Chinese miners asked to pay for Canadian jobs – by Lisa Laventure (CBC News – December 10, 2012)

CBC investigation finds recruiters offering jobs to inexperienced miners

Labour brokers may be charging Chinese miners up to $16,000 for the chance to work in Canadian mines as temporary foreign workers, a CBC investigation has found.

The National visited a prominent recruitment agency in Beijing carrying hidden cameras. Investigators posing as miners learned that workers with minimal mining experience are being offered positions in Canadian gold, copper and potash mines.

Recruiters said that, once working in Canada, miners would be paid no less than $10 per hour. Permanent workers in Canada’s underground and surface mines are paid on average $25 to $30 per hour.

Investigators also learned that workers are asked to pay a deposit of several thousand dollars to secure a spot in a Canadian mine. The agency said that the remainder of the $16,000 fee is taken directly from the miner’s paycheque until paid in full.

The recruiters claim that the deduction occurs with the knowledge of the employer, although the agency provided no proof that it was acting on behalf of a specific company or business.

In Canada, it is illegal for employers to charge recruitment fees to temporary foreign workers.

In a written statement to the CBC News, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada explained that “an employer who has requested the services of a recruiter is required to cover all recruitment costs related to the hiring of the temporary foreign worker.”

Recruitment agencies a long-time concern

Unscrupulous recruitment agencies have long been one of the most serious issues surrounding the much-criticized foreign workers program, says MP Olivia Chow.

In 2009, as part of a standing committee on citizenship and immigration, Chow co-authored reports that made recommendations as to how Ottawa could better protect a swelling temporary workforce.

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