Two B.C. construction unions have received confidential records relating to Chinese temporary foreign workers (TFWs) being hired at a proposed coal mine near Tumbler Ridge, but the employer is still trying to block further access to this information.
“Yesterday (Nov. 26) the Attorney General of Canada gave us copies of 12 LMOs (Labour Market Opinions) on a confidential basis,” said Charles Gordon, who is representing the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) local 115 and the Construction and Specialized Workers’ Union (CSWU) in Vancouver Federal Court.
Justice Douglas R. Campbell recently granted the unions public interest standing on Nov. 22 to review confidential records and ensure that errors weren’t made when HD Mining International was issued LMOs by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada for about 300 Chinese nationals.
In response, HD Mining filed an appeal on Nov. 23 with the Federal Court of Appeal in Ottawa.
The company took the position in Federal Court on Nov. 26 that Justice Campbell should stop dealing with the unions and all court proceeding should be stayed.
According to Gordon, there is very limited or little scope for an appeal under federal immigration law and HD Mining does not seem to be under any exceptions.
An in camera meeting to view and discuss the confidential documents was scheduled to take place on Nov. 28 in Vancouver Federal Court.
An LMO is an opinion provided by HRSDC to CIC, which assesses the impact that hiring the TFWs may have on the Canadian labour market.
The unions claim the LMOs issued to HD Mining failed to ensure there were no Canadians to do the work and that the workers were offered wages far below prevailing rates.