Friday, November 13, 2009

Canada’s Solution to Unemployment – Go to the Third-World

The problem: how to keep big multinational companies from shutting down, putting thousands of people out of work and creating a massive public relations disaster for the company and the government?

The Canadian government’s solution is truly mind boggling.

Import workers from poorer third-world countries on short-term visas. Once here, force them to work for multinational companies at substantially lower wages than any one local to Canada would be willing to work that job. Then deny them the fundamental benefits companies provide to their employees and deny them access to the government services immigrants and citizens enjoy -- all while forbidden them from bringing their family so that they can’t make any reas

Parliament buildings of canadaImage via Wikipedia

onable demands for these benefits. When the gig is over, stuff them on a plane and send them back to their life of poverty and despair.

Sign me up – I want that job!

Apparently there is high demand for these low-paying, family stealing jobs. Recently, the Canadian government announced that there were 251,235 temporary short-term work visa holders last year.

Originally the temporary short-term work visa program was created because of a severe shortage of labor to work the Alberta Oil Sands. These jobs were anything but glamorous – it was dangerous as workers were constantly working with heavy machinery, surrounded by highly flammable, combustible, and toxic petro-chemicals. And the jobs were low paying, and very physically demanding.

Then the Canadian government expanded the program to temporary low-skilled workers, which provided contractual work to third-world citizens in the first world for a maximum of four-years. These jobs typically went to nannies and farm hands, but in recent years, strippers (sorry – exotic dancers for the politically correct), telemarketers, and other practical, highly respectable careers were funded through this government program.

As the definition of “low-skilled” worker is very loose, the Canadian government has been allowing mega large companies in the financial services, pharmaceutical, information technology, and other big business sectors to bring people in from the third-world that aren’t low in skill, but are cheaper than hiring a Canadian-born person to do the same job.

The Canadian government even admits it allows more of these temporary short-term workers into the country, than landed immigrants, although landed immigrants usually become Canadian citizens.

The Canadian government program designed to create jobs actually robs Canadians of good paying jobs.

That’s why if you one of the 43, 200 Canadians looking for work in October, you are probably still unemployed. The jobs are here, but not for us Canadians. You have to be a citizen of India, China, Mexico, the Philippians, or some other country where these big companies recruit.

And recruit they do. Often it starts out harmless enough -- a big company contracts out a handful of projects to a small company in one of these poorer countries. If they don’t mess up, within a year many of the company’s employees are offered four-year contracts based in Canada. They will be given what they consider a good wage – though it is substantially lower than what a Canadian would be paid to do the exact same job – as well as travel and start-up expenses. The only catch is they have to leave their friends and family behind.

But that doesn’t matter, their eyes gloss over, as they think they’ve hit the big time. Instead of living in a crammed one-room house with a mud roof, they get to live in a multi-room one-bedroom high-rise apartment made of bricks and mortar. The fact that their bathroom isn’t in the same room as the kitchen – or that they even have a kitchen – is a selling point in itself.

Although they may be away from their friends and family for up to four-years, they still feel the connection by sending money home. Often this helps them bring their family here – often illegally.

Employment OntarioImage by Sweet One via Flickr

Reports of some of these short-term temporary workers paying over $25,000 to sneak their loved ones into the country abound. And despite that huge amount of money, there never are any guarantees. If the family gets caught sneaking into the country, they get sent back, but the sly person who arranged the whole thing keeps the money. There are no refunds.

But that doesn’t matter either, after four-years once the contract ends, these temporary short-term contractors go home.

Just imagine returning to the one-room shack with the mud roof, and sleeping on the ground with a dozen or so close relatives.

Guess that image isn’t too appealing, as many stay, illegally, and continue to work here under the table. They usually have to get lower paying jobs at less than scrupulous workplaces. But don’t worry, the mega large multinationals have already recruited more from the third-world to replace the ones leaving.

It’s a constant river of poor people being brought to Canada, to work at cut-rate wages for multinational corporations, only to end up as illegal immigrants, working under the table for abusive employers. But anything beats sleeping on the floor of that hut with the mud roof.

As for those 43, 200 unemployed Canadian citizens (as of October), maybe you could land a job in India, China, Mexico or the Philippians – I here there are some openings.

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