ALPA on Suspension of Foreign Worker Program in Food Services Sector: Available Jobs Must Go to Canadians First

OTTAWA, April 30, 2014 /CNW/ - The Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA) issued the following statement in response to Employment and Social Development Canada's recent moratorium on the food services sector's access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in light of ongoing concerns regarding abuse of the program. For years, ALPA has led efforts to tighten the rules governing the program under which Canadian airlines are currently able to augment their crews with foreign pilots on a seasonal basis.

"In announcing a moratorium on the food services sector's access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program [TFWP], the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l [ALPA] commends Employment and Social Development Canada [ESDC] Minister Kenney for reasserting the federal government's commitment to 'continue to pursue significant reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to ensure that employers make greater efforts to recruit and train Canadians and that it is only used as a last and limited resort when Canadians are not available.'

"ALPA has long advocated for reforming the TFWP to ensure that Canadian airline pilots benefit from available aviation job opportunities. When ESDC announced changes to the TFWP and undertook a comprehensive review of the program one year ago this month, ALPA was fully engaged in the process. Since then, ALPA has actively participated in the ongoing review to ensure Canadian pilots' interests are considered in any further reforms to this and other programs under which foreign pilots are hired.

"While we have made progress, ALPA remains concerned that aviation jobs continue to be outsourced to foreign workers when a number of highly qualified Canadian pilots are unemployed. We continue to encourage the federal government to advance our collective efforts to protect our members' jobs and ensure that 'Canadians . . . have the first chance at available jobs.'"

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world, representing over 51,000 pilots at 32 U.S. and Canadian airlines, including the 2,700 Canadian flightcrew members who fly for Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Canadian North, CanJet, First Air, Jazz Aviation, Kelowna Flightcraft, and Wasaya. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.

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SOURCE Air Line Pilots Association, Intl

For further information: Capt. Dan Adamus, ALPA Canada Board president, 613/293-0882, Dan.Adamus@alpa.org