| TORONTO, April 7
TORONTO, April 7 The Canadian government is
investigating a report that says the country's largest bank will
use temporary foreign workers hired by an outsourcing company to
effectively replace existing staff, a situation the government
said would be unacceptable.
A weekend report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
said RBC was planning to eliminate about 50 employees in its
investor services division in Toronto and have the work done by
outsourcing company iGate Corp.
But Royal Bank of Canada on Sunday denied that it
had hired temporary foreign workers to take over the work of its
current employees and said it requires the outsourcing firm it
is using to comply with local laws.
Canada's Conservative government has already said it will
review a temporary foreign worker program that lets employers
fill jobs with non-Canadians when qualified citizens or
permanent residents are not available because of skills and
Labor groups say employers are not doing enough to find
Canadians to fill those jobs.
In a statement that followed the CBC report, Human Resources
Minister Diane Finley said late on Saturday that Canadians must
always be the first in line for hiring opportunities.
The program "was never intended as a means to bring in
temporary foreign workers in order to replace already-employed
Canadian workers. This is why we have launched a review of the
program," she said in a statement.
The government minister said she instructed staff to work
with citizenship and immigration officials "to determine the
next steps" in the RBC situation.
The U.S.-incorporated outsourcing company, which has most of
its operations in India, did not immediately respond to an
e-mail seeking comment.
The CBC report quoted an RBC spokeswoman as saying several
foreign workers from iGate would be working in the bank's
Toronto offices until 2015, by which point most of the work will
be transferred abroad.
In a statement, Royal Bank's Chief Procurement Officer Greg
Grice did not confirm those specifics.
"RBC agreements with suppliers, including in this case
iGate, requires them to ensure that they are abiding by the
applicable laws and regulations," he said.
The bank also said it was working to find suitable new jobs
for workers affected its use of iGate.
Last month, the government included rule changes to the
foreign worker program in the federal budget designed to ensure
Canadians are not overlooked for these jobs.
Canada's banking industry is dominated by a half dozen major
lenders, which emerged largely unscathed from the global
financial crisis and have repeatedly been ranked among the
world's most stable.