BUSINESS

McDonald's Boycott Threatened Over Use Of Temporary Foreign Workers

04/14/2014 05:00 EDT | Updated 06/14/2014 05:59 EDT
B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair says his organization may call for a Canadian boycott of McDonald's if it doesn't immediately commit to stop using temporary foreign workers.

Sinclair says his organization is opposed to the use of temporary foreign workers filling positions which have "traditionally provided important employment for young people, new Canadians and others seeking entry-level work."

He says the program is "fundamentally flawed."

"We've got some examples at McDonald's that show how bad it is both for the people who are temporary foreign workers and for Canadians," said Sinclair.

"We know that's repeated hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times across Canada, because every time you bring in a temporary foreign worker in a job that, 'A,'  isn't temporary and, 'B,'  has no labour shortage, then basically you're abusing the program and those people."

B.C. Fed threatens McDonald's boycott

Sinclair says McDonald's should not be using the temporary foreign worker's program to depress wages and keep Canadians out of entry-level jobs.

"If they want Canadians to come and buy burgers and have Big Macs and feel good about it, then they have to immediately stop using the temporary foreign workers' program in Canada.

Sinclair says the B.C. Federation of Labour has asked McDonald's for a meeting to put its demands on the table.

"If we don't get it, then there's other options, he said. "We could ask people, you know what? If you support Canada, then don't go to McDonald's anymore. Go to restaurants, go to places that employ Canadians to do the jobs and don't exploit other workers."

The B.C. Federation of Labour president says he wants to make it clear he has nothing against foreign workers. He says it's not their fault they have no rights under this program.

"This is a country of other workers from other countries," said Sinclair. "We built this country that way. The problem is they don't have rights. So we're saying those people who are here today in those categories, they should remain and they should be offered the opportunity to immigrate."

"It's not a fight with Filipino workers or any other workers. It's a fight with employers taking advantage of human beings and keeping Canadians from getting jobs."

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