MP Jinny Sims says subcontractor to blame in lower wage for Punjabi-speaking canvassers

Jinny Sims

MP Jinny Sims, NDP candidate in Surrey-Newton, on Monday said that the Craigslist ad that came out last month seeking “Punjabi-speaking callers for federal NDP voter ID calling” for only $13 an hour was the fault of a subcontractor.

Sims said in a statement: “As for media coverage about a job posting that appeared for a phone project in Ontario, let me clear the air. The NDP contracted with a company called Stratcom, who in turn subcontracted with a job agency to recruit two [canvassers]. We did not know about the subcontractor. However, when Stratcom learned the [canvassers] were paid less than $17 per hour, their salaries were immediately topped up.”

Last Saturday, The VOICE had reported that Surrey-Newton riding’s Liberal candidate Sukh Dhaliwal, a former MP, and Conservative candidate Harpreet Singh had lashed out at the NDP for the Craigslist ad placed by Burnaby-based Express Employment Professionals that offered merely $13 per hour while the party was paying $17 an hour for its English-speaking canvassers.

The NDP had claimed that it was not the party’s ad because they do not sub-contract employment services, but recruit staff directly.

It was Sims’ turn to hit back at her rivals as she noted: “Contrary to spin by the Liberals and Conservative, the subcontractor pays exactly the same rate to all of its [canvassers], which is $17. “

She added: “In BC, we do all of our hiring directly, and I’m proud that we offer a rate of pay that exceeds industry standards. Anyone who wants to work for the NDP as a paid [canvasser] for $17 an hour should send their resume to: jason.hjalmarson@ndp.ca.”

Sims pointed out: “Momentum for the NDP continues to grow, and I am very pleased at the growing number of volunteers and staff who are joining our ranks.

“In BC, the NDP directly hires paid canvassers at $17 per hour, which is a very good rate by industry standards. We consider additional language skills, including Punjabi, Mandarin and Cantonese, to be valuable assets for our [canvassers]. I have been very excited to see how many people want to join our team and bring change to Ottawa.”

She added: “It’s an exciting time to be part of the team that will defeat Stephen Harper and elect the first ever NDP government.”

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