Workers’ resumes released to BC Building Trades unions show HD Mining rejected many highly qualified, experienced Canadian miners

Date: 
Monday, February 04, 2013

Unions call HD Mining’s actions “outrageous and offensive” and justifies judicial review of TFW permit.  Rejected applicants had up to 30 years experience in mining, degrees and management roles.

Vancouver – BC’s Building Trades’ unions say the actions of HD Mining in rejecting many highly qualified, very experienced Canadian miners from even being considered for jobs at the Chinese-owned company’s BC coal mine development projects are “outrageous and offensive”.

HD Mining obtained a federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program permit to bring up to 200 Chinese miners to BC because it claimed no qualified Canadians were available for the jobs.

But the Building Trades’ legal counsel obtained a Federal Court order that gave the right to review the Canadian workers’ resumes submitted to HD Mining and its parent company Canadian Dehua in a supplemental memorandum to the Federal Court filed Thursday, the unions’ lawyers outlined their findings without identifying the workers or breaching their privacy.

The unions’ submission is a public record document and can be seen here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/123522457/Court-document-Union-submissions-in-HD-Mining-Canadian-hiring-dispute or obtained at the Federal Court registry in Vancouver.

Brian Cochrane, Business Manager of the IUOE Local 115, one of two Building Trades unions that brought the legal action, says HD Mining’s behavior has been outrageous and offensive.

“HD Mining repeatedly told the federal government, told the media and told the public that there were no qualified workers for the coal mine development jobs in BC – the information in these resumes shows that to be blatantly untrue,” Cochrane said.

“There were workers applying for HD Mining jobs who had as much as 30 years mining experience, who had mineral engineering degrees, who had managed major mines in Canada, who had every imaginable qualification to do the work – but they were all rejected so HD Mining could bring in Temporary Foreign Workers instead – it’s outrageous and it’s offensive,” Cochrane said.

“It’s no wonder that HD Mining and the federal government have forced us to go to court repeatedly to get access to these damning documents – they knew that this information definitively proves they could have hired many highly qualified and experienced Canadian workers for this project,” Cochrane said.

Mark Olsen, Business Manager for the Construction and Specialized Workers Union Local 1611 – the other Building Trades union in the case, said the unions’ now feel their application for a judicial review of HD Mining’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program permit should be approved and that the federal and BC government must also review the program and changes the rules and enforcement.

“What these resumes prove is that Canadian workers had jobs they could easily perform taken away from them by an unscrupulous company that wanted Temporary Foreign Workers all along and by an incredible lack of enforcement of the rules by the federal government,” Olsen said.

“We can also see that when Premier Christy Clark went to China to announce this deal, her BC Liberal government’s “jobs plan” didn’t include making sure that the jobs created would be filled by British Columbians,” Olsen said.  “The provincial government also has a lot to answer for in this situation, because they did not undertake any precautions to ensure these new jobs went to Canadians and they have done nothing since then to protect BC workers’ interests.

The court document filed by the Building Trades’ unions cites multiple examples of workers whose resumes submitted to HD Mining and Canadian Dehua clearly show their qualifications and experience were exemplary for the jobs.

“Applicant 4” in the document — “had 20 years of underground mining experience, including three years as an underground operations supervisor.”

Applicant 7 “had six years experience as an underground miner, at least three of which were in an underground coal mine.”

Applicant 9 “had 30-plus years of wide-ranging and extensive experience in all aspects of underground mining.”

Applicant 10 “had completed an Underground Miner Hard Rock Common Core certificate and had been working as a skilled mine laborer.”

Applicant 11 “had three years underground mining experience including experience installing ventilation.”

Applicant 12 “had three years of underground coal mine experience, including operating various equipment as a helper on an underground utilities crew.”

Applicant 13 “had three years of underground mining, construction, diamond drilling and production.”

Cochrane and Olsen say the unions will continue to push the federal and BC governments for a full review of the entire Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

For More Information: 

Contact the BC Building Trades office
(778) 397-2220

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