Hiring discrimination in aerospace industry?
A 24-year-old Montreal man is alleging he was a victim of discrimination when he was refused an aerospace job because he was born in Lebanon.
He goes by the pseudonym of Joe, a graduate of Montreal's aerospace technical school, École des métiers de l'aérospatiale de Montréal, who also studied at Concordia.
He said he was told in August by a recruiting company he'd be a perfect fit for an aircraft assembly job at Bell Helicopter, except when they found out he was born in Lebanon, one of the countries banned under ITAR, the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations that restrict the hiring of people from countries considered hostile to American national security.
"It's a form of discrimination," Joe told CJAD News. "And I was really hurt by that."
"I was only born in Lebanon. I came to Canada at the age of a year and a half."
ITAR was amended last year so people like Joe could be hired for such jobs. But while that's on paper, Joe says it apparently hasn't translated into practice. He's filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission. Bell Helicopter did not return calls from CJAD. In the meantime, he's driving a cab and taking on other part-time jobs to make ends meet.
"I'm just sad knowing we're here in Canada and we have to be punished by our birthplace."
Photo: Jordan Papanier