Canadian Oilsands Employees
Replaced with Foreign Workers
The federal government has launched an investigation into the alleged termination of dozens of Canadian workers employed in Alberta’s oil and gas industry. A spokesperson within Employment Minister Jason Kenney’s office said that the minister has asked for an urgent review of the lay-offs, and the staff’s subsequent replacement by foreign workers.
According to the Alberta Federation of Labour, 65 ironworkers employed by Pacer Promec Joint Venture were dismissed from their jobs at Imperial Oil’s Kearl oilsands mine.
Workers were allegedly replaced with foreign labourers from Croatia, who are being paid approximately $18/hour –half of what the Canadian workers were making.
A representative from Calgary-based Pacer corporation said that the company is no longer involved in the Kearl project, and does not actively recruit foreign workers.
Canadians Given Priority for Available Employment
Employment Minister Kenney’s press secretary, Alexandra Fortier, issued an email statement saying that the allegations will be taken very seriously.
“Our government has recently made reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to ensure that Canadians are first in line for available jobs, and this program remains under review.”
New regulations have been put in place to address concerns of foreign workers taking employment from Canadians. These regulations have allowed officials to conduct workplace inspections, and black-list companies that do not comply with the rules.
The lay-offs coincide with several other cases against the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, where cheaper, foreign labour has been given priority over Canadian workers.
Employment Lawyers Serving Edmonton’s Workforce
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