Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The other side of the TFW debate

 Nobody, but nobody, has been more vocal in the anti-TFW debate than me in the last couple of years. As becomes more evident every day, the Temporary Foreign Worker gig is obviously about cutting the ground out from under Canadian workers.

Why would a Canadian employer have to heed the call of his workers for improved wages and working conditions if they have the option of hiring a TFW crew that glories in the prospect of making twelve bucks an hour and living eight to a room owned by their employer?

The low-water mark of this entire debacle was when the Conservatives decreed that the TFW folks could be paid 15% less than the "prevailing rate."

That aspect of the TFW program has been rescinded thanks to the PR stink it evoked, but the rest of this vile anti-Canadian program continues to fester.

And make no mistake; it is vile, it is anti-worker, and it is anti-Canadian.

Having said that, let's look at a statement the Council of anti-Canadian Workers put out the other day.

Apparently, young Canadians, upon getting a job, want to come in to work when and if they feel like it, and while they are "on the job" as it were, they feel it is their right to check their text messages every five minutes. What employer wants to commit to an employee who has absolutely no sense of the most mundane requirements of what used to be a "job," i.e. getting there on time on a regular basis.

If and when they get to work, young Canadian workers consider it their right to maintain contact with the wider world via their electronic devices, every minute of the workday. Mom wants to know how the new job is working out? Well, she doesn't have to wait till five PM to find out. Luckily you can tell her at 9:30, barely into your orientation session.

What we should be asking ourselves is where young Canadians got this "work" ethic.

Well, take a look at where these young Canadian workers come from. They come from Canadian high schools.

What they learned there is that their "right" to text their Mom about the latest trivialities in their life takes precedence over anything the math or english teacher might have had in mind for that day. Most Canadian classrooms today will tolerate, if not facilitate, having the student text their Mom, Dad, brother, sister, friend, enemy, frenemy, etc. during class time.

And in most Canadian high schools, that bell that once signalled "starting time" is but a mere suggestion. Ya, it's nine o'clock, but don't worry about it. We recognize that you are a sensitive being midway into blossoming into something special and unique, so we are more than happy to accommodate your need to text your Mom, Dad, girlfriend, boyfriend, other girlfriend, etc., until such time as you are ready to join your math/english/geography/whatever class.

And when those work habits you learned in high school turn out to make you unemployable, we blame the employers who are desperate to find somebody who can put in a day of actual work.

Somebody from Mexico or Belize or the Phillipines...

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