McDonald’s: Worker practices halted in investigation
McDonald’s Canada is putting its temporary foreign worker program on hold as a third party conducts an audit on its use of the plan.
Entangled in recent criticism of its use of foreign workers, the restaurant chain’s vice-president of human resources Len Jillard says that the firm needs to hault the program to prove it’s not abusing the program or its workers.
Jillard says McDonald’s has already informed the federal government, including federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney, about this change.
Three McDonald’s franchises in Victoria and a pizza restaurant in Weyburn, Sask., are at the epicenter of program abuse allegations majorly involving Canadian employees who alleged that foreign workers were given priority work status or more hours.
The corporation is in the process of taking full ownership of the three Victoria franchises from the Victoria operator who had previously held an 80 per cent share in the outlets.
Recently, after Go Public’s story about a Victoria McDonald’s franchise was expanded, a federal investigation into McDonald’s usage of temporary foreign workers was launched.
The company responded to the allegations by releasing a statement on Wednesday.
“McDonald’s employs more than 85,000 people across Canada; only four per cent are temporary foreign workers,” the company said. “Only 268 of our more than 1,400 restaurants across the country employ temporary foreign workers.”
According to the statement, McDonald’s uses temporary foreign workers as a “last resort” for employers when they can’t find qualified people locally.
However, when necessary, employers must prove that there is a genuine labor shortage and the foreign workers must be provided minimum hours and wages as approved by the government.Also, in some cases they are provided suitable housing.
“The program is expensive and time consuming for employers. On average, the costs of recruiting and employing a temporary foreign worker can be up to five times as much as those for domestic workers,” McDonald’s said. “This is why participation in the program is always undertaken as a last resort.”