RBC Replaces Canadian Staff with Foreign Workers

Kathy Tomlinson, CBC News, April 6, 2013

Dozens of employees at Canada’s largest bank are losing their jobs to temporary foreign workers, who are in Canada to take over the work of their department.

“They are being brought in from India, and I am wondering how they got work visas,” said Dave Moreau, one of the employees affected by the move. “The new people are in our offices and we are training them to do our jobs. That adds insult to injury.”

Moreau, who works in IT systems support, said he is one of 50 employees who facilitate various transactions for RBC Investor Services in Toronto, which serves the bank’s biggest and wealthiest institutional clients.

In February, RBC told Moreau and his colleagues 45 of their jobs with the regulatory and financial applications team would be terminated at the end of April.

“There are a lot of angry people,” Moreau told Go Public. “A lot those people are in their late 50s or early 60s. They are not quite ready for retirement yet, but it may be very difficult to employ them.”

Moreau will get a severance package, but expects it won’t last long.

“I am going to be broke,” he said. “I don’t have enough money to live on. I have some RSPs. I have very little in the pension plan at RBC … I have a wife that works part time at a very low wage.”

Another RBC staffer, who didn’t want to be named, said it’s devastating.

“It’s horrible to be in this situation,” the employee said. “The bank is doing this while making billions of dollars in record profits and they don’t think about the impact on us. We are like fleas on an elephant.”

The foreign workers who are taking over the RBC work in Toronto are employed by a multinational outsourcing firm from India – iGATE Corp. – which has a contract with the bank to provide IT services.

The two companies have been working closely since 2005. There is an “RBC Offshore Development Centre” in the iGATE facility in Bangalore.

RBC spokesperson Rina Cortese told Go Public several foreign workers from iGATE will be working in the bank’s Toronto offices until 2015. By then, she said, most of the work will be transferred abroad, but a few of the foreigners will remain indefinitely.

Displacement against rules

However, it is against federal rules for any company to bring foreign workers into Canada temporarily if it will put citizens out of work.

“The rules are very clear. You cannot displace Canadians to hire people from abroad,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

The federal government recently announced it is tightening rules for its Temporary Foreign Worker program because of criticism over foreigners taking jobs from Canadians.

RBC said the work is being outsourced for cost savings and efficiency.

“External suppliers with the right skills allow us to introduce new efficiencies, continually improve our service at reduced cost and reinvest in initiatives that enhance the client experience,” a statement from the bank read. “Agreements with our suppliers include strict controls and ongoing monitoring to ensure full compliance with all regulatory requirements.”

Questions unanswered

However, the bank refused to answer repeated questions about the type of work visas the iGATE employees have or how they were approved, given the job losses involved.

“We do not comment on specific supplier relationships,” Cortese said.

Moreau called the situation “a mass exodus. It’s the first time that they’ve taken this many people and terminated their jobs. I would like to know how this happened. If it’s possible I would like to see it stopped.”

iGATE, a rapidly growing company with offices around the world, including Mississauga and Toronto, has been in trouble before over foreign worker hirings.

In 2008, the multinational paid $45,000 to settle charges by the U.S. Department of Justice for discriminating against American citizens. iGATE was advertising jobs in the U.S. for foreign workers — effectively saying Americans need not apply.

iGATE said it brings its foreign workforce into Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and under intra-company transfer visas.

However, a Toronto immigration lawyer says there is no loophole in any visa category that allows companies to displace Canadians who are able to do the work.

“It should not happen,” Mario Bellisimo told Go Public. “The overarching legal standard is to supplement and to fill labour shortages or to bring job creation and retention, knowledge transfer to Canada, not the opposite.”

But iGATE spokesperson Prabhanjan Deshpande said the company is operating within the law: “For any engagement requiring foreign workers, appropriate immigration applications are filed by iGATE and all work authorizations are properly issued under existing law and policy.”

Go Public asked whether the company had told federal authorities Canadian jobs would be terminated when iGATE temporary foreign workers were brought in to work at RBC. Go Public did not receive a direct answer.

Foreign workers lack skills

The iGATE employees don’t appear to have any special skills Canadians don’t, the RBC workers told Go Public.

“That’s why we are training them,” Moreau said. “The person who is replacing me has asked a lot of questions and doesn’t know a major portion of the type of systems that we are working with.”

“If they had the knowledge [to do the jobs] it would be easier to swallow,” said the unnamed employee, who predicted client service will suffer.

The workers also said they were not offered jobs with iGATE and were told this “realignment” might expand to affect more of the bank’s 57,500 employees in Canada.

“We were told this is almost like a pilot project,” the unnamed employee said.

“I am certain this isn’t an isolated incident,” Moreau said. “I know that iGATE has a very aggressive plan to grow their business over the next few years, and that’s going to be at the expense of Canadian citizens who are working.”

Kenney said he was not aware of this case, but the onus is on both companies to obey the rules.

“If an employer is playing some kind of a shell game, that is not consistent with the rules,” the immigration minister said. “[The Temporary Foreign Worker Program] is not there for employers to make short cuts to displace Canadians — and if they are trying to do that, they should have the book thrown at them.”

Jinny Sims, the opposition’s immigration critic, wants to see concrete action. RBC could afford to retrain the Canadian workers if need be, she said.

“This appears to be a blatant abuse of our system,” Sims said. “We’ve got so many well- qualified people who don’t have jobs, so surely we have a government that should be tackling the outsourcing issue and looking at how to keep jobs at home.”

Uncertain future

RBC said it is trying to find new positions for the people affected.

“Several employees have found positions or are in the final stages of offers for other RBC roles, and a few others have chosen to retire,” RBC said. “We continue our efforts to ensure remaining impacted employees obtain suitable roles.”

However, employees told Go Public fewer than five of 45 displaced people have found new jobs.

“What they are saying and what we see happening are two different things,” said the unnamed employee. “What we see happening is nothing.”

Moreau said he’s applied for 14 other jobs within RBC since the announcement. He said he’s been told he is not suitable for two of them, and has yet to hear back about the rest.

“I hate injustice, and I feel as though a lot of people are being hurt,” Moreau said. “It’s just not fair to people who have worked for years and years and years and suddenly find themselves out of work for not a really good reason.”

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  • Puggg

    “They are being brought in from India, and I am wondering how they got
    work visas,” said Dave Moreau, one of the employees affected by the
    move. “The new people are in our offices and we are training them to do
    our jobs. That adds insult to injury.”

    How did they get work visas? Easy, your government gave them their work visas. Just like ours not counting about two Senators and a handful of Congressmen is jonesing to give a million new work visas a year to “comprehensive reform” people.

    In 2008, the multinational paid $45,000 to settle charges by the U.S.
    Department of Justice for discriminating against American citizens.
    iGATE was advertising jobs in the U.S. for foreign workers — effectively
    saying Americans need not apply.

    Wow, a $45,000 fine, when they’re probably rolling in money. Might as well slapped them on the hand, softly.

    • Reluctant Canuckistani

      You are absolutely correct. Canadians who doubt this are advised to scroll through the “members” section of the CCCE.

      http://www.ceocouncil.ca/about-ccce/members#members_r

    • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

      You mean, “kissed them on the hand softly.”

  • MBlanc46

    Canadians are such polite people. There’ll be some grumbling, but that will soon be over. They’ll just lie back and take it, instead of putting the corporation and government agencies that are perpetrating this crime under siege. Americans respond the same way. They keep doing it to us because we keep taking it.

    • jaundiced1

      It may seem like that. I believe many people want to make a stand but they feel isolated; like hanging from a thin branch from a 100 feet up – little support. No one wants to be the first person standing alone against a juggernaut.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if those “temporary foreign workers” end up staying in Canada. It almost seems like a form of reverse-Imperialism.

      • MBlanc46

        I believe you’re quite right. I think that there are millions of us in Canada and the US, perhaps even tens of millions, but we feel, and essentially are, isolated. We’re also divided on many issues other than immigration and globalization. When one of us does put his head up, he’s immediately branded a bigot and a hater by all “right-thinking” people. It can seem hopeless at times.

        • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

          The way it is dealt with is to categorize it as racist hatred. They have this nifty option since the people affected are white and if a white complains about anything other than another white, they are automatically racists. And of course, this practice ends up actually creating “racists” or at least, more racially aware whites. You’d think they’d be smart enough to see that.

  • Matt

    Ironic how we were always told to study for white-collar jobs, such as IT jobs, because that’s where the future in Canada and the rest of the developed world lay. Those were the jobs that supposedly couldn’t be outsourced and/or offshored (like manufacturing, for example). But the reality is that many organizations will prefer cheap labour at any price, though it certainly remains to be seen if these new contractors from India can do the job as well.
    It’s depressing that nowadays businesses are obsessed with outsourcing/offshoring as many jobs as possible, while at the same time, eagerly supporting mass immigration and ‘temporary’ foreigners to do jobs that can’t be sent overseas (such as plumbing & housing construction) in order to drive down the wages/costs in those areas as much as possible, disadvantaging white blue-collar workers horribly. This is disguised as being “the jobs that Canadians/Americans won’t do,” but the average person is really starting to recognize this for what it really is.

  • IstvanIN

    I wonder why it is called the Royal Bank of Canada when it is the Bank of Canada that is “owned” by the Crown on behalf of the Canadian people?

    • NYB

      It began as the Merchants Bank of Halifax in 1864, when Canada was still known as British North America. As an integral enabler of trade within the British Empire Commonwealth, the ‘Royal’ prefix was granted in 1901 when the name became RBC.

    • George

      It’s a trade name.

      Don’t get me wrong. I’m a loyal subject of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada. Her Majesty saw fit to award me the Golden Jubilee medal for my contributions to ‘My fellow citizens or to Canada’.

      The RBC is NOT ‘owned’ by the Crown. It’s an entirely independent corporation.

      Is the Bank of America directly controlled by Obama, or is there a Board of Directors that exercises some degree of independence? As NYB has noted, the name of the bank doesn’t confer any especial Royal connection.

      • IstvanIN

        I was just asking. Considering that the RCMP and the RCAF are both government organizations, it just seemed odd to me that the Canadian government would allow a non-governmental organization to use the term “Royal” since, at least to an outsider such as myself, it might imply some governmental connection. The Bank of America is, of course, a private corporation. A better example would be a firm that uses “United States” in its name, such as United States Steel, a private corporation. Naming conventions differ from country to country and frequently are not consistent within a nation.

        • George

          IstvanIN,

          You’re right, of course. Many regiments in the Canadian Army bear the Royal designation: e.g. The Royal Regiment of Canada, the Royal 22nd (The Vandoos), The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, etc. Such a label is issued by royal warrant and is part of the sovereign’s perogative.

          The Royal Bank of Canada changed its name in 1901 to avoid confusion. It was previously known as the Merchants Bank of Halifax. As there was also a Merchants Bank of Canada, the bank now known as RBC changed its names.

          The use of the word ‘Royal’ is restricted in Canada. Unless a monarch has given the designation to an institution, one cannot use the term ‘Royal’ in any way that implies connection with the sovereign. As for RBC, I’ve been checking and cannot find anything yet as to why the name was allowed in the first place; I’m left to assume the trade name has been ‘grandfathered’.

          • FourFooted_Messiah

            That sounds about right.

            The monarch can give the designation to whomever s/he wishes (royal perogative), but it is usually associated with governmental institutions (though not always federal – the Royal Ontario Museum and the Royal Tyrrell Museum are provincial entities, I believe.)

          • George

            Actually, any non-profit organisation may also bear the appellation.

            Application is made through the Department of Canadian Heritage to the Governor General. The non-profit must be service-oriented and have been in existence for at least 25 years. Although it has dropped the term recently, the Royal Life Saving Society of Canada is one such organisation.

  • If these Canadians were unionized, this may not have happened.

  • bigone4u

    A huge influx of professors born in India and schooled in the USA have taken over the engineering schools at many universities. These “turban tops” are displacing white profs, but at least the Hindus do not as far as I can tell preach Cultural Marxism. You find whites, gays, lesbians, and Hispanics doing that. Anyway, each of these stories I read on Amren is another chapter in a story of treason, whether it’s American, Canadian, or European traitors.

    • rosa

      Eninering schools…and what about medicine and other health career field ? When I attended a Canadian University for a Master degree program nearly half of my teachers were Indian or Pakistani.
      Rosa, Italy

      • rosa

        Uf, a typo: engineering

    • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

      If the wear a “turban” they are Sikh. Sikh is a monotheistic religion. Hinduism is polytheistic. However, although they do not practice cultural Marxism, they benefit from it and support it in as far as it helps them. They also make eligible bachelors to Western white women, who often find them “exotic.” They were helped along by the side theme of the otherwise brilliant Academy Award winning film, “The English Patient,” and a remake of “Passage to India.”

  • The__Bobster

    At least one union is fighting the use of foreign workers rather than trying to sign them up.

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/04/05/union-protests-use-of-temporary-foreign-workers-at-2013-us-golf-open-in-merion/

    Union Protests Use of Temporary Foreign Workers at 2013 US Golf Open, In Merion
    April 5, 2013 2:14 PM
    By Brad Segall

    ARDMORE, Pa. (CBS) — Local union members demonstrated today outside the main entrance of Merion Golf Club, in Delaware County, protesting the use of foreign workers as the club prepares for the prestigious US Open.

    Carpenters’ Union business manager Ed Coryell says they have had a couple of meetings with the United States Golf Association about the decision to hire foreign workers on temporary, six-month work visas.

    Coryell says those workers are being paid substandard wages without benefits. And he says it’s an affront to American workers, who would greatly benefit from work assignments for the US Open.

    • MBlanc46

      It’s about time. One of the problems in fighting globalization has been that US unions have basically fallen in behind the Dems regarding immigration.

      • Erasmus

        Maybe it’s time we Americans stop being so “welcoming” to immigrants. While we needed them and they didn’t impinge on our lives, of course we weren’t going to have problems with them. But, that didn’t mean we wouldn’t object when they tried to replace us?

        Time for all of us to stop befriending them. Time to start treating them coldly. Don’t patronize their businesses. Don’t socialize with them. Don’t even say good morning to them. Don’t help them if they have a flat tire by the side of the road. Treat them like we dislike them, because we do.

        • MBlanc46

          That’s all fine, but what really needs to happen is the corporations have to stop hiring them.

      • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

        That’s because the unions want to survive themselves and don’t care about the culture and color of the people that pay their dues and keep them in business. An interesting side note is that this was happening way back in the 1980s and even Bob Dylan wrote a song about it called “Union Sundown.” It is about how greed forced manufacturing out of the U.S.

    • NYB

      About time.

      Since the heyday of Civil Rights 30 years ago, the unions have submissively marched under the umbrella of radical leftist intellectuals. Too protect white union men would be ‘racist’, and therefore the unions purged any nativist activism.

      If this signals an ideological split with the radical left, then I say good on the unions, and welcome back to our common cause.

      • MBlanc46

        They haven’t merely been submissive. They’ve been largely destroyed. I don’t have the exact figures to hand, but in the US in the 1950s about 25% of private sector workers were organized. Now it’s under 10%. Not that they were always a force for good, but they were a force.

    • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

      Funny how things get complicated. The unions were the hotbeds of communist infiltration and support in this country from 1887 on up to at least the 1940s when the mob moved in and took them over. The history of organized labor is interesting from the first labor riots in Wisconsin in ca 1887, to the Red Scare in 1920-21 that saw Wilson establish the FBI whose sole task was to eliminate Bolsheviks from the burgeoning labor movements.

  • The__Bobster

    Wow, can these people ever lie with a straight face(book).

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/04/07/facebooks-coo-sandberg-says-parents-need-to-push-girls-towards-tech/

    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This past week, Facebook’s chief operating officer was in Center City, for a talk at the Bellevue about gender equality in the workplace and at home. When it comes to computer science, getting an early start down that path could pay dividends for our economy.

    While the number of tech jobs soars, women are filling them in fewer numbers than they were even in the 1980s.

    “Those jobs pay better and those jobs are very much the future.”

    Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg calls it a crisis. And without role models,”The reason there aren’t enough women computer scientists is because there aren’t enough women computer scientists.”

    These are jobs that pay well — and, in a struggling economy, they’re hiring:

    “There’s not a single trained computer scientist in this country who can’t get a job — at a really high salary.”

  • Tannhauser

    Outsourcing of jobs to the brown hordes is not the worst of it. Liberal Western governments are outsourcing our Homelands to these hordes. Ei

  • NYB

    Bay Street (the Canadian version of Wall Street) was totally caught off guard by the controversy. For years they’d been undermining the Canadian worker by sending jobs offshore, changing the landscape with immigrants, and creating a parallel workforce of “temporary foreign workers”.

    It was incomprehensible to their neo-con minds that someone would actually speak up for Canadians.

  • jay11

    Where I’m at, foreign-born people are replacing whites at all levels to the point where I have had only one white supervisor in the last ten years.

  • brengunn

    Traitors. There is no other words to describe these Western money men who are shafting the people. Remember, these are the people who have the ears of the politicians, they help to draft tax laws and regulatory policy, while simultaneously putting Western workers on the dole. These are the last people that should have a say in the laws of the land. Maybe, we should start to tax companies for their use of foreign workers?

    • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

      Okay, but remember that now, it is often Western Money Women doing this. Two out of four of the individuals that created the derivative scheme for mortgage investing by offshore banks were women.

      • FourFooted_Messiah

        Just goes to show how nasty we can be, too.

  • FourFooted_Messiah

    I hope this shakes my fellow Canadians out of their apathy … but the problem is, I don’t think anyone’s going to actually do anything besides pull accounts, and that’s probably not going to do a damn thing.

    • Erasmus

      I hate to sound like a leftist, but a lot of the Americans and Canadians getting rich in the stock market are doing it with the blood of their own countrymen.

      • MBlanc46

        It’s a fact whatever label one wants to put on it.

        • FourFooted_Messiah

          Yes, and that’s the thing.

          Leftist ideology played right into the hands of big business.

          The Left: “Let’s have lots and lots of people from the third world come here, and tell the nasty whites they can’t complain about it, or we will drag them into Star Chambers!”

          Business: “Eeeexcellent.”

  • Pat

    We had a Toshiba T.V. factory near us, it had been there for decades (under various owners). It was situated in an area that needed the work. About five years ago they brought over people from Poland to be ‘trained’. When the Poles went home they took the factory with them. It is now a derelict site. What price loyalty?

    • Erasmus

      Time to stop buying garbage from abroad that one doesn’t absolutely need. Forego the new TV made in China. Forego the new car if it’s made in Mexico. I seldom buy clothes new now, since most of them are made abroad, but also because the workmanship today is so shoddy and they’re laced with so many toxic chemicals that you’re better off buy something of good quality 2nd hand.

    • MBlanc46

      The ownership class have absolutely no loyalty to working people. In the modern world, labor is fungible. They take what they want when and where they want it, and when they don’t want it they don’t give a bleep what happens to it.

  • me

    Rather than train their ‘replacements’ to do the job, why don’t they just walk out? This is getting ridiculous! I’d rather starve than assist in my own destruction! This is why we need exclusively White organizations and charities, so that we can fight back against corporations and governments condoning White genocide and displacement….

    • Robert Kang

      I do feel that is a fine idea and this article did make me upset but I think what happened here has more to do with outsourcing than the race of the employees and the company trying to reduce the cost

  • Paleoconn

    Here’s a shovel. Now dig your grave.