McDonald’s accused of favouring foreign workers
By Kathy Tomlinson
CBC News: April 6, 2014
McDonald’s is under federal investigation over possible abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker program at a franchise outlet in B.C.
“The pattern is that the temporary foreign workers are getting more shifts and that the Canadians are getting less,” said employee Kalen Christ, a McDonald’s “team leader” who has worked at the Victoria location for four years.
As a result of Go Public’s inquiries, the government has suspended all pending foreign worker permits for the three McDonald’s locations owned by franchisee Glen Bishop and has blacklisted his franchise from using the program, pending the outcome of the probe.
“Many, many people have been complaining about it,” said Christ.
Employment Minister Jason Kenney’s office said investigators now want to hear from any other affected employees or job applicants, from any McDonald’s outlets in Canada.
The government probe began after Christ told Go Public the fast food outlet is bringing in Filipino workers while cutting local staffers’ hours and turning away dozens of seemingly qualified Canadians seeking jobs.
“I saw them walk in and apply. I saw the resumés, and there were lots,” said Christ. He said he has seen 50 resumés submitted by local applicants at the Pandora Avenue franchise in recent months.
“It’s sad. Some of them would have university on their resumé, and they weren’t being hired, even at McDonald’s.”
He said a manager told staff the store wasn’t hiring because up to nine new Filipino workers were coming, who still haven’t arrived.
“I don’t understand how they could even use an excuse like that,” said Christ.
Filipinos in, Canadian out
McDonald’s confirmed the three Victoria locations have 26 temporary foreign workers on staff. Christ said that out of 11 of those who work at his store, seven came in recent weeks.
Tim Turcot is a 21-year-old local resident who said he applied to work there during the same period. He wasn’t hired, despite his four years of restaurant experience.
“I don’t know why they didn’t hire me. I told them I am available 24/7 and just never got the job,” said Turcot.
He said he’s dropped off 60-odd resumés at several McDonald’s locations on Vancouver Island in the last two years. He’s since found work at another restaurant.
When asked what it was like being shut out of McDonald’s during a time of 14 per cent youth unemployment, he said, “It’s not fun. Why not give us [Canadian applicants] a chance, instead of people who don’t actually live here yet?”
Federal rules say employers can’t hire even one temporary foreign worker if there is a qualified Canadian available for the job.
“It feels like laws are being broken here. And the fact they can get away with it — and it takes someone [junior] like me to come out and say something — is kind of horrifying,” said Christ.
(Read the full article at CBC)
Alternative Free Press -fair use-