The Royal Bank's swift reaction this week to the tide of negative publicity over its off-loading of Canadian jobs onto foreign shores would be funny if it weren't so depressing. Employees and former employees went to the media and told how they were tasked with training their replacements - who would then take those jobs offshore.
From an initial glance, this is wholly different from the temporary foreign worker issue the Stephen Harper government has leveraged into a favourable employment program for large corporations.
Many fast food corporations lure foreign workers to Canada with jobs our unemployed, it is said, find too low-paying and unattractive to take. The businesses save money through lower wages and benefits and less turnover of staff, and the Canadian government can smugly state it is only allowing businesses to fill unwanted jobs - although how unwanted remains to be seen.
But for large Canadian banks - employees from other banks have stepped forward in recent days to share their stories, too - to pipe jobs abroad that Canadians were filling, in the face of massive bank profits, is galling.
It is also wrong. It is not the fault of the foreign worker, who like his or her Canadian counterpart just wants a job, but of a system that has become too reliant on meeting lower and lower costs and higher and higher dividends.
But save a measure of condemnation for the government that opened these flood gates. Just as the RBC official stepped forward to provide cover against a growing outrage, government ministers are scurrying about with sudden angst and ire over the situation.
However, Harper's government approved the bank's request to replace 45 workers in Canada with iGate, a company that outsources jobs to India. It is apparent the government has made it too easy for companies to prove there are no Canadians willing or able to do these jobs.
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