RBC Actually does Something about Jobs
It was only three months ago that the news broke about RBC firing Canadian employees and outsourcing dozens of jobs to employees overseas so they could keep a little extra cash in their pockets. After one of those fired employees went to the media to shine light on this wrongdoing, the Canadian public became enraged and demanded answers. At the time, RBC only had apologies. And now, two more months later, they’ve finally done something about these jobs.
It was on Friday that the bank released a statement saying that work would no longer be sent overseas in an effort to help reduce salaries. Instead, outsourcing will be a measure that’s only used when the scale, technology, or knowledge of certain tasks and duties cannot be done in Canada, by Canadian employees.
“For example,” the statement read, “RBC’s Canadian client call centres are located in Canada, supporting RBC’s domestic and U.S. business, and they will remain in Canada despite the trend in many industries to offshore them.”
It’s interesting that RBC is using the fact that other companies are still outsourcing to help make themselves look better, when only two months ago they were planning on doing the same exact thing until they got caught doing it wrongfully.
However, whatever the bank’s reasons for implementing such a policy now, the United Steelworkers union, one of the biggest in the country, said that this sets a good precedent for other companies that are thinking about outsourcing.
“Public pressure and solid campaigning by the labour movement on the corporate abuse of the temporary foreign worker program has led RBC to make these changes to its supplier code,” said Ken Neumann, national director for the union.
“This action by RBC should be a strong message to all employers who exploit temporary foreign workers or try to use the program as a source of cheap labour. Now it’s time for our federal and provincial governments to abandon their low-wage strategy and require all corporations to follow suit. We will continue to press for meaningful reform.”
After the backlash, the government was quick to step in. Not only did Human Resources Minister Diane Finley review documents that were given to the government by iGate, the company RBC was using to outsource, but changes were also made to the temporary foreign worker program.
Those changes include the elimination of a rule in that program that allows Canadian businesses to pay offshore employees 15 per cent below minimum wage for nearly any job.