RBC apologizes to employees affected by outsourcing decision
Published Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:39PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 11, 2013 2:59PM EDT
RBC has issued an apology to employees affected by a decision to outsource jobs – a story that has made headlines this week after a Canadian worker said she was forced to train her foreign replacement.
Gord Nixon, president and CEO of the bank, released an open letter on Thursday saying the situation and resulting public outcry "has raised important questions."
"First, I want to apologize to the employees affected by this outsourcing arrangement as we should have been more sensitive and helpful to them. All will be offered comparable job opportunities within the bank," he wrote.
"Second, we are reviewing our supplier arrangements and policies with a continued focus on Canadian jobs and prosperity, balancing our desire to be both a successful business and a leading corporate citizen."
In February, 45 of the bank’s personnel were informed that they would be replaced by outsourced workers, after the bank contracted a number of technological services to iGate. The California-based firm specializes in sending jobs offshore.
According to an RBC employee, personnel were given 90 days’ notice.
The employee, who spoke to CTVNews.ca on condition of anonymity, said the foreign workers were brought into the office within days and the outgoing workers were expected to train them.
RBC faced considerable backlash over the revelation, with outraged members of the public taking to social media and urging a boycott of the bank.
Since the story broke over the weekend, the bank has been “scrambling” to redeploy workers into other positions within the bank, according to the RBC employee.
In his statement, Nixon said RBC's Canadian client call centres are located in Canada and will remain there, supporting both domestic and U.S. customers.
The company is also preparing a new initiative "aimed at helping young people gain an important first work experience in our company."
Nixon said RBC employs 57,000 people in Canada and has added 3,000 fulltime jobs in the past four years, despite a struggling economy.
Meanwhile, Alyson Queen, a spokesperson for Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, said Monday application documents submitted by iGate are now being reviewed based on "apparent discrepancies" between RBC's public statement and information previously given to the government.
In order to obtain permits for temporary foreign workers, companies must show that a qualified Canadian cannot be found to perform the work.
Jason Trussell, iGate senior vice president and regional head of iGate Canada, told The Canadian Press Tuesday that, “iGate’s hiring practices are in full compliance with all Canadian laws.”