Union warns Trans-Pacific trade deal potentially undermines Canadian contractors, tradespeople on big resource projects
A union representing heavy equipment operators claims the Trans-Pacific Partnership opens the door to an influx of temporary foreign workers that will cost jobs in Canada.
The International Union of Operating Engineers said a loophole in the trade deal signed by the Canadian government this month could take wages offshore and stands to undermine the Canadian economy.
“By signing this deal, the Liberals are failing to protect construction workers in this country,” said Mike Gallagher, business manager of Local 793 in Oakville, representing nearly 15,000 crane and heavy equipment operators across Ontario.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was signed March 8 by International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne and 10 other countries in Santiago, Chile.
“There are provisions in this trade pact that can be exploited by foreign construction companies at the expense of Canadian workers and our economy,” said Gallagher in a March 12 news release.
“This deal, in our opinion, could open the door to under-skilled and under-paid temporary foreign workers being allowed to enter Canada to work – something that is unacceptable to our union.”