Reverse Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program

May 16, 2012, 2:10 PM EST


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A growing group of unions and non-government organizations (NGOs) say that recently announced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) permitting employers to pay migrant workers up to 15 per cent less and fast tracking employer applications for these workers are unfair and misguided. The CAW is supporting this joint effort.

"Allowing employers faster access to migrant workers and paying them less for their labour sends a message that this government believes migrant workers are not equal," says Hassan Yussuff, Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress. He was speaking at an Ottawa news conference attended by unions and NGOs on May 15.

Ottawa has announced changes, effective immediately, to the TFWP and has included those changes in a large omnibus budget bill that is being pushed through Parliament.

"Canada's laws don't support wage discrimination based on where you come from," says Yasmeen Khan, with Migrante Canada. "Many people recognize the majority of migrant workers are people of colour and oppose wage discrimination based on race."

Naveen Mehta, General Counsel and Director of Human Rights, Equity and Diversity with the United Food and Commercial Workers, says, "Rather than further skewing Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program to unfairly serve employers' interests, what is needed are stronger compliance, monitoring and enforcement measures to protect migrant workers' rights."

Sign onto the pledge to call for the reversal of the discriminatory changes to the already flawed TFWP: http://www.canadianlabour.ca/action-center/pay-less-wage-model-unfair-migrant-workers 

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