A Saskatchewan pizza joint owner says he didn't fire anyone to make room for temporary foreign workers.
John Siourounis, owner of Brothers Classic Grill & Pizza in Weyburn, Sask., has taken a lot of heat online since a pair of ex-employees went to the media with their stories.
Sandy Nelson, who worked there for about 28 years, and Shaunna Jennison-Yung, who worked there for 14 years, said they are victims of a "broken" system.
The program is intended to ease labour shortages in quickly developing areas, such as in the oilsands and in oil-rich Weyburn.
"It needs to be revamped," Jennison-Yung said. "There needs to be some tighter regulations. And, of course there is a place for it -- there's no question and I feel for some of the foreign workers that are in the positions that they are in as well. But, it's broken."
In a statement Wednesday, Siourounis said he felt it "necessary" to address the pair's allegations, saying some employees chose to leave the restaurant after it changed its hours of operation.
"The two employees who are choosing to take their case to the media were both offered jobs under the restructured operation. It was entirely their choice to reject our offer of employment and the new structure of their hours of work," he said.
"We would like to be clear that we have not hired any new employees. We have and continue to employ some temporary foreign workers, who are now filling some of the vacated restaurant shifts."
The federal employment ministry has been asked to investigate.
--with files from Lisa Mrazek