Where are the rest of Windsor’s temporary foreign workers?: Mike Moffatt

New data sheds light on TFWs in Windsor manufacturing. But what about the other 70%?

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Chrysler minivan on the assembly line

Inside a Windsor, Ontario auto plant. New data shows how many temporary foreign workers have jobs in manufacturing, but an unknown larger number work in other fields. (Fabrizio Costantini/Getty)

In response to a question posed by Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland on temporary foreign workers, Jason Kenney, the Minister of Employment and Social Development gave the following response:

Mr. Speaker, in fact, contrary to what the member just said, we do have a very good idea of what sectors those workers are working in. I have in front of me the report on labour market opinions issued for temporary foreign workers in the Windsor area, and the overwhelming majority of these LMOs were issued for industrial instrument technicians and mechanics for less than six months. These would typically be people who are installing equipment, equipment that is purchased from perhaps the United States. They come up here to either repair or install equipment.

If she would bother to speak to the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, they would tell her that without these repair people, the equipment in the factories would stop producing and all the jobs would be lost.

I was able to obtain a copy of the report tabled by Minister Kenney. The data contained in the report is interesting; the data not contained in the report is doubly so.

The data (see below) is for the period January 1, 2011 to May 6, 2014 and includes positive Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) for only manufacturing firms in the Windsor area (defined as firms that have a 2-digit NAICS classification of 31-33).  If a fast food restaurant or coffee shop received a positive LMO, they would not be in this data. However, if a manufacturing firm hired someone to serve coffee in the plant, it would be in this dataset.

During this 40 month period, there were 641 positive LMOs issued to manufacturing firms, 525 which were for a period of 6 months or less. Over a third of these (230 in total) were for Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics which HRSDC defines as:

Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics repair, maintain, calibrate, adjust, and install industrial measuring and controlling instrumentation. They are employed by pulp and paper processing companies, nuclear and hydro power generating companies, mining, petrochemical and natural gas companies, industrial instrument and other manufacturing companies, and by industrial instrument servicing establishments.

We are not given enough information to be able to determine if there are Canadians in Windsor or immigrants that could have been brought in permanently to fill these positions. However, this is more information than we had before, for which I am grateful.

The 641 positive LMOs for manufacturing companies in Windsor covers only a small portion of the total LMOs for the Windsor area. Between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2013 (the last date for which data is publicly available), there were 1,755 TFW positions given on positive LMOs. Given past growth trends, that number is likely around 2,400 for the January 1, 2011 to May 6, 2014 period. We also know that on December 1, 2012, there were 1,551 TFWs working in the Windsor area. Assuming that the different reports define “the Windsor area” and “positive LMO outcome” identically, I would estimate that 20-30% of TFWs in the Windsor area work in manufacturing. We still do not know what positions the remaining TFWs hold.

This is very useful data, and I am delighted Minister Kenney made it available. I am hopeful he will release the data for the other 70-80% of TFWs in the Windsor area.

Temporary Foreign Workers in manufacturing, by duration of employment, for Windsor, Ontario

Duration of employment
Job Title 6 months
or less
1 year
or less
2 years
or less
more than
2 years
Total
Industrial Instrument Technicians and Mechanics 228 2 0 0 230
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians 62 3 0 0 65
Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Technologists and Technicians 37 0 0 0 37
Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians 36 2 0 0 38
Labourers in Food, Beverage and Tobacco Processing 26 16 4 0 46
General Farm Workers 25 13 2 0 40
Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management 12 1 0 0 13
Welders and Related Machine Operators 9 0 1 0 10
Water and Waste Plant Operators 9 0 0 0 9
Labourers in Chemical Products Processing and Utilities 9 0 0 0 9
Contractors and Supervisors, Other Construction Trades, Installers, Repairers and Servicers 7 0 0 0 7
Non-Destructive Testers and Inspectors 7 0 0 0 7
College and Other Vocational Instructors 7 0 0 0 7
Electric Appliance Servicers and Repairers 4 0 0 0 4
Construction Millwrights and Industrial Mechanics (Except Textile) 4 0 0 0 4
Mechanical Engineers 4 1 1 1 7
Software Engineers and Designers 4 0 0 0 4
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers 3 2 0 0 5
Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades 3 0 0 0 3
Supervisors, Mineral and Metal Processing 3 1 0 0 4
Engineering Managers 3 0 1 2 6
Construction Managers 2 1 1 1 5
Ironworkers 2 0 0 0 2
Contractors and Supervisors, Metal Forming, Shaping and Erecting Trades 2 0 0 0 2
Supervisors, Recording, Distributing and Scheduling Occupations 2 0 0 0 2
Supervisors, Printing and Related Occupations 1 0 0 0 1
Machine Fitters 1 0 0 0 1
Electrical and Electronics Engineers 1 0 1 0 2
Electronic Service Technicians (Household and Business Equipment) 1 0 0 0 1
Other Trades and Related Occupations 1 0 0 0 1
Construction Inspectors 1 0 0 0 1
Structural Metal and Platework Fabricators and Fitters 1 0 0 0 1
Dental Technologists, Technicians and Laboratory Bench Workers 1 0 1 2 4
Concrete Finishers 1 0 0 0 1
Retail Trade Supervisors 1 0 0 0 1
Chemical Technologists and Technicians 1 0 0 0 1
Other Service Supervisors 1 0 0 0 1
Furniture and Fixture Assemblers and Inspectors 1 0 0 0 1
Supervisors, Machinists and Related Occupations 1 0 0 0 1
Information Systems Analysts and Consultants 1 0 0 0 1
Retail and Wholesale Buyers 0 0 1 0 1
Senior Managers – Health, Education, Social and Community Services and Membership Organizations 0 0 0 1 1
Senior Managers – Trade, Broadcasting and Other Services, n.e.c. 0 1 0 0 1
Human Resources Managers 0 0 1 0 1
Sales, Marketing and Advertising Managers 0 0 1 1 2
Purchasing Agents and Officers 0 0 0 1 1
Facility Operation and Maintenance Managers 0 0 0 1 1
Metallurgical and Materials Engineers 0 1 0 0 1
Manufacturing Managers 0 0 2 3 5
Chemical Engineers 0 0 0 1 1
Labourers in Metal Fabrication 0 1 1 0 2
Senior Managers – Goods Production, Utilities, Transportation and Construction 0 0 3 3 6
Technical Sales Specialists – Wholesale Trade 0 0 1 0 1
Machinists and Machining and Tooling Inspectors 0 2 8 1 11
Farmers and Farm Managers 0 0 1 0 1
Tool and Die Makers 0 0 1 0 1
Nursery and Greenhouse Workers 0 2 0 0 2
Senior Managers – Financial, Communications and Other Business Services 0 1 0 0 1
Concrete, Clay and Stone Forming Operators 0 0 2 0 2
Artisans and Craftspersons 0 1 1 0 2
Fish Plant Workers 0 1 0 0 1
Transportation Managers 0 0 0 1 1
Machining Tool Operators 0 0 1 0 1
Industrial Designers 0 0 2 0 2
Administrative Officers 0 0 1 0 1
Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers 0 0 0 2 2
Bakers 0 1 2 0 3
Firefighters 0 0 1 0 1
TOTAL 525 53 42 21 641

Source: Foreign Worker System


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