Again last week, our policymakers were gleefully tooting their horns with regards to “temporary foreign workers,” going on about agreements, so as to be able to bring in a plethora of these workers to staff the mining sector, etc.
Great, so now we’re going to have foreign-owned mines, staffed with foreign workers, producing ore to be sent to foreign countries (namely China), to be processed in foreign countries and to be used by foreign countries. Can anyone please tell me what’s in it for us, exactly?
What’s in it for us, of course, are the inevitable adverse consequences to our environment that comes with any mining project. And believe me, the handful of royalties collected by the territorial government will not even cover a fraction of the subsequent cleanup that will be needed after the foreigners have come and gone (the Faro mine is case in point).
And not unlike the coal mine outside Tumbler Ridge, B.C., these mining jobs will first be posted at obscenely low wages (with Mandarin as an asset), and so these mines won’t be able to “find Canadians who want work,” and will be able to hire “temporary foreign workers” with a wink and a nudge from our governments. And not unlike the Wolverine mine, planes will fly workers and supplies directly from bigger centres and that will be that.
With a national unemployment rate sitting at 7.2 per cent – with some provinces over 12 per cent – it is utterly obscene that employers are allowed to go to the infinite pool of cheap labour that the world has to offer.
The ripple effects of having to compete against Chinese miners – or Tim Horton’s jobs for that matter – inevitably put downward pressure on our wages – all of our wages. Why would you offer $11 an hour for a job if you can get a temporary worker at minimum wage? It’s about time working people make a stand against this assault.