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Royal Bank of Canada prefers non-Canadians

Submitted by on April 9, 2013 – 10:17 amNo Comment | 3,166 views

Have you read a recent post on CBC’s Go Public blog? You should! Read full Go Public post here

It seems that RBC prefers hiring temp foreign workers to Canadian citizens and/or local immigrants, for that matter. The Bank is moving to outsource its IT services to a multinational outsourcing firm from India – iGATE Corp and it is affecting its current workers BIG TIMES! Outsourcing is supposed to improve “efficiency” and enables the Bank to focus on introducing new innovative services as the Bank moves into “cost saving” mode with iGATE Corp.

45 RBC staff in the regulatory and financial applications team will be let go by the end of April while in the meantime they are asked to train new foreign trained staff . The foreign workers who are taking over the RBC work in Toronto are not familiar with many aspects of the job, lack basic knowledge of applications and ask a lot of questions:

“That’s why we are training them,” Moreau said. “The person who is replacing me has asked a lot of questions and doesn’t know a major portion of the type of systems that we are working with.”
“If they had the knowledge [to do the jobs] it would be easier to swallow,” said the unnamed employee, who predicted client service will suffer.
“We were told this is almost like a pilot project,” the unnamed employee said.

“I am certain this isn’t an isolated incident,” Moreau said. “I know that iGATE has a very aggressive plan to grow their business over the next few years, and that’s going to be at the expense of Canadian citizens who are working.”

Last year, RBC CEO Gordon Nixon made $12.6 million. He has been a champion and a Chair for TRIEC  since 2008. TRIEC is  a Toronto-based multi-stakeholder group which attempts to improve immigrant economic integration in GTA. RBC has been an active partner and a champion with this progressive organization, provided funding to its programs, participated in its initiatives and was featured as a diversity champion in many of TRIEC’s reports and other media materials. RBC prides itself for being a leader in diversity management. Fair enough, it has a dedicated staff with a diversity portfolio, Diversity Committee chaired by CEO Nixon, many support groups for women, LGBT and ethnic communities, etc. I wonder, how many local immigrants were hired by RBC Toronto not for entry-level customer service jobs but for professional and management jobs that commensurate  immigrant employment. If RBC brings international workers from India to fill in these highly skilled positions, it surely should have no problems hiring IT and other foreign trained professionals LOCALLY.

It seems that we are witnessing another race after “cost savings and efficiency” which questions all the right reasons behind hiring international talent. This situation that became public re-confirms my concerns over the “hiring immigrants makes business case” philosophy. Employment equity and social justice reasons in hiring vulnerable groups should not be substituted by diversity management practices because in this case, racing after efficiency and focusing on bottom line, i.e. MORE and MORE profit will not change organizational behaviour and won’t bring systemic change.  We will hire immigrants but from outside the country, for less money with less rights. Is this Canada we want to live in?


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