Naming and Shaming the Companies Using TFWs a Step Toward Making Them Pay The Full Costs

Now, just a few days after Dave Moreau blew the whistle on RBC's abuse of Canada's TFWP, they are in full retreat. They've issued a public 'mia culpa' that included promises that all the fired employees would be getting comparable jobs and that their business practices would change. Such is the power of bad publicity in our modern interconnected world. In reality their bottom line won't change a bit in the short-term because of the public's reaction to their getting caught doing exactly what thousands of other companies all across Canada are doing. The damage RBC fears is to their long-term PR persona.

RBC is in full damage control mode because they got 'named and shamed' by the whistleblower. The website Outsource Canada has province by province lists derived from StatsCan's voluminous and somewhat confusing tables. For instance, my home province of BC which currently has 166,400 folks registered with the government as unemployed and also has 28,065 TFWs which is 16.87% of its total employed workforce. The BC page's list of BC's companies, which includes hundreds of names, is really only a partial list because very few of the national corporations, including the big banks like RBC or the fast food outlets like Tim Horton's, are on it so...nonetheless it's well worth a cruise though the list to see how many of the places you frequent are there.

According to StatsCan, the largest number of TFWs across Canada are general farm workers including nursery, greenhouse and harvesting labourers  followed by food counter attendants, cooks, kitchen helpers and related restaurant occupations. The mind numbing lists and tables at StatsCan show that by far those highly specialized workers the program is supposed to help companies find are a tiny minority of the 338,000 TFWs now working in Canada.

According to another section of StatsCan, BC lost 16,200 full-time jobs last month. As BC Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair says, "These numbers reveal we don't have a temporary shortage of workers, we have a shortage of jobs." The Federation has long opposed the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, because the program drives down wages and severely limits the rights of workers entering Canada. "We know that over the long run with expected retirements and slowing birthrates, our workforce requires continued reliance on immigration," said Sinclair; "but let's invest in real immigration programs that allow prospective citizens the same rights as all Canadian workers. It's how we built Canada and how we should continue to build Canada.

Wading through the jargon can be almost as confusing as the stats. The term 'outsourcing' is commonly used as a catch-all term by us folks non-familiar with the lingo. Reading up on the definitions of outsourcing, offshoring, temporary foreign workers and outsourcing companies can drive a person to drink. The street level reality is that the earlier era's destruction of Canada's manufacturing industries by the free trade and globalization bandits was mostly offshoring. The current corporate scheme of hiding behind sub-contractors [outsourcing companies] that actually hire and import temporary foreign workers is what we call outsourcing.

In the end it doesn't matter much which knife slit your throat, the reality is that you're bleeding and useless you stop the bleeding quickly somehow you'll be dead. It would be nice to live in a world where a person could count on the government to step in and stop the metaphorical bleeding of Canadian jobs, but we all know that'll happen just after pigs fly. So the best option, the best tool we have is to make the dastardly companies pay the Public Relations price of their short-term profit motivated actions is to take a first step by  'Naming and Shaming' them.