Angry Canadian workers are calling for a boycott of Boston Pizza after the company’s franchises were found trying recruit temporary foreign workers with the help of controversial TFW recruitment consultants Actyl Group despite the Government’s moratorium on TFW application approvals in the food services industry.
“I felt dismay,” Teri Ballegeer from Nanaimo, BC, who first alerted Canadians to the ads on Actyl group’s job page said. “It’s disheartening to see the concentrated efforts to bring TFWs into Canada by groups such as ACTYL and so little effort from our own government to put Canadians first.”
Canadians have started posting angry messages on Boston Pizza’s Facebook page expressing their outrage at the chain’s actions.
“Why are you advertising for TFW’s when there is a government ban on?” Darryl Rice from Calgary, Alberta asked. “I will not spend my money in your establishment! I have not seen any advertisements for Canadian employees!”
Some messages were directed at the company’s billionaire founder Jim Treliving.
“Another company to boycott due to the hiring of TFW’s,” Sue L’Archeveque wrote. “Ya blew it Jim.”
Boston Pizza defended the ads, stating that “While there is a current moratorium on hiring TFWs, our franchisees have to start advertising for these jobs now or they will be left without workers or the ability to serve their guests and the community once the temporary moratorium is lifted.”
Most of the undated Boston Pizza job ads appearing on Actyl Group’s site are for cooks and food services in Alberta.
Actyl Group, run by two Conservative Party politicians, has been mired in controversy involving in a number of McDonald’s TFW program abuse scandals in Alberta.
In one case, foreign workers from Belize at a McDonald’s in Edmonton accused Actyl treating workers as “slaves” and alleged that the McDonald’s recruiter illegally charged them fees, forced them to rent a room at an exorbitant rate in a building owned by a McDonald’s, and denied them promised overtime.
“At Actyl Group, we are always completely honest and transparent with all of the workers we recruit,” the group’s president Dr. Linda West, president of Actyl Group, said in a statement denying the allegations. “This includes keeping these workers informed of certain visa and other fees they may need to pay to government agencies.”
Dr. West has unsuccessfully contested both as a Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the federal elections and a Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba candidate in the provincial elections.
Actyl’s co-founder Adrian Schulz also unsuccessfully ran as a Progressive Conservative candidate at the 2009 Manitoba by-election.
“I’ve been in an abusive relationship in the past and experience the same feelings of powerlessness at the hands of our government,” Ballegeer said. “We’re made to feel that our present situation is our fault, that we get what we ‘deserve’.”
“George Orwell is amongst my favorite authors and the quote that comes to mind is ‘some pigs are more equal’,” she added. “I am afraid for what my children and grandchildren might be facing in the future.”