Sandy Nelson lost her long-time restaurant job and says she was replaced by temporary foreign workers.
Photo Credit: CBC

Waitresses lose jobs to foreign workers


Canadian, Sandy Nelson chokes back tears as she talks about losing her long-term serving job in the western province of Saskatchewan to temporary foreign workers. Co-worker Shaunna Jennison-Yung is in the same situation.

Canadian employers have been allowed to hire temporary foreign workers since 2002, but only if there are no Canadian workers available to do the job. Foreign workers are tied to the employer who brought them into the country and would have to leave Canada if they lost their jobs. Foreign workers are understandably keen to please their employers.

Shaunna Jennison-Yung, right, comforts her friend, Sandy Nelson. Both lost their jobs at a restaurant and say they have been replaced by temporary foreign workers. © CBC

Staff discharged

Nelson wants to do the job she has been doing for 28 years at Brothers Classic Grill and Pizza. Instead she and all the staff got a letter in March saying that “due to changes in operations we are currently discharging all of our staff.”

Since then, some of the workers were hired back, including two waitresses who are temporary foreign workers. But Nelson was permanently dismissed.

The owners of the restaurant say they are complying with the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.

Other cases of Canadians losing jobs

Several other similar cases have made headlines recently. Some bank employees were let go after training foreign workers who then took over their jobs as they were outsourced. And several McDonald’s restaurant franchises in the western provinces of British Columbia and Alberta hired temporary foreign workers, displacing Canadians.

Employment Minister Jason Kenny’s office issued a statement saying it is conducting an “urgent investigation” of the potential abuse of the Temporary foreign Workers Program.

Posted in Economy, Society

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2 comments on “Waitresses lose jobs to foreign workers
  1. Sandra Fossy says:

    Amen to every truth spoken in that comment because I am Saskatchewan born and bred. I have been a victim of one of a Saskatchewan Employers “temporary work program””..tonite I heard on the local news Saskatchewan has brought in over 15,000 workers in the last five years. A Saskatoon company I worked for -Vecima Networks-laid off 140 workers three years ago in April. A lot of the employees laid off were there from seven to twenty years and probably making the better wages. At that time most of the production floor Canadian workers employed as assemblers, team leaders, supervisors and other jobs were laid off and most of the immigrant “temporary” workers were kept on and were probably lower paid.

  2. These employers should have their licences pulled, Or do we need affirmative action to Canadian born workers. These guys say Canadians don’t have the same work ethic, ie ,we refuse to be exploited. If theywant talk about work ethic, especially in Saskatchewan, maybe they should go talk to some farmers or their parents and grandparents.