Is McDonald’s Bad for Choosing Foreign Workers Over Canadians?

Is McDonalds bad or evil for hiring Foreign workers over Canadians?

The topic of hiring foreign workers for more ‘challenging’ work is not new.  For once we see a reputable brand in the spotlight so it becomes more of an issue.  In this case, a McDonalds franchise.

There is an attempt taking place to shape the opinion of the working class Canadian’s perspective (the one with the loudest voice), so that they view these kind of companies as slave-driving, economy-killing capitalists with no concern for the welfare of their own country.  There is no doubt that bad capitalists exist in every capitalist region.  But where are these voices coming from?  Before these articles were published did you feel this way towards Clown Food?  Perhaps, though, there is another side to this story – an untold side – a side not favoured by the media because it just doesn’t have as much curb appeal.  Perhaps there are other reasons why franchises (and other businesses) are choosing to hire foreign workers, and perhaps it’s time to take a step back and truly analyze some bigger issues.

Before suggesting that McDonalds is without guilt, allow us to first state that equality is always the best whenever possible.  It’s always wonderful to put our judgements aside and look at each and every person as precious gems of potential and greatness regardless of sex, race, age, and physical strength.  Now that we’ve travelled to Utopia, welcome back to Reality – a place where every last one of us is full of judgements towards each other based on a lifetime of repeated (and often negative) experiences.

It’s true that the Canadian government has facilitated the process of helping internationals move to and work in Canada.  Have you ever stopped to think of why that is?  There was actually a problem where companies were unable to find enough people to work certain jobs – usually the jobs Canadians didn’t want.  So problem number one: Canadians not willing or able to work certain jobs in certain regions.  Solution?  Foreign workers.  Problem solved and the Canadian economy can continue.

One story I had the pleasure of hearing a few weeks ago helped highlight another problem.  A very well qualified gentleman from Dubai who spent his entire working life in hospitality and who spoke with a refined elegance told me his story of how he was unable to find work in hotels because he was not ‘qualified’ in Canada.  Ever heard such a story?  How about surgeons from China unable to find meaningful work in Canada? In fact, the certification process (perhaps better called ‘filtration process’) is such that a teacher from one province may not be able to teach in a different province until they complete the education course.  If you were the hiring manager for a restaurant kitchen and this gentleman came humbly to apply for work, would you consider him?  And we wonder why there are so many foreign workers at Clown Food.  The voice of the media is very loud and influential though.  This story doesn’t stir as much locker room chat as slave-driving capitalist dogs with sharp teeth who crack the whip on the backs of foreign workers (who often have extensive but useless university degrees).

From a different angle, many foreign workers are coming from places where they are really hard up where working at a burger joint is a true blessing from heaven and mopping the floor in a restaurant is a miracle and the pay is great for them and their families back home.  If you were the hiring manager of a kitchen, and you heard this story, would you consider hiring them?

Of course you are thinking ‘that’s fine for an oil field in the north but why is this Clown Food Inc where my son applied for weekend work not hiring him?”  You slam your fist on the table. “The foreign workers have done this to my son! They have taken his job!  And the Canadian government encouraged them!”  You call the media.  You demand justice for this act of judgement against Canadians.  But wait.  There is a second problem that exists in fast food, coffee shops, restaurants, and anywhere else where paying more than minimum wage makes business nearly impossible: the lack of reliable hard-working staff.

Canada has a major problem and it’s called ‘work ethic’.  Until you surround yourself with small business owners, you remain in a cocoon bliss where these kind of articles make you think that all chains are exploiting foreign workers while robbing jobs from Canadians.  The statistics probably support this view.  After several long conversations with business owners, however, you find that local Canadians often lack one very important aspect for working: a good work ethic.  The following list of problems reoccur in almost every conversation with a small business owner, especially in the retail sector, namely the food and beverage industry:

  • showing up late
  • not showing up at all
  • slacking while on the job
  • expecting an unreasonably high compensation for the job
  • leaving for a ‘better’ job with little or no notice
  • theft
  • and more

Are foreign workers capable of the same problems?  You better believe it. Humans are amazingly similar across the globe.  However, a person who *appreciates* the employment they have will tend to show a reduction in the items above because losing their job would result in greater damage.  For the average Canadian, these kind of jobs are not considered ‘real employment’ in their minds.  Ask yourself honestly under what circumstance you would work at McDonald’s and you’d probably agree that it would either be a first job, or a fill in job.  And for that reason the compensation is set up accordingly.

Through the process of opening up Canadian jobs to the foreign market, companies have discovered that they also have a better potential of retaining the staff who cost them large amounts of money to train.  If improved employee retention alone were the only benefit, it is surprising that more companies are not lining up to hire foreign workers.  The headaches and money involved in re-hiring and training new staff is incalculable.  We have heard several small business owners make comments like “I’m done with Canadians” or “Here’s my advice: don’t hire Canadians.”  This is a shameful situation, no question, and one that is not often discussed for fear of appearing sinister.  The sense of entitlement amongst Canadian-born citizens has reached an epidemic level in Canada and it is now coming crashing down on our heads.

The quickest way to fix the problem discussed in this article above is to train our youth to get a job, do well on the job, and keep it come hell or high water.  It starts at home.  Another solution is to start a great business and create jobs for the Canadians you wish to see working.

Although it’s important to expose abusive behaviour (we at the VCSFA believe firmly in this) it’s also important to make sure that you understand the agenda(s) of the people who are creating the buzz (the media) around these topics and make sure you get both sides to the story.