Use of temporary foreign pilots for Canadian carriers criticized
The Air Line Pilots Association International is raising concerns over two airlines hiring temporary foreign workers to fly their planes. (REUTERS)
Airline pilots are raising concerns about temporary foreign workers being hired by several Canadian carriers to fly their planes overseas.
When it comes to pilots, Employment and Social Development Canada says it's “putting in place new guidelines” for using the controversial Temporary Foreign Worker Program — a long-sought, but positive step, said Capt. Dan Adamus with the Air Line Pilots Association.
“A couple airlines have been hiring foreign seasonal pilots, while at the same time there's been Canadian pilots available to do the work, and in a lot of cases unemployed pilots,” Adamus, a pilot of 30 years, told 24 hours. “We know darn well these pilots are qualified for the job.”
Adamus said pilots have been raising red flags about the practices of two Canadian airlines, Sunwing and Canjet, which advertised pilot jobs on overseas routes requiring specific training on aircraft infrequently used here.
According to an Oct. 23 memo to Employment Minister Jason Kenney, obtained Tuesday by the NDP-linked website Press Progress, the minister has long known of ALPA's concerns the two carriers “are systematically excluding Canadian pilots from applying for seasonal work and using foreign pilots.”
Since then, Canada consulted airline industry officials and increased to six months the notice airlines must give proving they couldn't find qualified Canadians.
“This will ensure that recruitment requirements are consistent with industry norms and do not disadvantage Canadian or permanent resident job applicants,” said a ministry spokesman.