April 23, 2014 2:07 pm

McDonald’s restaurants put foreign worker program on hold

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, file photo, a McDonald's restaurant sign is seen.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

VICTORIA – McDonald’s Canada is putting its temporary foreign workers program on hold while a third party conducts an audit on its use of the plan.

Stung by recent criticism of its use of foreign workers, the restaurant chain’s vice-president of human resources Len Jillard says the firm needs to pause the program to prove to Canadians it’s is not abusing the program or its workers.

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READ MORE: McDonald’s involved in foreign worker fuss 

Jillard, in an exclusive interview with The Canadian Press, says McDonald’s has already informed the federal government about its plans, including federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney.

In Winnipeg today, Kenney warned that employers who abuse the temporary foreign workers program could face fraud charges and possible jail time.

READ MORE: Weyburn restaurant investigated over foreign worker program

Three McDonald’s franchises in Victoria and a pizza restaurant in Weyburn, Saskatchewan are at the centre of program abuse allegations involving Canadian employees alleging foreign workers were given priority work status and in some cases took their jobs.

McDonald’s is in the process of taking full ownership of the three Victoria franchises from the Victoria operator who previously held an 80 per cent share in the three outlets.

 

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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