their jobs, while HD Mining, a BC mining company based in China, imported 201 Chinese workers after their ad to hire Mandarin-speaking miners in BC failed to turn up any candidates. ***

CitImm Min Jason Kenney promised a fix, the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion process was temporarily cancelled, and Kellie Leitch, then parlsec for Diane Finley of Human Resources, did such a bang-up job on Power and Politics saying they'd already fixed this  - repeating talking points about Canadian jobs for Canadian workers five times in as many minutes - that Steve made her Minister of Labour.

PostMedia Oct 10, 2013 : Program for foreign workers could be restored
Employment Minister Jason Kenney says the government could soon resurrect a fast-track scheme that allows companies to bring temporary foreign workers to Canada more quickly.  
"highpaying, high-skill jobs, not fast-food franchises in booming Alberta that need foreigners to peddle burgers and doughnuts to oil workers.
Of course not everyone has to apply for a ALMO first :
For example, the federal government has an agreement with Alberta to exempt welders, heavy-duty mechanics and iron workers from the process due to a shortage of skilled workers in those fields.
A point I'm sure was not much comfort to the the welders and pipefitters at Husky Sunrise who were laid off this past Labour Day.


So what changed in the intervening six months?

Nothing. Kenney is right on schedule.

A Wall St Journal article in July reported corps were just waiting for the public backlash to blow over
 "To be sure, the halt in outsourcing is expected to be temporary, with experts and IT service providers expecting outsourcing projects to resume after six to eight months. 
CGI Group signed $12 billion in outsourcing contracts with various Canadian corporations, and IBM - $7 billion.
" 'After the RBC controversy, companies are waiting for things to die down. Banks are slowing down projects—they are keeping a low profile, while the tension over offshoring jobs blows over," said an executive from an outsourcing advisory firm who requested anonymity.'  "
And how is iGATE, the company that kicked off the Royal Bank controversy, faring ? 
"Strong Second Quarter Results; Profits Up 136% " and they're planning on opening a new centre in Halifax.


*** Meanwhile the BC Liberals' love affair with HD Miningthe Mandarin-only-speaking Chinese mining company in BC, continues unabated.
Jody Shimkus, former BC assistant deputy minister of mining and "the main point person for the Chinese mining companies in B.C.",  left her government job in January 2012 to join HD Mining. 

Blair Lekstrom, former BC Minister of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources, joined her there two months ago.
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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

More union busting for corporations by our government and using our money to do it - disgusting

West End Bob said...

The more you know the more depressing it becomes.

Makes 'ya wanna stick your head in the sand to get some relief, Alison . . . .

Alison said...

Anon : Exactly so.

Bob : No it doesn't. Once we thought bankers and drug companies and most politicians and police were our friends; now we know better.
From that knowledge good things, or at least real alternatives, have some chance of growing.
Love you - just stop reading me for a bit and we'll go for beers and talk gardens instead.

West End Bob said...

Sounds like an excellent plan, M'Lady ! ! ! !

Anonymous said...

Just heard last week that a person working in the financial side of Best Buy has been laid off, all jobs transferred to India, but this person will get to enjoy a trip to India to train those assuming the work formerly done by Canadians. Yep, that Action Plan is sure working, right?

Alison said...

Thanks, Anon - will look it up.

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