Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Qualified miners passed over; union

Temporary workers from China hired

  • Print

VANCOUVER -- A mining company that was granted permits to bring 201 temporary foreign workers from China rejected multiple Canadian applicants who had exemplary qualifications, including one person with 30 years experience, say two trades unions after reviewing hundreds of refused resumés.

The unions have been fighting HD Mining in court over the firm's insistence there was never a supply of qualified or interested Canadians in doing the work at the Murray River coal project near Tumbler Ridge, in northern British Columbia.

The labour groups say Canadians should have had the first rights to such jobs, disputing the firm's claims it was forced to get permission to bring in temporary workers.

Now the unions contend they have documents that validate their assertions.

"Clearly the evidence, after reviewing these resumés, support what we've been doing all along, and clearly there were qualified Canadians who should have had an opportunity at these jobs," said Brian Cochrane, a spokesman for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 115.

"It appears that some of them didn't even have an opportunity for an interview."

The engineers' union and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union spent weeks in legal wranglings before the company agreed to hand over about 300 resumés last month to satisfy a Federal Court order.

The unions, which are more broadly seeking a judicial review of Ottawa's decision to issue permits to the workers in the first place, say their findings justify the legal challenge.

They filed documents to the Federal Court late Friday outlining some of the qualifications found within the tossed resumés.

One applicant had more than 30 years of wide-ranging and extensive experience in all aspects of underground mining, while another had 20 years of experience, including three as an underground operations supervisor, according to their submission.

Other sample applicants had six years experience, including three in an underground coal mine, while another had completed an "underground miner hard rock common core" certificate. At least three more had three years and experience installing ventilation, operating equipment and specializing in construction, diamond drilling and production.

"(There was) a full gamut of obviously qualified people," Cochrane argued.

But he said he's still unclear as to why the company would have found the applicants unemployable.

"That part is hard to determine from my perspective. It just looks like the Canadian applicants were discounted."

The judicial review is tentatively set to be heard in April.

HD Mining did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 4, 2013 A7

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: God Rest Ye Premier Selinger

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google