Go Back   British Expats / Working Abroad / Working Abroad by Profession / Trucking

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old Jan 30th 2015, 12:12 am   #1
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 26
Newstart1 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

A big thank you to all the expat members who tried to help me out Last Year.

I'm back home in the UK now and working again.

It will take me many years now to replace the financial losses I sustained going to work for Westcan Bulk Transport in Alberta, at least that nightmare has finally ended for me, and I can get back to feeling like a decent human being again.

However, even though I am home now and on the up, I can't help but worry for you lads who might follow me down that same Path ... only to find yourselves in exactly the same nightmare I did ... and like so many of the lads before me. So this thread is for you British Truckers thinking of going to work for Westcan Bulk Transport in Edmonton Alberta, I only wish I had found something like this prior to me making my decision to move to Canada and work for them .. Nevermind.

I cannot stress to you enough right now the nightmare your opening yourself up to .. Seriously .. I went in 2013, full of enthusiasm and excitement to take on a new challenge after reaching the top of my profession back in the UK. I think if I'm honest ... I made too many decisions with my heart instead of my head not investigating it properly prior to coming out here, don't do what I done.

So I'll start from the beginning ... and please read it for your own sakes !

To get to Canada, I had to invest hundreds and hundreds pounds back in the UK, getting all the necessary certificates, Medicals and various other documentation needed to enter Canada. However the costs didn't end when I arrived, another 3 Thousand dollars was spent in a Truck Driving school sitting my Canadian class 1 Licence, as your British Class 1 isn't valid, and then Hundreds more dollars spent on the Air brake endorsement you have to have added to that class 1 Licence so you can drive trucks. Many hundreds of dollars more taking a theory and driving road exams and then more dollars again swapping over your UK Licences at the Registry Office for a new Canadian Licence.

Then hundreds more dollars on a pre-employment medical and drug and alcohol tests etc .. You pay for all this .. and you haven't even started work yet ! Also during these weeks your living costs are piling up hotel bills or rent if you have sorted out accommodation. Car hire costs, transport and all the other general day to day living expenses are now mounting up fast ! So eventually if you succeed to overcome all this, and you only will if you've the financial means at hand. (I regrettably sold everything I owned back in the UK, just to fund this move to Canada, which in retrospect sadly just allowed me to continue with it).

At this stage you've probably invested between $15,000 to $20,000 CAD on your move depending, if your here by yourself or with your family like I was.

So if you successfully negotiate the above obstacles you'll get a start date with Westcan Bulk Transport Edmonton and you haven't lost your investment yet.

I arrived as instructed for my classroom training program, what "utter garbage" served to you by a training department only interested in selling Westcan to you, in an attempt to brainwash into not quitting once you finally get out in a truck on your own ... If you can last that long. The OTP classroom is a minimum of 2wks of 8 hrs a day power points, presented to you by guys who either have no idea or don't really care anymore what safety is or what it really means. Remember you will be driving Super "B" (two trailers) Road Tankers of Hazardous Materials on ice and snow for up to six months a year once your out on your own. These guys keep telling you they are the best ... But never teach how to be the best

If their safety record is anything to go by ... I'd hate to see the rest (

Anyway this is also the time when you find out that contract of employment you have in your back pocket, isn't worth the paper it's typed up on .. It's already served its purpose .. which was two fold ...

1) To falsely give you a feeling of guarantee that your about to be treated fairly by people, so you commit the effort & investment to actually making the move.

2) To get you through Canada Immigration with your LMIA, so you can obtain a Work Permit at yet another cost of $155 each ... Which again you pay for (

* You also find out at this stage that your on a "B" Rate of Pay for the next 12 months ... which is a much lower rate than their own Canadian Drivers ( Ask them why ... And Kassab the trainer will openly tell you in the classroom. This is how the company recouperates the cost of your airfare and training ... 30 times over which is actually illegal under Canadian Immigration Law, but no one polices it or ever does anything about it. So this is the point you realize that your not paid by salary or by the hour as mentioned in your contract of employment.

Your paid by the load ... and again this is really really bad and I'll explain why a little further on so I don't go off track now.

So you get your 7hrs @ $18 training pay ... That's $120 a day for the next 2 / 3 or even 4 weeks depending on how switched on you are at this side of things, or when they have a slot for you with a driver trainer to push you out into, so at least now you have your first dollars hitting your bank account even though you will not be covering your costs or anywhere near it yet ... If ever !

Now the next hurdle is ... The Driver Trainers ... These guys get paid a lot of money to babysit you ... around $120 a day on top of their wages ... and when they get you, they don't wanna let you go ... you are now their cash cow ( You cannot go solo, until a driver trainer has signed you off as good to go, but if they sign you off, their money drops and then they have to get out in the cold and do the job by themselves. You decide who's interests that's in. Meanwhile your still on training pay and unable to make ends meet while they are milking sitting in the seat next to you and believe me they continue to keep you next to them long after your ready to go it alone and do the job competently .. This again is really a bad situation for you I've seen drivers still with their driver trainers after eight weeks and they make no apology for Screwing you like this ... It's brutal.

So if your still with Westcan at this stage ... meaning you haven't quit and gone home because your broke or worse still broken, it's only because you are locked in .. because of the terms and conditions on your Work Permit which say you can "only work in Canada as a Truck Driver" which in itself is fine because thats what your there to do. However your Work Permit will also say you can only work for "Westcan" and that is the really bad bit because your very existence in Canada now depends on you being handcuffed to Westcan Bulk Transport ... they have you by the proverbials ... and boy they know it !

To work for another company in Canada as a truck driver, you need a new work permit, and to get one of these you need to successfully obtain a new LMIA, this takes time and money and restarting this process from the beginning yourself is a complete nightmare. However the likelihood is you will never get a 2nd LMIA, Because Westcan tell CIC that you quit and that you didn't follow proper protocol despite at this stage you will have spoken to everyone and anyone you can get to listen. Westcan do this to everyone to cover their own backsides from being reprimanded by the government for being utterly brutal to normal human-beings
CIC now think it's you that's a problem ... and not Westcan and are therefore a little reluctant to say the least, to issue another company with an LMIA for you.

Westcan really know this system to the point they probably know it better than CIC itself. Westcan's entire business model has been built on decades exploiting Tempoary Foreign Workers to breaking point ... Indeed every driver I met coiled away at the mention of their name and that includes the Canadian Drivers. They have everything sewn up in such away that you have no alternative other than to put up with their terrible treatment and working conditions or go home !

So if your still around at this stage and hoping for Permanent Residency to break the Westcan Shackles then be prepared for a long wait ... Drivers are taking well over 4 years to get PR and as much as 5 years in some cases. Westcan won't tell you this, but as you start talking to drivers they tell you how long they've been waiting and its a lot longer at Westcan than anywhere else. Drivers as soon as they get PR simply leave Westcan at the first available opportunity even driver trainers get out as quickly as they can that's how shocking this company is as an employer.

So you finally get to go solo and the next few months you are either chasing up Westcan to arrange rack tests at the refineries to get your loaders badges or you are sitting around outside refineries waiting for a loader to come load your truck for you ... Which you don't get paid for ... Because officially you didn't load it (

Westcan may decide to put you on a 5 on 2 off 5 on 3 off shift pattern which now puts three drivers on a rolling shift pattern sharing two trucks. The truck handed over to you is invariably broken when you come to it ... So usually your first shift is spent in the shop getting it fixed ... If you defect it and leave it ... It will still be broken then next day ... You literally have to stand over the mechanics to get them to do anything, meanwhile your not earning any trip money. I spent nearly every first day on shift in the shop or in the canteen waiting for a truck to return that was stuck out from the day before .. This is unpaid work .. your in work but not going anywhere because of other people and therefore earning no pay.

If you dare to speak up ... for anything and I mean anything, if you try to give a solution to an operational problems in an attempt to get the job moving along so you can become more productive for both yourself the company. You risk what is known internally as "The Treatment" .. This is a systematic breaking down of the driver in such away that hes literally starved into submission. He'll be given the run around for months ... Broken trucks, bogus loads, then told to reset hours at home until next needed then left there for weeks on end. All the time he has to pay rent, eat, etc but with no pay coming into his bank ... and this is deliberate !

I watched a decent grown mature man bullied by the office staff to the point he broke down in front of me like a sobbing child ... It was utterly heartbreaking to witness and this was a man just trying to work, a few days later he was gone he just packed up and pulled out clearly a broken man. There were others too, this was by no means an isolated incident one by one the lads are picked off and put on the "treatment table" I was no different, one day from right out of nowhere it was my turn and they made it impossible for me to function. My one day a week in the shop became everyday in the shop, I was taken off my shift pattern and asked to take scrappers everyday. Trucks that were old and literally falling apart inside resembling the inside of a skip you wouldn't want to sit in let alone live in for a week ( ... If you don't take it ... you don't get any pay ... and because it's illegal to earn money anywhere else because of terms of entry on your work visa you now have some very tough decisions to make.

If you do take them trucks you risk your safety and the safety of everybody else you may come in contact with in your day, not to mention the risk to personal health because of the nature of some of the diseases out here. You also run the risk of being pulled over for inspection by Transport Canada at the weigh-bridges which are mandatory stops on the highways. If you do get checked and they find a problem the fines are huge, trying to pay them on Westcan wages would be a horrendous blow, also you get demerit points on your licence abstract and these would go against you if you apply for a good job, and if you apply for Permanent Residency ... Everything works against you at Westcan, if you take a flyer and get caught out breaking the law your days in Canada are numbered. If you keep your head and stay legal Westcan punishes you financially. I've kept Bi-Monthly payslips of $700 and that's for 140 hours worked over two weeks most of them spent frustrated stood in the mechanics shop just trying to get the a truck legal and I don't mean replacing windshield washer fluid, I'm talking brakes, running gear, ABS and Air system defects. I won't mention about the type of tyres they use or how bald they have to be before they replace them (smh).

Remember this is a company that transports Liquid Hazardous Materials in Super "B" road tankers (two trailer combinations) across Canada, for half the year road conditions are appalling, the other half of the year you face different challenges. Needless to say, if you are the one who is going to be held responsible if things go wrong out here, then is it too much to ask to be given a fighting chance to do the job professionally, safely and cleanly with properly maintained equipment.

Westcan Bulk Transport business model is built on exploiting Temporary Foreign Workers by paying them the industries lowest wages, dropping that even further in the first year while they illegally recouperate their costs and much more. They use financial hardship like a management tool on the TFW drivers with the view to forcing them into doing literally anything to avoid management conflict or as they call it ..."The Treatment Table" This is a merciless bully employer the likes of which I have never experienced before and hopefully never ever see again. So I hope Transport Canada has a close look at this operation soon, In my opinion it's an major accident waiting to happen ... Guys seriously don't invest in this !
Newstart1 is offline  
Old Jan 30th 2015, 1:07 am   #2
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 749
flat to the mat has a reputation beyond reputeflat to the mat has a reputation beyond reputeflat to the mat has a reputation beyond reputeflat to the mat has a reputation beyond reputeflat to the mat has a reputation beyond reputeflat to the mat has a reputation beyond reputeflat to the mat has a reputation beyond reputeflat to the mat has a reputation beyond reputeflat to the mat has a reputation beyond reputeflat to the mat has a reputation beyond reputeflat to the mat has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

Feel for you , but you admit your biggest mistake which was not doing enough research then not listening to yourself . Was offered a place there in 05 but it didn't seem right for me , but lots of guys have successfully used the Red Army as their stepping stone to pastures new .
Glad you've managed to pick up the pieces , put it down to experience chap .
__________________
here's to the crazy ones
flat to the mat is offline  
Old Jan 30th 2015, 4:23 am   #3
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 26
Newstart1 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

Hi mat,

The guys I've spoken to who used them as stepping stones, appear to be from the era of guys that landed around 9 or 10 years ago, when it only took them around 18 months to get PR. Which was still harsh at Westcan but very doable if you keep your head down. Them days are long gone my friend and the generation of guys getting PR now are the generation who've had to suffer Westcans treatment for anywhere between 4 and 5 years.

Now a days there is even less chance of getting to the holygrail of PR now CIC have stopped completely the issue of LMIA to truck drivers in Canada, indeed the guys who arrived in Canada in early 2013 are now being asked to leave because they don't have nomination and because they can no longer get work permits to keep them here long enough to get to the point of provincial nomination. These guys have suffered at the hands of the Red Army now for nearly two years and will be soon asked to leave with nothing to show for their tolerance

Always exceptions, and yes as you were so quick to point out my failure in Canada came on my own failure to research Westcan properly. Which is why I have posted this thread so the guys in the future will have something current to read on this company .. Hopefully bringing balance to their sales teams who conveniently omit to speak truthfully about a truly brutal manner in which this organization deals with its drivers. This thread isn't about me .. I'm out of it .. I owe it to everybody else who in the future may get sold that dud ... It's a very expensive life lesson for some people to right it off as an experience and in my opinion very unfair to let unfold on anyone ... My thread is designed to portray an upto date reality of a drivers working life at Westcan

I am very happy for you if you made it in Canada, you in your own admission didnt do it via the Red Army. Indeed I am happy for all the other good folk who have found success and prosperity over there, but if people have made it in Canada I'm of the understanding that it is in spite of Westcan and not because of them. The nearer you bring that to present day the harder it becomes to find them same successes from them years. The guys I've spoken to in the past twelve months that have attained PR find it hard to even talk about Westcan.

My advice ... go to Canada by all means, but if you can get in via any other route other than Westcan ... take it !
Newstart1 is offline  
Old Jan 30th 2015, 4:47 pm   #4
BE Enthusiast
 
neilcumming's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Merida Mexico and Calgary Canada
Posts: 920
neilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

Excellent post Newstart1 and Im sorry to hear it didnt work out for you.You got with the wrong company.Most of the drivers on here know about Westcan but there was one driver singing the praises about them,I wonder what he would think of your experience with them.
I had an interveiw with Westcan in 2007 but ended up going to Winnipeg took me 18 months to get PR.Im glad I made that move to MB!
neilcumming is offline  
Old Jan 30th 2015, 7:04 pm   #5
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 26
Newstart1 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

I'm so happy you chose to go to Winnipeg )

We'll never know if that was the best decision you ever made, but based on my experience it can't be far off it mate. I'm so happy for you and I wish only continued good luck for you and your family. You learn fast over there who is who, unfortunately in most cases you have to be there and living it to find that out.

My thread here is only to serve only as my honest personal appraisal of a terrible company.

If this prevents just one more family from being exposed to that kind dispicable treatment and prevents them from suffering a huge personal financial loss when your move implodes like mine and so many others families have had to endure, then I believe it has been worth me spending my time posting my experience to the expats site.

To the guys who have made it ... If you came through 7/8 years ago it was tough for you guys back then ... I know ... I've heard the stories. However those guys coming through the Westcan system in more recently years have experienced terrible hardships .. their crime .. was wanting to work and believing they would be given a fair opportunity to do that in an industry allegedly crying out for them. The guys there now with out provincial nomination are facing an even bigger kick in the teeth when their work permits run out, no LMIAS are being issued at the moment and CIC are only issuing bridging permits for the truck drivers that already have nomination. The rest will be sent packing soon, a friend of mine emailed a couple of days ago telling me he was on his way home, He was told repeatedly by Westcan staff that he would be ok and they would get him a new LMIA ... They didn't ... and now he understands why they never even bothered to put in his papers for nomination (smh) they already knew he was doomed, but they kept feeding him lip service anyway, just so they could keep farming him right up to the last day ..

Then dropped him like an hot potato .. as soon as they could no longer use him

Another guy demanded Westcan pay his airfare home after they tried to wriggle out of it, eventually he threatened to report them and they sent him home via the cheapest route ! I think that guy is still rowing across the Atlantic ... Poor sod ... While that was my sense of humour, there was nothing funny for him on his four airport stops just trying to get home.

Utterly ruthless ... On the face of things you would never expect Canadians to treat anybody like that ... They are usually so conscious on how they looked upon by others, Westcan do more damage to the Canadian image in my opinion than anybody else I can think of right now. It might be American owned, but it run by Canadians in Canada, so unfortunately has to reflect on Canada and its labour standards.

Good Luck everybody
Newstart1 is offline  
Old Jan 30th 2015, 7:27 pm   #6
BE Enthusiast
 
neilcumming's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Merida Mexico and Calgary Canada
Posts: 920
neilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond reputeneilcumming has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

The problem in the Canadian trucking industry is the drivers are not organized.They moan and bitch about everything ,pay,conditions,hours,equipment and immigrants .Its no wonder there are so many driving jobs out there.If the dumb asses got organized they would be able to improve things for everyone!I tried to join a union when I first started working in 2007 and was told by 2 unions I couldnt join because the COMPANY wasnt in the union??WTF
I also blame the Canadian government for the problems foreign drivers have had on the Foreign worker program.They should have had been regulating it more to protect the workers from abuses and not leaving it to the companies like Westcan and "immigration consultants"
As for Winnipeg ,as far as I know I havent heard the horror stories such as yours happening there.The company I started off with were a bit dodgy but are no longer with us,they went bust in 2011!
neilcumming is offline  
Old Jan 30th 2015, 10:59 pm   #7
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: High River AB
Posts: 553
neilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

Hello Newstart, very informative post, sorry to hear your story, a dream to a nightmare.
I came here nearly 8 years ago, I admit with no research.
I didn't know about these forums then, shit I didn't even have a computer.
I have only ever heard one UK driver praising Westcan and I think he works from the Calgary terminal.
When I was with H&R (and they seem like angels compared to this shower), I ran into countless Westcan TFW drivers asking about moving to H&R because they weren't happy there.
I really don't get the mentality of these companies, they are desperate for drivers, manage to get LMO/LMIA's and then do their best to make a driver want to leave, where is the benefit to the company of having this revolving door policy ?
neilg14 is offline  
Old Jan 30th 2015, 11:54 pm   #8
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 26
Newstart1 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

Neil I agree they don't stick together despite the fact that they are all in the same boat smh

Neilg thanks for your thoughts and your contribution too ... Like I say I would hate for what happened to me to happen to anyone else. I was speaking to a Scottish lad who went to Westcan about 10 years ago, He was given "the treatment" big time .. and he went through some unbelievable garbage ... If I didn't know Westcan I wouldn't have believed it, truly a shocking story he has to tell .. The stress on him and his family caused so many problems at home, it split them up and his wife took his children back home to Scotland ... They later divorced. That's the legacy of that vial company ... Broken families and Broken dreams

Well guys those ice roads belong to you and unfortunately all the problems that go with it ... Me ... I'm back on the motorways of UK ... and thankfully paid by the hour. None of that sitting it transport depots with no pay nonsense for me anymore, if a company asks me to start work at 6am I am paid my hourly rate until they send me home regardless of whether truck actually moves or not.

Among the toughest roads and at times the harshest driving conditions on the planet, and thanks to Westcan ... you can also add the label "worse paid job per hour worked" certainly that I've ever come across on my travels.

I just hope in the future, anyone considering a move to Canada ... thoroughly researches it first, prior to committing to what could be lies and false promises. If they decide they want to give it a go great, but guys for your own sakes, do it putting as much distance between you and Westcan Bulk Transport as humanly possible ... The more I think about it, the more I remember, and none of it was nice. Westcan Bulk Transport is an awful company to work for, British lads will most likely never have encountered anything like this kind of employer They are a complete law unto themselves and have no guidelines of morality or decency in the workplace and way they treat any of their TFW drivers ...
Newstart1 is offline  
Old Jan 31st 2015, 2:36 am   #9
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: High River AB
Posts: 553
neilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond reputeneilg14 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newstart1 View Post
Neil I agree they don't stick together despite the fact that they are all in the same boat smh

Neilg thanks for your thoughts and your contribution too ... Like I say I would hate for what happened to me to happen to anyone else. I was speaking to a Scottish lad who went to Westcan about 10 years ago, He was given "the treatment" big time .. and he went through some unbelievable garbage ... If I didn't know Westcan I wouldn't have believed it, truly a shocking story he has to tell .. The stress on him and his family caused so many problems at home, it split them up and his wife took his children back home to Scotland ... They later divorced. That's the legacy of that vial company ... Broken families and Broken dreams

Well guys those ice roads belong to you and unfortunately all the problems that go with it ... Me ... I'm back on the motorways of UK ... and thankfully paid by the hour. None of that sitting it transport depots with no pay nonsense for me anymore, if a company asks me to start work at 6am I am paid my hourly rate until they send me home regardless of whether truck actually moves or not.

Among the toughest roads and at times the harshest driving conditions on the planet, and thanks to Westcan ... you can also add the label "worse paid job per hour worked" certainly that I've ever come across on my travels.

I just hope in the future, anyone considering a move to Canada ... thoroughly researches it first, prior to committing to what could be lies and false promises. If they decide they want to give it a go great, but guys for your own sakes, do it putting as much distance between you and Westcan Bulk Transport as humanly possible ... The more I think about it, the more I remember, and none of it was nice. Westcan Bulk Transport is an awful company to work for, British lads will most likely never have encountered anything like this kind of employer They are a complete law unto themselves and have no guidelines of morality or decency in the workplace and way they treat any of their TFW drivers ...
Once you get PR and I know it wasn't possible for you in your position, it does get better, I am paid hourly with O/T after 8 , start to finish, no matter if I was on local or long haul but like you said PR is next to impossible to get in AB now with the way the TFW programme has changed this year and exasberated by the likes of Westcan.
Are you going to try it out here again or just going to stay in the UK ?
neilg14 is offline  
Old Jan 31st 2015, 3:31 am   #10
kb33 Male
BE Forum Addict
 
kb33's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2007
Location: Kamloops BC
Posts: 1,023
kb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nice
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

I was actually told about this thread on the phone today , So yeah words getting around and excellent post BTW, Although it's a bit late as Westcan can no longer take part in the temporary Foreign worker program .
I have always told drivers to avoid Westcan Edmonton like the plague , I worked for them 07-09 (Calgary ) and got PR after 14 months , Did plenty of research and told not to go by some on these forums , Personally I found them pretty fair to begin with , Paid me $1500 research trip fee , Was treated fair for the most part , I just kept my mouth shut and got on with the job (that was the hardest part for me ), Any safety concerns were treated properly . Although I didn't like the fact that the safety officers would follow you around waiting for you to make a mistake , But the Red safety truck was pretty hard to miss parked in Home depot watching me deliver one day !

I always say they are the Canadian equivalent of Hoyer in the UK , In those days it was a case of getting PR as quickly as possible , Then move on , I realize things have changed now and the stable door as already been closed as regards getting a job there and PR quickly , What Westcan don't understand is , If they only treated their own Canadian Drivers fairly , They would retain them and have none of the driver shortages they have had since I have known them.
In there defence , I and plenty of others got out here through them , But it was at a cost ( like most Trucking companies ), Almost like a jail sentence , And some still work there long after PR , in fact one I know works his days off !! Some have bought their own truck or two and work there pretty happily as lease Op's . So they still do suit some drivers who have been let out of jail long ago .

If you would have asked me before you came over , I most defiantly would have told you to avoid Edmonton , I don't know what it is about the depot , But they certainly don't know how to treat drivers or understand that we all need to make a living without breaking any rules . Personally I don't trust them and they have a terrible reputation all over Western Canada , Bit like an other Trucking company in Red
You've had a bad experience and you're my worst nightmare before I came to Canada , I really hope you can move on and put it down to experience , But yours is just one case were many others have succeeded albeit a few years ago . Im pretty sure you will change nothing and especially Westcan , They are that arrogant !
Best of luck for the future
__________________
non illigitamus carborundum

Last edited by kb33; Jan 31st 2015 at 3:33 am.
kb33 is offline  
Old Jan 31st 2015, 7:23 am   #11
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 26
Newstart1 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

Thanks ... But I am actually in a really good place and enjoying my life again, for me the pressure was off the day I got on that plane and headed home. I knew at that moment, my nightmare was over. I actually felt that weight lifting off me, it was the sheer Relief at never having to put up with Westcan ever again.

Since returning, my working life has improved dramatically, the drivers CPC Card kicked in last April creating a new shortage of professional C+E qualified drivers here in the UK, and that's starting to push the wages back up too, finally )

Here in England I am free again to look at any job I want should this one turn bad, just as you guys can with PR in Canada. Here in England I even know what I've earned before I leave the depot At Westcan you needed an accountant to work it out what with all the various pay structures stacked on top of each other.

I remember asking a Westcan driver trainer to look at my payslip one day to see if was wrong ... He didn't even look and just said to me "Yes it was".. lol .. and added with a smirk on his face "It's always wrong, and ain't it funny how it's never wrong in your favour" ... His point to me was ... if it was always accidental then from time to time I would be right to expect Westcan to make at least one mistake in my favour .. lol .. I had never thought of it like that, but needless to say he was absolutely right, they rarely got my wages right and I'd never know unless I checked, at the same they never made a payroll mistake in my favour ..

I know Westcan have been turning over their TFW Drivers for over a decade and I would never be so self indulged as to think anything I might have to say would ever influence the way they treat the TFW's your right they are too arrogant for that, and that's why I am not even going to try! Instead, all I'll do, is continue to post the truth and flag it up to those drivers considering a move to Westcan, just so they know exactly how bad it actually is there now. It's a much more brutal experience for drivers now than it was in 05 to 09. If I could of got PR in 14 mth, then I would of smiled silently and crossed off the days like in a prison sentence.

Sadly the last group to ge PR waited 4 to 5 years. I couldn't do 5 years of that for anyone 5 years is a long time to take that kind of daily abuse, not to mention spending 6 months of each of them 5yrs, walking round that depot for hours and hours upon end in sub-zero temperatures trying to find trucks/trailers in a roadworthy condition and not getting paid a penny for it .. Don't get me wrong that happens in the UK from time to time too. But the difference here is .. Firstly your getting paid while your on site and secondly the office staff work with you in the UK to get you off site and on your way as quickly as possible.
Newstart1 is offline  
Old Jan 31st 2015, 2:52 pm   #12
Forum Regular
 
Lou Skannon's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Steinbach-to-back. Manitoba. Canada.
Posts: 156
Lou Skannon has a reputation beyond reputeLou Skannon has a reputation beyond reputeLou Skannon has a reputation beyond reputeLou Skannon has a reputation beyond reputeLou Skannon has a reputation beyond reputeLou Skannon has a reputation beyond reputeLou Skannon has a reputation beyond reputeLou Skannon has a reputation beyond reputeLou Skannon has a reputation beyond reputeLou Skannon has a reputation beyond reputeLou Skannon has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

Phew! My sympathy goes out to Newstart1 and his nightmare at Westcan. It all rings true and I can remember experiencing a lot of those unpaid scenarios myself; although not on a regular basis. Just this week in Manitoba, a driver had to take 4 days unpaid leave so that he could take the English language test for his PR. The company couldn't guarantee to get him back for it so he didn't go out. The test cost $300 and $1000 in lost earnings. Plus; he is English!

On a brighter note. Beaver Trucks of Winnipeg have sold a dozen Volvo units to British owner/operators in the last year with two more coming on the road in the next month. So Canada is working out well for some people.

Last edited by Lou Skannon; Jan 31st 2015 at 2:52 pm. Reason: spellnig
Lou Skannon is offline  
Old Jan 31st 2015, 3:31 pm   #13
BE Enthusiast
 
Juggernaut1064's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2014
Location: Edmonton AB
Posts: 687
Juggernaut1064 has a reputation beyond reputeJuggernaut1064 has a reputation beyond reputeJuggernaut1064 has a reputation beyond reputeJuggernaut1064 has a reputation beyond reputeJuggernaut1064 has a reputation beyond reputeJuggernaut1064 has a reputation beyond reputeJuggernaut1064 has a reputation beyond reputeJuggernaut1064 has a reputation beyond reputeJuggernaut1064 has a reputation beyond reputeJuggernaut1064 has a reputation beyond reputeJuggernaut1064 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

Sorry to read of your nightmare here and glad you feel better now.
I work as a recruiter here (from yorkshire though) and i have in my past position taken drivers on LMO's and their companies didnt know anything about it until they put their notice in ??? I know the system has changed but how did Westcan find out guys where trying to leave ? On the old system i quoted up to three months to get a new LMO and the applicant didnt pay a thing except the charge for the actual new TWP when it was issued, That all may have changed but i took drivers from all the big hitters when it comes to TFWs and none of them where rumbled by their bosses, first they knew was when their notice went in and that was when the paperwork for their new TWP arrived.

As for your treatment and pay, The TFW program is still a bit of a hot potato so you really need to make a formal complaint to immigration regarding your treatment. With all the sh*t that has recently flown about TFWs NOW is the time to bubble companies like these, Also i would suggest a piece in the Truck Stop News in the UK too so that future applicants are alerted.

I hope you try again in Canada and if you do then stick to a nice dry van outfit, those tanker jobs i've heard many times are a royal pain in the ass.

Oh and being anonymous on here means i can say these things without worrying that pressure will be applied to silence me through my company, as i know has happened in the past.
Juggernaut1064 is offline  
Old Jan 31st 2015, 7:02 pm   #14
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Cambridge ON
Posts: 64
berkoboy has a spectacular aura aboutberkoboy has a spectacular aura aboutberkoboy has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

Yes it happens. the problem is telling someone about it, unfortunately finding the right people. When my company went bust, leaving me in the middle of nowhere I alerted the MB labour board, so the guy couldn't get anymore LMO's(LMIA's now). The problem is they didn't want to know as trucking is federal and so is the LMia program. They eventually put me in contact with someone relevantUnless the government is told about these companies they will keep getting away with it, treating us TWF like crap.

I must admit when I first came over with Challenger in 08 they were great, Hoetels paid, medical tests all paid for, driving test paid( you choses how many payments to spread the cost of that out of my wage). The trainers had a different approach. The quicker they got you on the road, the better it looked for them and more trainees were given to them.

Glad you got back to blighty ok. Y ou must be using your snow driving experience over there at the moment!
berkoboy is offline  
Old Jan 31st 2015, 11:09 pm   #15
kb33 Male
BE Forum Addict
 
kb33's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2007
Location: Kamloops BC
Posts: 1,023
kb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nicekb33 is just really nice
Default Re: Westcan Bulk Transport - What A Nightmare !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newstart1 View Post
Thanks ... But I am actually in a really good place and enjoying my life again, for me the pressure was off the day I got on that plane and headed home. I knew at that moment, my nightmare was over. I actually felt that weight lifting off me, it was the sheer Relief at never having to put up with Westcan ever again.

Since returning, my working life has improved dramatically, the drivers CPC Card kicked in last April creating a new shortage of professional C+E qualified drivers here in the UK, and that's starting to push the wages back up too, finally )

Here in England I am free again to look at any job I want should this one turn bad, just as you guys can with PR in Canada. Here in England I even know what I've earned before I leave the depot At Westcan you needed an accountant to work it out what with all the various pay structures stacked on top of each other.

I remember asking a Westcan driver trainer to look at my payslip one day to see if was wrong ... He didn't even look and just said to me "Yes it was".. lol .. and added with a smirk on his face "It's always wrong, and ain't it funny how it's never wrong in your favour" ... His point to me was ... if it was always accidental then from time to time I would be right to expect Westcan to make at least one mistake in my favour .. lol .. I had never thought of it like that, but needless to say he was absolutely right, they rarely got my wages right and I'd never know unless I checked, at the same they never made a payroll mistake in my favour ..

I know Westcan have been turning over their TFW Drivers for over a decade and I would never be so self indulged as to think anything I might have to say would ever influence the way they treat the TFW's your right they are too arrogant for that, and that's why I am not even going to try! Instead, all I'll do, is continue to post the truth and flag it up to those drivers considering a move to Westcan, just so they know exactly how bad it actually is there now. It's a much more brutal experience for drivers now than it was in 05 to 09. If I could of got PR in 14 mth, then I would of smiled silently and crossed off the days like in a prison sentence.

Sadly the last group to ge PR waited 4 to 5 years. I couldn't do 5 years of that for anyone 5 years is a long time to take that kind of daily abuse, not to mention spending 6 months of each of them 5yrs, walking round that depot for hours and hours upon end in sub-zero temperatures trying to find trucks/trailers in a roadworthy condition and not getting paid a penny for it .. Don't get me wrong that happens in the UK from time to time too. But the difference here is .. Firstly your getting paid while your on site and secondly the office staff work with you in the UK to get you off site and on your way as quickly as possible.
Yup the way they work the wages out is quite clever , Pay you different rates for this /that , Pay different milage if your in AB/BC/SK or city (Edmonton /Calgary ) Different rates for different trucks , B-trains /5 axels , Pay you different on stat days , time and half with no day in lieu , They always pay you less than you've earned , Never more , That way if only 50 drivers question the pay stub , They are quids in with the rest that don't . To try and work it all out is mind blowing , So most don't bother and accept it .

Just about everything you've said is true sadly , And all geared to stitch the TFW up . Once you're past that stage however you can earn good money , But the amount of BS you would have to put up with is mind blowing , Most can't take it , including me , And once you start answering back , Your card is marked and it won't be long before your out , Either voluntary or they fire you for whatever reason they can think off .

Edmonton depot seems way worse than any other , Not sure why , But it is .

Seems they extended the WBT brainwashing week from 5 days to 10 , The training as changed , All geared to put money in the trainers pocket and out of the trainees pocket . Of course the trainer wants to maximize this time , and do as much work as if he were on his own , When in fact he should be going slower and doing less .

But its all finished now , They can't screw any more TFW's over like they have for the last 10 years . The Alberta Government are partly to blame , Not taking enough control over these companies , But ultimately it's the drivers that suffer.

Please don't think all Canadian Trucking companies are like WBT, I've had some very good jobs since leaving and just like you I walked out of there and my shoulders rose 3 inch . It's a massive relief and I know the feeling . But hats off to you for taking the time to write this , Im sure karma will pay you back one day .
__________________
non illigitamus carborundum
kb33 is offline  
Closed Thread

Go Back   British Expats / Working Abroad / Working Abroad by Profession / Trucking


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 12:06 am.


Powered by vBulletin: ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1999-2010 BritishExpats.com