B.C. labour tensions rise over foreign workers - Michael Scott, Vancouver Sun
Tensions flared last month when unionized ironworkers walked off the job in Vancouver to protest what they see as the risk of Canadians being replaced by temporary foreign workers. The German construction company Bilfinger Berger has applied to bring in 345 foreign ironworkers for its Golden Ears Bridge project.
That move enraged officials of Ironworkers Local 97, who said there was no shortage of experienced ironworkers in Canada ready to work on the project.
"They're nuts," said Ironworkers business manager Perley Homes, in a statement. "Bilfinger Berger is paying lower wages and benefits than other unionized contractors to their temporary foreign workers. They're not paying fair market rates, and this is putting pressure on other contractor firms to reduce wages and benefits, and look at hiring temporary foreign workers."