Latest Use of Federal Temporary Workers Undermines Canadian Jobs and Wages: Steelworkers

Apr 07, 2013, 11:57 ET from United Steelworkers (USW)

TORONTO, April 7, 2013 /CNW/ - "The news that RBC is replacing 45 of its employees with workers from India is just further proof that corporations and the Harper government intend to use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to lower wages across Canada," said Ken Neumann, National Director of the United Steelworkers (USW). "We are ready to assist the RBC workers and represent them in any legal matters and hope they will contact us."

This outrage is made more dramatic when you realize that while the longtime older workers are being laid off Royal Bank of Canada chief executive officer Gordon Nixon was the highest-paid bank CEO in Canada. He was awarded $12.6 million in salary, stock and bonuses for fiscal 2012. This means he was paid more than his counterparts at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc.

The USW has been among the unions leading the charge to expose the use of temporary workers to undermine Canadian wages and living standards while making workers from abroad subject to abuse. 

USW involvement was sparked by the discovery that a Canadian-Chinese consortium hired workers from China to develop a mine in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia while refusing to interview over 300 Canadian applicants for the jobs.

"We are adamantly opposed to a policy that seeks to undermine our Canadian standard of living while continuing to expose new arrivals to our shores with a new form of exploitation since the ability of temporary workers to remain in Canada is tied almost completely to one employer and with no reasonable avenue to citizenship," added Neumann.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)