Wednesday, April 30, 2014

temporary foreign worker program sparks labour war in green energy sector

‘This is the wage we’re going to pay and we’re going to scan the globe to find people who are willing to work for that wage,...It’s globalization run amok."

temporary foreign worker program sparks labour war in green energy sector | macleans:

When it opened for business at the site of a shuttered assembly plant in Windsor, Ont.,CS Wind was hailed as an early success story for the Ontario government’s flagship green energy program, which aimed to spark a renewable resource industry in the province and create jobs for thousands of unemployed manufacturing workers.
The Korean company, which manufactures the towers used in wind turbines, is a partner in a consortium led by Samsung that promised to open factories to employ Canadians building wind turbines and solar panels. In exchange, the province agreed to buy nearly $10 billion worth of renewable energy from producers at above market-rates (later reduced to $6 billion after complaints it would drive up energy bills). CS Wind said it planned to hire as many as 500 local workers, many of them out-of-work welders, and build towers out of steel from Sault Ste. Marie.
Yet years after then-premier Dalton McGuinty toured the plant for its December 2011 opening—sitting at the controls of a specialized hoist truck and declaring that his green energy strategy was “creating good jobs for our families”— the company’s use of two dozen temporary workers from Vietnam has become a key issue in an ongoing labour dispute at the factory.
An Ontario Labour Relations Board ruling released last month to determine which of CS Wind’s employees could form a prospective bargaining unit—as part of a union drive by the Iron Workers—noted the company had employed more than 30 workers from Vietnam
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