Fort McMurray airport laying off workers in favour of TFWs, union says

The Fort McMurray airport is laying off all 26 of its custodial staff and contracting out the work to a company which employs temporary foreign workers.

'It's actually appalling. These examples keep coming up,' CUPE says

The Fort McMurray Airport Authority is contracting out custodial services and laying off 26 employees. (MyMcMurray/Twitter)

The Fort McMurray airport is laying off all 26 employees of its custodial staff and contracting out the work to a company which employs temporary foreign workers.

The union believes the airport authority intends to cut costs at the recently expanded airport.

CUPE Alberta president Marle Roberts said the company providing the custodial work will hire temporary foreign workers at half the salary. 

"It's actually appalling," said CUPE Alberta president Marle Roberts.

"These examples keep coming up so we have to keep continuing lobbying and continue pressuring the federal government to make sure they have a program that works for all workers and that they don't set up a second class system here like they are doing."

The airport said there is nothing wrong with out-sourcing the jobs to a company that recruits and hires foreign workers.

"The temporary foreign worker program is a legal program that exists particularly up here in Fort McMurray and I would not preclude a company that is within the law in using temporary foreign workers," said Scott Clements, CEO of the Fort McMurray Airport Authority.

Clements said the new contractor told him the majority of workers will be Canadian and it doesn't intend to hire any new temporary foreign workers.

CUPE, which represents the workers, said it will look at lobbying the provincial and municipal governments to help reverse the decision.

"At this point we're looking into legal avenues," she said. "We're also looking at putting in formal complaints ... in regard to abuse of the temporary foreign worker program."

Staff members will lose their jobs at the end of May.


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