News of Flint Energy trying to hire 600 temporary foreign workers while turning Canadians away is creating anger among Canadian workers.
Court records released last month show that the Calgary-based provider of construction services in the oil and gas industry now owned by the US corporation URS attempted to hire 601 TFWs involved in the trades with the help of recruitment company SK Personnel based in Edmonton, Alberta.
The court case started after Citizenship and Immigration Canada rejected the vast majority of work permit applications and SK Personnel, who also have an office in India, sued Flint Energy over a contract dispute.
Qualified Canadian workers accuse Flint Energy of laying them off and ignoring the resumes of Canadian candidates while trying to bring in TFWs.
Landon Harvey from Forestburg, Alberta is one such experienced journeyman electrician who has been applying for jobs with Flint Energy for years without even receiving a call back from the company.
“I feel that I have been passed over for posted jobs because I have an opinion, and can speak English well enough to tell it,” Harvey said. “Why hire a journeyman electrician that got his ticket in this country and spent the last 18 years busting my ass learning and perfecting the trade, when they can hire a TFW ?”
“I believe as an electrician we have rights and have to stick to a code of conduct,” he added. “We need to keep the work in Canada and done by Canadians.”
Journeyman pipefitter and CWB certified welder Jeff Freed from Saskatchewan accused Flint Energy of replacing him with TFWs.
“It makes me angry that we have Canadians out of work we can train because most TFWS have no knowledge and have to be trained,” Freed said. “And I sit at home broke while unskilled TFWs send billions of dollars back to their home countries.”
Freed had a message for Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney who is in charge of overseeing the TFW program.
“I am not even sure how the majority of TFWs get to Canada because once they get here we have to train them or most of time redo their work as it is not up to code.,” Freed said. “Let’s train Canadians, teach youth trade skills instead of building training centres in the Philippines.”