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Now Hiring: "Tens of Thousands" of Americans for Pipeline Jobs in Western Canada

Announcement contradicts "pipelines create jobs for Canadians" ads

by Zoe Blunt

VetJobs for Canadian pipelines
VetJobs for Canadian pipelines

Also posted by Zoe Blunt:

A company in Marietta, Georgia claims to have an "exclusive employment initiative with Alberta" to fill "an immediate need for tens of thousands of workers" on Canadian pipelines -- apparently contradicting the recent flood of "pipeline jobs for Canadians" advertising.

A statement by Ted Daywalt, CEO of the Georgia-based VetJobs, reads: "Though America’s Keystone Pipeline is delayed, the Canadians are moving forward on their side of the border and have an immediate need for tens of thousands of workers.”

VetJobs has "secured an exclusive employment initiative with Alberta, Canada, that could see thousands of US veterans heading north to work on their oil pipeline," boasts the announcement circulated by Veterans of Foreign Wars July 2.

Keystone XL would pipe tar sands crude from Alberta to Texas. But the US government put the project on hold some months ago. Meanwhile, tar sands companies and the Canadian government are facing fierce opposition to pipelines through BC to Kitimat on the coast.

The VetJobs website currently lists page after page of ads for "Opportunity Awaits," an initiative of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), which partnered with VetsJobs for its hiring campaign. About two dozen positions are advertised, with copies to sub-forums for each of the 50 states.

Renee Worrell, communications manager for EEDC, confirms that the company is planning to fill 114,000 jobs, explaining that this astonishing figure includes employment across Canada until 2020.

But Worrell denies the ad is related to pipeline jobs specifically. "This is infrastructure, roads, downtown development" across the Edmonton region, she says. "It has nothing to do with Keystone." 

"A couple of oil and gas companies have been approached to get involved here in the coming weeks, just to discuss how they can get involved," Worrell adds. 

Is Enbridge one of the companies? "Not that I know of," Worrell responds.

However, three of the first six skilled trades positions advertised -- Journeyperson Pressure Pipe Welder, Journeyperson Steamfitter-Pipefitter, and Journeyperson Structural Ironworker -- are located in a pipeline-building facility in Nisku, Alberta. 

And as the Globe and Mail notes, the Enbridge pipelines would be built in Nisku.

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Jobs numbers are not believable

In The Canadian, Damien Gillis questions whether the figure of 114,000 jobs is a hoax. He writes:

Creating 114,000 jobs would essentially mean doubling the current employment of the entire Canadian oil and gas sector.

Even Enbridge ... and the project's looniest boosters acknowledge the pipeline would provide a few thousand temporary jobs at best

In fairness to Ms. Worrell, she states most of the jobs would not be pipeline employment. But we're not sure any of these statements are believable, given what's actually in the ads.

Worrell also tells us the EEDC would prefer to hire Canadians first. VetJobs, on the other hand, claims to have an "exclusive" contract.



If the contract is exclusive,

If the contract is exclusive, this could be used to criticize the tar sands industry for not employing Canadians. This is something NDP could pick up on.  In any case, oil and gas sectors are much less labor intensive than green industry. So we could have more jobs while greening infrastructure.

Jobs for Enbridge

I would like to mention that a commercial trailer company in Agassiz BC has just completed a 350 unit order (12 man cap.) and shipped to Edmonton for the pipeline.

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