Company to rehire iron workers as Ottawa promises review

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The dozens of iron workers who were laid off and subsequently alleged they were replaced by temporary foreign workers at an oil sands project in Alberta this week will be rehired, according to the company involved in the controversy.

Roughly 65 iron workers were let go from their construction jobs at the Kearl oil sands mine near Fort McMurray Tuesday. These Ironworkers Local 720 union members allege they were replaced by temporary foreign workers and, in response, turned to the government to investigate and made public complaints Thursday.

Ottawa immediately pledged to examine whether the company that laid them off was in compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Companies cannot hire temporary foreign workers if qualified Canadians want the jobs. The TFWP is designed to fulfill labour shortages, and cannot be used to drive down costs by hiring cheaper employees from abroad.

Pacer Promec Joint Venture – a partnership between Pacer Construction Holdings Corporation, and Construction Promec Inc. – on Friday said it will “re-hire Canadians to impacted positions that had been filled with temporary foreign workers.”

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