Hearing on Chinese miners in Tumbler Ridge continues

November 17, 2012

A Federal Court ruling is expected next week on whether hundreds of Chinese miners should be allowed to work in Tumbler Ridge.

Seventeen are already here and sixty more are expected to arrive within a month.

 Two unions representing Canadian miners are seeking an injunction while the Federal Government reviews the temporary foreign worker program.

“This entire process should be transparent. How these decisions get made,” says Lawyer Charles Gordon. 

But he says the judge must first decide whether documents used by HD Mining to hire up to three hundred foreigners should be made public.

‘I take some comfort from the comments that the judge made. He seems concerned about whether the process was followed in this case.”

Crown lawyers have accused Gordon of going on a ‘fishing expedition’ which could turn ‘the entire judicial review process on its head,’ but justice Douglas Campbell quickly responded, ‘There’s fish in the lake.’

Meanwhile, BC Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair was in court supporting members of the two unions involved.

 ”There’s no question to me there are serious issues around the secrecy and the privacy. We all know there are serious problems with the way this was done and the only way to clear the air is to put that out in the open. It’s a concern for the labour movement, but it’s also a concern for the public and for Canadians as a whole.”

Unionized workers at another mine in Tumbler Ridge currently earn up to 42-dollars per hour, so they’re also worried their jobs could be at risk.

The hearing resumes Tuesday at 1pm.

CKNW Vancouver News

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