Monday, April 14, 2014

TFW Program: Shut It Down NOW!

A few weeks ago, we learned of a few McDonald's restaurants abusing the Temporary Foreign Worker program by giving preferential treatment to candidates coming in under the TFW program over Canadian citizens and permanent residents.  

Today, we find out that it has been much broader in scope than just a franchise owner in Vancouver.
“I feel it’s definitely discrimination against Canadians,” said Chris Eldridge, from Lethbridge, Alta. 
Eldridge just quit his managerial job for six McDonald’s locations in Alberta, because he said he could no longer stomach denying local employees much-needed shifts to accommodate temporary foreign workers. 
“Honestly, some days I wonder, is this still Canada? Everyone is supposed to have equal rights.”Eldridge was a manager who did the worker scheduling for McDonald’s franchisee Dan Brown. He's also upset about differences in pay. Many foreign workers started at $10.80 an hour, he said, while local employees doing the same job made less.
Think about this.  We're talking about a McDonald's here.  Not exactly the kind of jobs that require a degree or specialized training to do.  We're bringing in people from overseas to fill these jobs?  What happened to the local teenagers who used to regularly fill those roles?

The TFW program was intended to fill specific gaps in the workforce where allegedly employers were "unable" to find workers with certain skills.  Then the Harper Government opened the floodgates up to allow just about any company to bring in TFWs for any reason.

The Globe and Mail published an extensive list of the companies authorized under this program.  A quick glance at the list of authorized companies shows us restaurants, fast food outlets and car washes all authorized under this program.  I find it incredible that there are shortages of workers in these areas...especially not with Canada's youth unemployment rate running between 13% and 15%.

This entire program has outlived its purpose.  It has become a tool for businesses to evade paying fair wages to Canadians.  You run a Tim Horton's franchise, and you can't find workers?  Maybe you aren't paying enough.  Oh gosh ... you might have to cut back on a couple of cruise vacations next year ... tsk.

Time to shut it down.  You want to live in Canada? - there's an immigration system for that.

Jobs for Canadians FIRST.  

2 comments:

SubC said...

TFW program has some need in teh Prairie provinces (I live in AB and the labor market is pretty tight) but it has been overused, misused and abused too many times. After all, if people are living/working/paying taxes here, they might just be given permanent residency and accepted as fellow Canadians! Suspend the TFW program NOW and grant PR status to all the TFWs currently living (and working) in Canada.

MgS said...

I live in AB - the labour market isn't that tight - certainly not since 2008, and definitely not in areas like fast food. Youth unemployment remains persistently high across the country, and fast food chains have traditionally employed a lot of youth ... until the TFW program was expanded by the Harper Government(tm).

As for granting PR status, I have some concerns about that. Grant them credit towards PR, absolutely, but I'm not so sure about just giving it out simply because they are here under the TFWP. We have an immigration process, and if they want to move here, that's fine, but let's use the process that applies across the board for immigration.