By Richard Gilbert
The United Steelworkers (USW) are attempting to make a connection between the Chinese government and a Vancouver company that is importing Chinese temporary foreign workers (TFWs) for the construction of a coal mine in northeastern British Columbia.
"Part of the reason we are doing this research, is that these companies have not been very forthcoming with information," said Scott Lunny, spokesperson for the USW District 3, which represents workers in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
"We went deeper and had people doing research in China and in the Chinese language."
The USW recently released a report entitled Who Owns Huiyong Holdings and other Questions on Planned Chinese-Owned Coal Mines in B.C.
The report investigates the ownership structure of HD Mining International, which is a private corporation involved in the construction of the Murray River underground coal mine near Tumbler Ridge, B.C.
"All we are saying is this is all we can find out," said Lunny.
"If they (HD Mining) are as big a deal as they say they are, you would think there would be information available about who they are and who owns them, as well as what they have done in the past."
HD Mining's website states that the company was incorporated in B.C. in 2011 and is made up of two majority partners, Huiyong Holdings (BC) Ltd. (55 per cent) and Canadian Dehua International Mines Group Inc. (40 per cent).
A private Chinese company called Huiyong Holding Group (HHG) is the parent company of the majority investor Huiyong Holdings (BC) Ltd.
However, the USW research team, which was assisted by experts in China, couldn't determine who owns the parent company HHG.
"The company itself (HHG) seems to consist of little more than an email address, phone number and street address located in a modest building in a Beijing suburb," said the USW report.