Poll released in advance of Airport Board meeting shows Wood Buffalo residents want outsourcing plan grounded
Fort McMurray – More than 89 per cent of Wood Buffalo region residents oppose the Fort McMurray airport’s plans to outsource cleaning and security services to a firm that hires Temporary Foreign Workers.
The poll comes in advance of a meeting of the Fort McMurray Airport Authority Board on Tuesday, where they will vote on the plan. If the plan goes ahead, dozens of local Canadian workers would be laid off – many of whom have worked for the airport for years.
“If they go ahead with this, they’ll be turning good jobs into bad jobs,” Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said. “It’s no wonder people in the community oppose this plan. It’ll be a blow to the economy – and to the community – if it goes ahead. And it comes at a time when the economy is already reeling from low oil prices.”
The poll showed that Fort McMurray residents don’t just overwhelmingly oppose the plan, they are willing to take concrete action to show their displeasure about the destruction of Canadian jobs. More than 62 per cent said that if the plan went though, they would sign a pledge to take one fewer flight out of that airport every year. A further 74 per cent said there would be electoral consequences for members of council who had a hand in the plan going through.
“People in Fort McMurray have seen these TFWP shell games before, where a company gets rid of good jobs and brings in a contractor to get the same work done with exploitable and underpaid temporary foreign workers,” McGowan said. “What’s different this time is that it’s being done by an organization that is supposedly answerable to the public.”
The plan was put forward by Fort McMurray Airport Authority CEO Scott Clements. The poll showed that more than 54 per cent of residents would like to see him fired for trying to destroy local jobs.
“The Temporary Foreign Worker program has had a direct impact on just about everyone in this community,” McGowan said. “Whether it’s your friend, your neighbour, if you live in Fort McMurray, you probably know people who have been put out of work, had their wages slashed, or had problems completing an apprenticeship because of the TFW program.”
Olav Rokne, Communications Director, Alberta Federation of Labour at 780.218.4351 (cell)
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