EDMONTON – Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith today sent letters to Hon. Jason Kenney, Citizenship and Immigration Minister, and Hon. Lisa Raitt, Labour Minister, requesting federal intervention to halt the illegal use of temporary foreign workers as replacement staff at Hardisty Care Centre.
On June 14, a replacement worker told AUPE staff at the Hardisty Care Centre picket line that he was a recently employed foreign national from India, working inside the nursing home while on a one-year work permit.
“We sent an initial complaint directly to the Edmonton office of the Temporary Foreign Worker program upon learning of a temporary foreign worker being employed in a labour dispute, contrary to Canadian law,” said Smith.
“The administrators of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program seem unwilling to investigate. I hope the Conservative Cabinet takes this apparent breach of Canadian statutes more seriously,” he said.
Federal Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation Division 3 prohibits work permits when “the specific work that the foreign national intends to perform is likely to adversely affect the settlement of any labour dispute in progress or the employment of any person involved in the dispute.”
AUPE President Guy Smith said the rule protects vulnerable workers from being exploited by employers in labour disputes.
“Canadians may refuse to cross a picket line, but if temporary foreign workers do so they fear losing their job and their right to remain in the country. That’s an enormous imbalance of power ripe for exploitation,” said Smith.
For more information, contact:
Guy Smith, President, AUPE – 780-930-3301 or 780-265-2294 (cell)
Mark Wells, Senior Communications Advisor, AUPE – 780-930-3311