RBC Bank Firing Canadian Workers and Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers to Work in Canada

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jerrym
RBC Bank Firing Canadian Workers and Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers to Work in Canada

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jerrym

RBC bank is laying off fifty Canadian employees in their IT department in order to replace them with temporary foreign workers by the end of April. These jobs are in the department that serves RBC's biggest and wealthiest institutional customers, so it has nothing to do with the profit margins of this department. 

"They are being brought in from India, and I am wondering how they got work visas,” said Dave Moreau, one of the employees affected by the move. “The new people are in our offices and we are training them to do our jobs. That adds insult to injury.

In February, RBC told Moreau and his colleagues 45 of their jobs with the regulatory and financial applications team would be terminated at the end of April. 

"There are a lot of angry people," Moreau told Go Public. "A lot those people are in their late 50s or early 60s. They are not quite ready for retirement yet, but it may be very difficult to employ them." ...

The foreign workers who are taking over the RBC work in Toronto are employed by a multinational outsourcing firm from India – iGATE Corp. – which has a contract with the bank to provide IT services. The two companies have been working closely since 2005. There is an "RBC Offshore Development Centre" in the iGATE facility in Bangalore. ...

However, the bank refused to answer repeated questions about the type of work visas the iGATE employees have or how they were approved, given the job losses involved. ...

iGATE, a rapidly growing company with offices around the world, including Mississauga and Toronto, has been in trouble before over foreign worker hirings. ...

In 2008, the multinational paid $45,000 to settle charges by the U.S. Department of Justice for discriminating against American citizens. iGATE was advertising jobs in the U.S. for foreign workers — effectively saying Americans need not apply.

iGATE said it brings its foreign workforce into Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and under intra-company transfer visas.

However, a Toronto immigration lawyer says there is no loophole in any visa category that allows companies to displace Canadians who are able to do the work. ...

The iGATE employees don’t appear to have any special skills Canadians don’t, the RBC workers told Go Public.

“That’s why we are training them,” Moreau said. “The person who is replacing me has asked a lot of questions and doesn’t know a major portion of the type of systems that we are working with."

Displacement against rules

However, it is against federal rules for any company to bring foreign workers into Canada temporarily if it will put citizens out of work.

“The rules are very clear. You cannot displace Canadians to hire people from abroad,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. ....

As a result of Go Public’s inquiries, the office of the minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada — the federal office that approved iGATE’s plans to bring in foreign workers — issued a statement late Saturday.

"We have recently learned of allegations that RBC could be replacing Canadian workers by contracting with iGate, which is filling some of the roles with temporary foreign workers. If true, this situation is unacceptable.

"The purpose of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is to fill acute labour needs when Canadians are not available for the work required. It was never intended as a means to bring in temporary foreign workers in order to replace already-employed Canadian workers.

'I have instructed my department to work with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to determine the next steps.' "

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/04/05/bc-rbc-f...

 

 

Unionist

I'm trying to understand the outrage here - especially since it is apparently shared by the entire MSM as well as all Harper cabinet ministers who have been quoted so far.

Are we only against transfer of Canadian jobs to low-wage foreign workers when those foreign workers are brought here temporarily for training?

What about if RBC just outsources the work abroad after sending employees to train the foreign workers in their home country?

Net result: identical.

Something smells very fishy here.

jerrym

The situations are not the same. The aim is to drive wages in Canada downward in a more direct fashion by not only giving the jobs to people in foreign countries but by doing right here in Canada so the corporations, by oversaturating the job market in Canada, don't have to go to bother of setting up overseas and endure the costs associated with that - a full global market in low wage labor.

Of course I am against the same process occurring in the reverse direction but we have much less influence on what happens in those countries. At least, here we can try to ensure the Canadian laws are enforced. If they are not, Canada will see more and more of this. Unions, in part, act to control wage competition within firms in order to prevent wages from being driven down in union firms, even though they cannot control them in non-union firms. 

JKR

Unionist wrote:
I'm trying to understand the outrage here - especially since it is apparently shared by the entire MSM as well as all Harper cabinet ministers who have been quoted so far.

Are we only against transfer of Canadian jobs to low-wage foreign workers when those foreign workers are brought here temporarily for training?

What about if RBC just outsources the work abroad after sending employees to train the foreign workers in their home country?

Net result: identical.

Something smells very fishy here.

The outrage is coming from the Conservatives because they understand this could cost them a lot of votes. When Canadian corporations outsource labour to countries like India, the politicians just say that they have no control of decisions made by foreign governments. They can't make that case in this situation so they are protecting their electoral hides by coming out against this.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The temporary workers program has been flying under the radar for quite some time.  No body paid attention when we were bringing in people from poor countries to clean toilet bowls but now that it is coming to light that we are also bringing in workers for construction and mining and high tech jobs the Conservatives are astute enough to know that this could kill them in the next election.  If this guys pinned on them as it should be then they stand to lose big time. After all they have been preaching jobs, jobs, jobs since they got elected.  Their own ads could haunt them big time.

The NDP needs to get out in front of this and use it as the big stick. We all know that if Tim Horton's and the other service sector employers using the program paid a living wage that the jobs they have to offer would not go unfilled.

JKR

The proliferation of low paying jobs and no-paying jobs like internships is an issue that could toss the Conservatives out of office. The NDP should be stressing the need for many WELL PAYING jobs. This leads directly to supporting government funded stimulus and opposing austerity.

jerrym

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The temporary workers program has been flying under the radar for quite some time.  No body paid attention when we were bringing in people from poor countries to clean toilet bowls but now that it is coming to light that we are also bringing in workers for construction and mining and high tech jobs the Conservatives are astute enough to know that this could kill them in the next election.  If this guys pinned on them as it should be then they stand to lose big time. After all they have been preaching jobs, jobs, jobs since they got elected.  Their own ads could haunt them big time.

The NDP needs to get out in front of this and use it as the big stick. We all know that if Tim Horton's and the other service sector employers using the program paid a living wage that the jobs they have to offer would not go unfilled.

Couldn't agree more, especially with the fact that the NDP needs to get out front on this. 

Slumberjack

Apparently there are not enough locals to staff the fast food joints and the call centers either.  If it seems evident that it makes little sense up front to replace minimum wage locals with minimum wage guest workers, the logic of Capital suggests that somewhere along the corporate chain someone has to be making money from this.  With the example of fast food, the first rock to look under would be corporate investment with employment agencies dealing in offshore human resources, and at what expense are such 'opportunities' being presented to the worker.  If one sector has found a way to make money from this, then others will undoubtedly have an interest in exploiting such a market, the banking institutions for sure.  For all intents and purposes, political and media outrage, now that they've gauged the public mood, is a meaningless charade not dissimilar to their everyday existence.  The political domain is well aware that a little feigned outrage goes a long way toward lulling everyone back to sleep, so that the routine business of exploitation can proceed apace.

janfromthebruce

jerrym wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The temporary workers program has been flying under the radar for quite some time.  No body paid attention when we were bringing in people from poor countries to clean toilet bowls but now that it is coming to light that we are also bringing in workers for construction and mining and high tech jobs the Conservatives are astute enough to know that this could kill them in the next election.  If this guys pinned on them as it should be then they stand to lose big time. After all they have been preaching jobs, jobs, jobs since they got elected.  Their own ads could haunt them big time.

The NDP needs to get out in front of this and use it as the big stick. We all know that if Tim Horton's and the other service sector employers using the program paid a living wage that the jobs they have to offer would not go unfilled.

Couldn't agree more, especially with the fact that the NDP needs to get out front on this. 

ditto 2x with K and J here!

Slumberjack

jerrym wrote:
Couldn't agree more, especially with the fact that the NDP needs to get out front on this. 

Yeah, never miss an opportunity to make political hay off the backs of workers, no matter where they hail from or under what circumstances they're employed by.

NDPP

Just wait until TPP kicks in. You ain't seen nothing yet...

Gabriel Sinduda

Make sure you have your say on RBC's facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/rbcroyalbank

NorthReport

RBC Plays “Chicken” With Harper Government

Who hasn’t called a bank, credit card, computer help, airline baggage,  or a whole host of other service or warranty departments to find themselves talking to someone in India, the Philippines or Bangladesh!

But the Royal Bank of Canada has, according to several CBC National news reports, gone further than any and added insult to injury: not only telling 45 Toronto-based Information Technology workers they are losing their jobs; but instructing them to TRAIN, over the next two years, the teams of IT specialists from India who will be taking away the Canadian jobs.

RBC says it is just trying “to improve our operational processes and service, and re-invest in initiatives that enhance the client experience.”

I wanted to throw up when I read that.

I am no automatic foe of some degree of “globalization”: I can understand that, when it comes to mass production of consumer products, textiles, housewares etc., Canadian companies must manufacture and  import many such goods from overseas in order to remain competitive.

I will also concede that keeping prices down that way helps MANY Canadian families to afford a better lifestyle or even some necessities they could otherwise not afford.

And I can even understand that it benefits the third world … especially the labourers who earn their livings in those overseas factories .. by spreading around our global spending to a greater extent.  (Yes, the wages/conditions still may not be up to our  standards and we should push/demand improvements … but just imagine what life would be like there for millions without such jobs.)

But farming out jobs that Canadians CAN do quite efficiently and productively … and frankly, from my experience, better than foreigners overseas … is nothing but EXCESSIVE CORPORATE GREED by companies that fail to understand THEIR client base, their profits, their very success is owed right HERE …. to Canadians, to Canadian depositors, to Canadian borrowers and to Canadian investors … not foreigners in the third world.

And for RBC to IMPORT into Canada, for two years, foreign workers to be trained by the Canadians whose jobs they will steal and take back to India, is the ultimate in “chutzpah” … nerve.  And an insult to all Canadians … wherever they bank and whatever their economic ideology or politics.

So why would RBC do this so blatantly, so arrogantly and so confident it can get away with it?

Because, I believe, RBC believes it has a “friend” in the corporate-friendly Conservative federal government.

http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/rbc-plays-chicken-with-harper-government/

jerrym

The NDP has to wake up and move beyond criticism of ATM fees in attacking how financial institutions deal with the public and start dealing with issues that can devastate people's lives: namely, the Cons budget plan to confiscate depositors' savings and the replacement of Canadian workers with foreign temporary workers in Canada in order to drive wages down (the latter applies to all sectors of the economy). 

NorthReport

It just goes to show what absolute bullshit the globe and mail and the business community's spew out about the RBC CEO being chosen as the CEO of the year in Canada.

What an absolute farce these awards are. Reminds me of the ridiculous award Bill Good just received at CKNW in Vancouver for being the best bootlicker for the right-wing hacks that run BC.

NorthReport

Every Canadian should be divesting themselves of any financial dealings with the Royal Bank now. Close out your accounts, transfer your loans and motgages, RRSPs. Find a decent credit union to deal with like Vancity who would never ever do something like this. I'm sure of that.

Canadians outraged by RBC foreign-worker outsourcing fiasco

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/c...

trotwood73

jerrym wrote:

The NDP has to wake up and move beyond criticism of ATM fees in attacking how financial institutions deal with the public and start dealing with issues that can devastate people's lives: namely, the Cons budget plan to confiscate depositors' savings and the replacement of Canadian workers with foreign temporary workers in Canada in order to drive wages down (the latter applies to all sectors of the economy). 

Ask and you shall receive : Mulcair on RBC hiring - NDP leader comments on Canadian workers replaced by foreign staff

janfromthebruce

stronger language ~ NDP blasts temporary foreign worker program amid RBC scandal
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/ndp-blasts-temporary-foreign-worker-program-amid-rbc-scandal-1.1228703#ixzz2PuYA4HAK

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair blasted Canada’s temporary foreign workers program on Monday, saying loopholes are allowing corporations to take jobs away from Canadians.

Mulcair’s comments come as the Royal Bank of Canada attempts to quell a firestorm of controversy after news broke that Canada’s largest bank is outsourcing 45 Toronto-based IT jobs.

“They’re using the techniques put in place by the Conservatives to lower the working conditions of Canadian workers,” Mulcair told reporters on Monday.

He said RBC should reverse their decision to replace the workers and apologize to Canadians, and added that the Conservatives must rethink the temporary foreign workers program.
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/ndp-blasts-temporary-foreign-worker-program-amid-rbc-scandal-1.1228703#ixzz2PuYXpKQP

snip

Mulcair said RBC is using “precisely the right choice of words” in defending it decision to outsource the jobs.

“At the end of the day the employee who is losing his or her job doesn’t care what kind of loophole it is. All they know is we have a Canadian government that is allowing this to take place,” he said.

Diane Finley for the conservatives was mentioned "with unacceptable" but no other politician from other parties was mentioned in said story.

Unionist

jerrym wrote:

The aim is to drive wages in Canada downward in a more direct fashion by not only giving the jobs to people in foreign countries but by doing right here in Canada so the corporations, by oversaturating the job market in Canada, don't have to go to bother of setting up overseas and endure the costs associated with that - a full global market in low wage labor.

But all they're doing is training the foreign workers so that they can go back and perform ex-Canadian work, on behalf of a Canadian company (RBC), via a foreign contractor (IGate), for cheap. The fact that they're training the foreigners here is infuriating, but it's ultimately a red herring. They're going home and the work is going with them. How is this, in substance, the slightest bit different from just directly contracting with foreign companies to do work and laying off Canadian workers?

Quote:
Of course I am against the same process occurring in the reverse direction but we have much less influence on what happens in those countries. At least, here we can try to ensure the Canadian laws are enforced.

But if RBC just outsources the work to IGate without bringing the foreign workers here for training, then all these loud voices (including even Conservative cabinet ministers!) will fall silent - just as they have been silent for years while manufacturing and call-centre and high-tech and other jobs are outsourced abroad. And you won't have to worry about any Canadian laws being enforced.

How strange to boycott RBC without even investigating to see which of the other banks have outsourced work abroad, albeit without the "in your face" icing on the cake of bringing the foreigners here for training first.

This is too easy a bandwagon to jump on, and it doesn't come close to addressing the real issue - which is "free" trade and political refusal to protect the domestic economy.

If this obscene act on RBC's part helps raise consciousness about the real problem, I'll be very pleased. But to confuse which is the real problem is not going to lead to any kind of solution.

 

 

jerrym

The Power and Politics Question of the Day was "Are companies abusing the temporary foreign workers program?" The response was 97% Yes, 3% No, indicating that the overwhelming majority of Canadians see the abuse of this program as a big problem.

jerrym

Unionist wrote:

jerrym wrote:

The aim is to drive wages in Canada downward in a more direct fashion by not only giving the jobs to people in foreign countries but by doing right here in Canada so the corporations, by oversaturating the job market in Canada, don't have to go to bother of setting up overseas and endure the costs associated with that - a full global market in low wage labor.

But all they're doing is training the foreign workers so that they can go back and perform ex-Canadian work, on behalf of a Canadian company (RBC), via a foreign contractor (IGate), for cheap. The fact that they're training the foreigners here is infuriating, but it's ultimately a red herring. They're going home and the work is going with them. How is this, in substance, the slightest bit different from just directly contracting with foreign companies to do work and laying off Canadian workers?

Quote:
Of course I am against the same process occurring in the reverse direction but we have much less influence on what happens in those countries. At least, here we can try to ensure the Canadian laws are enforced.

But if RBC just outsources the work to IGate without bringing the foreign workers here for training, then all these loud voices (including even Conservative cabinet ministers!) will fall silent - just as they have been silent for years while manufacturing and call-centre and high-tech and other jobs are outsourced abroad. And you won't have to worry about any Canadian laws being enforced.

How strange to boycott RBC without even investigating to see which of the other banks have outsourced work abroad, albeit without the "in your face" icing on the cake of bringing the foreigners here for training first.

This is too easy a bandwagon to jump on, and it doesn't come close to addressing the real issue - which is "free" trade and political refusal to protect the domestic economy.

If this obscene act on RBC's part helps raise consciousness about the real problem, I'll be very pleased. But to confuse which is the real problem is not going to lead to any kind of solution.

 

 

You seem to be suggesting that unless you can solve all aspects of the problem you should do nothing all about it. If unions followed that logic they would still have organized no workers in any industry because they couldn't organize all of them. You take the opportunities to change what you can when the opportunities are presented and try to use that to raise the consciousness of others about the problem. 

NorthReport

How about blaming both the government and the Royal Bank, eh!

Let's not be naive here. The RBC contributes big money to the Cons and they are both up to their eyeballs in this sordid mess.

 

http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2013/04/08/blame-temporary-foreign-worker-prog...

 

NorthReport

I thought they were already having a review as a result of the HD Mining thingy. The government strategy seems to be to announce a new review each time a bad situation comes to light but the actual investigation never happens. How long have we been waiting for the results of the so-called Cons inquiry into HD Mining?

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2013/04/08/hrsdc-launches-review-of-foreign-work...

jerrym

jerrym wrote:

North Report wrote:

How about blaming both the government and the Royal Bank, eh!

Let's not be naive here. The RBC contributes big money to the Cons and they are both up to their eyeballs in this sordid mess.

North Report wrote:

This replacement of Canadian workers with temporary foreign workers must be fought or other firms and industries will soon be imitating it so they can drive down wages not only by transferring jobs overseas but by replacing Canadian workers in Canada with lower wage foreign workers unless the Canadians agree to take a major wage cut. 

Those who have accounts with RBC should cancel them and notify RBC why you are doing this. 

We need to organize demonstrations against this rape of Canadian workers' rights. Activists and the NDP need to tie Harper's failure to do anything about it until confronted by the media with his budget proposal to allow the big six Canadian banks to confiscate depositor's accounts if they run into financial trouble. This would help demonstrate the Cons have no interest in protecting the jobs, money or anything else of concern to ordinary Canadians, but only serve the interests of the wealthy and their corporations. 

That's what I was saying post # 22.

jerrym

jerrym wrote:

North Report wrote:

How about blaming both the government and the Royal Bank, eh!

Let's not be naive here. The RBC contributes big money to the Cons and they are both up to their eyeballs in this sordid mess.

jerrym wrote:

This replacement of Canadian workers with temporary foreign workers must be fought or other firms and industries will soon be imitating it so they can drive down wages not only by transferring jobs overseas but by replacing Canadian workers in Canada with lower wage foreign workers unless the Canadians agree to take a major wage cut. 

Those who have accounts with RBC should cancel them and notify RBC why you are doing this. 

We need to organize demonstrations against this rape of Canadian workers' rights. Activists and the NDP need to tie Harper's failure to do anything about it until confronted by the media with his budget proposal to allow the big six Canadian banks to confiscate depositor's accounts if they run into financial trouble. This would help demonstrate the Cons have no interest in protecting the jobs, money or anything else of concern to ordinary Canadians, but only serve the interests of the wealthy and their corporations. 

That's what I was saying post # 2.

Michelle

Matt Galloway from CBC Metro Morning calls out RBC on Twitter:

Quote:

Curious why no one from @rbc will talk to @metromorning about this story of replacing Cdn employees with Temporary Foreign Workers...

 

onlinediscountanvils

Chris Ramsaroop & Syed Hussan: [url=http://rabble.ca/news/2013/04/dont-believe-hype-rbc-layoffs-not-about-fo...'t believe the hype! RBC layoffs not about foreigners vs. Canadians[/url]

 

Quote:
In a global climate where temporary work programs are all the rage, demanding an end to them simply replicates the debates of the past. Instead we have to look at the bigger picture and expose the hypocrisies where -- through trade agreements -- money and corporations can move freely but the movement of people is increasingly restricted. 'Managed migration,' 'guest workers' and 'temporary foreign workers' are really code words to deny certain communities and benefits and entitlements we all should enjoy.

We need to caution if we continue down the same path of blaming migrant workers for stealing Canadian jobs, and if we do not heed the lessons of the past, we will fan the fires of xenophobia and racism.

This is the time for a national conversation on immigration, unemployment, work and access to benefits and entitlements. A conversation that aims to ensure that all people are able to live with dignity rather than being pitted against each other.

All workers want a better future to build our communities and to provide for our families.

Let us not be divided.

Unionist

jerrym wrote:

You seem to be suggesting that unless you can solve all aspects of the problem you should do nothing all about it. If unions followed that logic they would still have organized no workers in any industry because they couldn't organize all of them. You take the opportunities to change what you can when the opportunities are presented and try to use that to raise the consciousness of others about the problem. 

Thanks for the lecture. But no, you got my view entirely wrong. As a trade unionist, and minor activist in other movements, I've spent my teen and adult life making compromises, settling for much less than what I want, picking over evils to select the least of them... I got it, I understand.

Boycotting RBC, or focusing on the temporary worker program, isn't an "aspect of the problem". It's the wrong problem. The real problem is the destruction of the domestic economy and sourcing work abroad for the sake of profit.

And while I was working on this reply, I'm pleased to see the rabble article posted above by ODA:

Quote:
In a global climate where temporary work programs are all the rage, demanding an end to them simply replicates the debates of the past. Instead we have to look at the bigger picture and expose the hypocrisies where -- through trade agreements -- money and corporations can move freely but the movement of people is increasingly restricted. 'Managed migration,' 'guest workers' and 'temporary foreign workers' are really code words to deny certain communities and benefits and entitlements we all should enjoy. 

Bingo.

And I would add:

1. Bank workers need to be unionized. It's a superhuman task, but the union movements needs to get moving. Then much of what is happening in this case could at least have a chance of being prevented - including ensuring proper wages for temporary workers - and potentially bargaining clauses to stop outsourcing.

2. Please don't call on Tom Mulcair to focus on foreign workers, and on RBC as if it is doing something uniquely and exceptionally evil, when the real story here (as indicated in the rabble article) is the unfettered movement of capital and commodities which allows/encourages Canadian corporations to outsource jobs. Mulcair and the NDP need to shift gears drastically on their support for free trade agreements. This call enables them to divert attention from that underlying problem.

3. It's too easy for the Harper government to announce that this particular RBC deal doesn't meet the criteria of the foreign workers program. Don't let them off the hook. This is about exporting Canadian jobs, not about importing non-Canadians to "steal" our jobs.

 

 

NorthReport

The first thing when caught is to deny I suppose.

 

RBC chief denies use of foreign worker replacements

Firm from India, iGATE Corp., has contract with RBC to provide IT services

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/04/08/rbc-bank-foreign-workers....

Unionist

Hmm - the CEO's story rings true. And read the comments. People have just woken up and figured out that jobs which can be (are being!) done in Canada, are being shipped abroad! Duh!

So as I said, it appears to be about outsourcing to wipe out jobs (legal), vs bringing in foreigners instead of hiring qualified Canadians (supposedly unlawful).

What will the defenders of free trade and free movement of capital do now? Hopefully they'll return to what the NDP was saying years ago, before our manufacturing economy was devastated.

I am now officially holding my breath.

Slumberjack

NDPP wrote:
Just wait until TPP kicks in. You ain't seen nothing yet...

All of which highlights another problem.  There's apparently nowhere near enough money in the NDP research budget.  Globalization has been a reality for well over a decade, but now that this story has acquired a few days worth of legs to run on, in their current outrage they're providing us with every indication of being caught unawares.  Of course, some might surmise that they were simply being as meticulous as possible in being the first ones to pick up the stench coming from the banking sector around ATM machines.  Unfortunately, instead of hot on the trail bloodhounds they're more like pointer dogs frozen in place.

Kara

Many engineering companies here in Alberta have been abusing the foreign worker program for quite a while, without even bothering to subcontract the dirty work to another company.  Many of these companies have been bringing in engineers and technicians, primarily from the Philippines, at less than half the salary of the employee they have been replacing.  As well, they are increasingly outsourcing work to India, which is dangerous because the codes are very different and there are serious deficiencies in the projects due to a lack of adherence to the applicable codes.  Deviations from the codes can be caught but some of the client companies (Enbridge, Opti (now CNOOC), etc.) begin building prior to the designs receiving formal approval - a blatant violation that they have got away with for years.  This issue is not always just about jobs (which is obviously very important) but is also about safety in general.

NOTE: To fend off any potential accusations of racism or whatever, this is not a knock on engineers or technicians from India or the Philippines.  Canadian engineers would have difficulties adjusting to working with the codes in foreign countries as well.

Kara

jerrym wrote:

We need to organize demonstrations against this rape of Canadian workers' rights. 

jerrym: You are one of the people here who I would consider to be among the most valuable in terms of the contributions you make and the information you share.  And, I am positive that you had no intention of offending anyone, but please edit your post #2 to remove the word "rape", which is offensive and hurtful to many people.  There are many other words that could be used in this instance.

jerrym

This replacement of Canadian workers with temporary foreign workers must be fought or other firms and industries will soon be imitating it so they can drive down wages not only by transferring jobs overseas but by replacing Canadian workers in Canada with lower wage foreign workers unless the Canadians agree to take a major wage cut. 

Those who have accounts with RBC should cancel them and notify RBC why you are doing this. 

We need to organize demonstrations against this ever-growing loss of Canadian workers' rights. Activists and the NDP need to tie Harper's failure to do anything about it until confronted by the media with his budget proposal to allow the big six Canadian banks to confiscate depositor's accounts if they run into financial trouble. This would help demonstrate the Cons have no interest in protecting the jobs, money or anything else of concern to ordinary Canadians, but only serve the interests of the wealthy and their corporations. 

jerrym

Kara wrote:

jerrym wrote:

We need to organize demonstrations against this rape of Canadian workers' rights. 

jerrym: You are one of the people here who I would consider to be among the most valuable in terms of the contributions you make and the information you share.  And, I am positive that you had no intention of offending anyone, but please edit your post #2 to remove the word "rape", which is offensive and hurtful to many people.  There are many other words that could be used in this instance.

Thanks. It's been done. 

Kara

Thank you jerrym for your consideration.

NeedToVote101

:-)

JKR

Unionist wrote:
Hmm - the CEO's story rings true. And read the comments. People have just woken up and figured out that jobs which can be (are being!) done in Canada, are being shipped abroad! Duh!

So as I said, it appears to be about outsourcing to wipe out jobs (legal), vs bringing in foreigners instead of hiring qualified Canadians (supposedly unlawful).

What will the defenders of free trade and free movement of capital do now? Hopefully they'll return to what the NDP was saying years ago, before our manufacturing economy was devastated.

Very good point. It's a lot easier to criticize the current situation than to come up with policies to deal with the situation. As it is the NDP seems to have committed itself to respecting our trade agreements and at best renegotiating them if possible. Other jurisdictions like the US, Mexico, and the EU, are not going to renegotiate trade agreements without requiring us to make more concessions, so talk of renegotiating is mostly just that, talk. Only the threat of abrogation can give us the ability to revamp these agreements but the NDP, let alone the Conservatives or Liberals, does not seem to be willing to even talk about playing that card.

Outside of rewriting our trade agreements there are policies that the NDP supports and can support that alleviates the difficulties caused by the proliferation of outsourcing, contract work, and the growth of low paying jobs in general. Things like higher and fairer taxation, better labour laws, higher minimum wages, earned income tax credits, changes to EI, increased government funding that will create more well paying jobs in areas including healthcare, universal public childcare, public education, social housing, public recreation, municipal infrastructure, public transportation, renewable energy, etc....

LavenderBlume LavenderBlume's picture

This is not a new practice. It has been going on for quite a while at all major banks and other types of corporations. If you pull your money out of RBC only to deposit it to TD, BMO, etc. you're not making any difference. Move your money to a credit union if you want to support a banking system that is democratic and accountable to the community.

These are corporations we're dealing with. They will do whatever they can, legal, illegal and everything in between, to boost their profits. Those are the rules of the game. As far as they're concerned, hey answer to their shareholders, not the Canadian public or the government. Without strict regulationi and enforcement we should expect these things to get worse. But of course, any controls the government had in place have been weakened severely - not coincidentally.

Ultimately, this is what happens when unabated pursuit of profit is at the the top of the pyramid and private entities are allowed to become all-powerful. The root cause is capitalism, folks. No one should be surprised, but we should all be angry. Maybe this will wake some people up to reality?

Unionist

JKR wrote:
Other jurisdictions like the US, Mexico, and the EU, are not going to renegotiate trade agreements without requiring us to make more concessions, so talk of renegotiating is mostly just that, talk. Only the threat of abrogation can give us the ability to revamp these agreements but the NDP, let alone the Conservatives or Liberals, does not seem to be willing to even talk about playing that card.

Very true. So I have a modest proposal: The NDP promotes an immediate moratorium on all (all) new bilateral or multilateral trade deals, including those currently being negotiated. It can be tied to and conditional upon the pace of restoration of the devastated manufacturing economy. Or other conditions which others who are smarter than I am (but who care about workers and the economy and not about enriching the banks and businesses) can sit down and brainstorm.

While we're taking that breather, we can have a national discussion about the consequences of and opportunities afforded by the abrogation of existing unfair and destructive treaties.

I understand that such an initiative will bother Mr. Mulcair no end. However, were he to entertain it, it might provide him with a more useful and practical challenge to help protect the foundations of the Canadian economy, than the kind of "boycott RBC" cheap talk that means nothing and solves less.

 

Bacchus

Slap a quick 1000% tariff on goods coming from other countries that could, are or have been made here. With the exception of Mexico and the US of course.

Kara

Bachhus:  That would have the added bonus of putting particularly scummy companies like Walmart out of business here.  We have enough greedy, exploitive, misogynistic, etc. companies of our own without continually importing the scummiest of the American companies.

Two tiered business tax system.  The present business tax rates only for those companies that do not exploit cheap foreign labour and instead invest in Canadian workers by providing employment, fair wages, benefits, training, etc.  A higher, and suitably punishing, tax rate for those companies who only feel responsibility towards investors at the expense of workers and the country in general.  This idea wouldn't work because probably a minimum of 90% of companies fall into the latter category.

JKR

Unionist wrote:

JKR wrote:
Other jurisdictions like the US, Mexico, and the EU, are not going to renegotiate trade agreements without requiring us to make more concessions, so talk of renegotiating is mostly just that, talk. Only the threat of abrogation can give us the ability to revamp these agreements but the NDP, let alone the Conservatives or Liberals, does not seem to be willing to even talk about playing that card.

Very true. So I have a modest proposal: The NDP promotes an immediate moratorium on all (all) new bilateral or multilateral trade deals, including those currently being negotiated. It can be tied to and conditional upon the pace of restoration of the devastated manufacturing economy. Or other conditions which others who are smarter than I am (but who care about workers and the economy and not about enriching the banks and businesses) can sit down and brainstorm.

While we're taking that breather, we can have a national discussion about the consequences of and opportunities afforded by the abrogation of existing unfair and destructive treaties.

I understand that such an initiative will bother Mr. Mulcair no end. However, were he to entertain it, it might provide him with a more useful and practical challenge to help protect the foundations of the Canadian economy, than the kind of "boycott RBC" cheap talk that means nothing and solves less.

 

It'll be interesting to see how the NDP and other opposition parties react when (if?) the Canada-EU CETA agreement is culminated. These are the kinds of issues that will define the parties and determine who wins the next election. The NDP will also position themselves when the government comes out with the 2014 healthcare accord and when it sets up the new equalization regime. The NDP's position on the defining issue of returning the retirement age back to 65 will put the party in good stead for 2015. Good positioning on free trade, healthcare, and equalization could help land the party into government. If the NDP positions itself well on the defining issues the relative personal popularity of the party leaders and the nostalgic popularity of the old-line parties will not play as much of a determining factor in the 2015 election.

Supposedly Quebec supports free trade more than most other parts of the country. Is there any truth to that?

Unionist

JKR wrote:
Supposedly Quebec supports free trade more than most other parts of the country. Is there any truth to that?

No idea how to quantify that. There may be that impression, because the PQ, from Mulroney days on, even before becoming proud neoliberals (which I date at Lucien Bouchard), championed the FTA and NAFTA. They have never departed from that course. Marois's government is drooling at the prospect of free trade with the EU. I think they sold it to their militants by suggesting that economic links with other countries could help weaken the dependency on Ottawa. And some fools have fallen for that.

But not the left in general, and not the union movement (especially the part which deals with manufacturing).

Québec Solidaire has been pretty consistent on this question. So at least we have one provincial party with a couple seats in the legislature which opposes the stampede toward free trade.

Does such a thing exist in any other province? I didn't think so.

So, it's a question of perspective. I don't think your question could be answered by phoning folks and asking "do you support free trade". No one knows what it means. And that very ignorance is attributable to our political class as a whole. The NDP has been bad on this front (especially when in power), and now you can see which direction they're moving in.

 

Brachina

I feel kind of bad for the foriegn workers and hope people blame the bosses for this and not them. I hate when the 1 percent turns workers against each other like this, its vile.

Sean in Ottawa

It is not the individuals it is the category: if they were immigrants with full status here I would have no problem with them and that is not their fault at all.

Goggles Pissano

I support the idea of a boycott of RBC.  It takes a mass movement of capital away from a company to force the rest to wake up and notice.  People do have power of numbers.  It is when we use those numbers effectively that people tend to take notice.

Alexa McDonough said when she was in power that the NDP was not going to bring up Free Trade and NAFTA, so lofty talk about Free Trade and NAFTA and other trade agreements and globalization is just lofty talk that the NDP does not intend to address. 

Boycotts are very effective.  No bank wants a massive run on their banks, especially with reserves being at all time lows.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I doubt if the bank's clients that matter are going to boycott. Most progressive people who pay any attention don't bank with RBC because of its ties to the tar sands industry.

Quote:

RBC Capital Markets' Energy Group is an integrated investment and corporate banking team comprised of over 230 highly experienced professionals dedicated to energy. We provide seamless cross-border execution across a geographically diverse corporate client base and provide expertise for numerous sectors, including:

https://www.rbccm.com/energy/cid-203869.html

https://www.rbccm.com/syndicatedfinance/cid-206913.html

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Unionist wrote:
I'm trying to understand the outrage here - especially since it is apparently shared by the entire MSM as well as all Harper cabinet ministers who have been quoted so far [...]

Would I be going out on a limb here to suggest that the reason there is so much Sturm und Drang in the MSM over this story is that it deals with white collar workers in a semi-professional occupation as opposed to blue collar "skilled" workers?

That the RBC office towers are closer to the centralized media outlets (as opposed to the mines in someplace like Tumbler Ridge, where you have to fly into either Fort St John or Grande Prairie and then drive for several hours to get there) doesn't diminish the amount of attention they are going to receive either.

Let's be honest with ourselves, the MSM types are much likelier to know (or at least identify with) workers in an office tower than they are with individuals working in primary extractive industries. Again, at the risk of putting myself out on a limb, I am going to suggest class bias has a lot to do with why this story has grabbed the MSM's attention... "Hey, that could be me... or [given the averge age of the decision makers in the MSM] my kids..."

Hope that helps you understand things a bit better Unionist.

Sven Jolly

Maybe they ran out of Canadian jobs to export? Jobs that can't be exported to 3rd world slave-labour, the workers have to be imported so we can continue the complete destruction of the middle-class in Canada. Pretty sure this is part of Harpo's 'economic inaction plan'...you know, to jump start the economy and all that hoohaw.

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