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January 21st, 2013

Human Rights Commission Rejects Complaint Against Campaign Highlighting Temporary Foreign Worker Concerns

News Desk

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has refused to accept a complaint made against the United Steelworkers in connection to the union’s campaign regarding the use of temporary foreign workers in a mine in northern British Columbia.

The complaint was filed by an employee of HD Mining and was submitted on company letterhead.  It alleged that the union had violated “hate crimes” provisions of the Human Rights Act in its efforts to publicize concerns about the temporary foreign worker program.

In rejecting the complaint, the Commission ruled that it does not meet the threshold test to make a case under section 13 of the Human Rights Act.  The Steelworkers provided the Commission with a submission that clearly demonstrated the union’s campaign is motivated by concerns over the exploitation of foreign workers and the effect of the temporary foreign worker program on Canadian workers.

“As the cloud of scandal grows around the use of temporary foreign workers in this mine, more and more people are speaking out and demanding their elected officials act in the best interests of Canadian workers and local communities.  This is an important public discussion about what type of future our country is going to have and it is shameful that some are trying to shut it down,” says Stephen Hunt, United Steelworkers Director for western Canada.

“Instead of trying to restrict public debate, HD Mining should come clean with Canadians about its plans which weaken our world-leading safety standards and drive down prevailing wages and benefits in the mining industry,” Hunt says.

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