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NGO

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change

Description

Canada’s federal and provincial governments have failed to adequately address the gaps in immigration and labour policy that systematically discriminate and exploit migrant workers in Canada. While the number of migrant workers currently exceeds 200,000, live-in caregivers under the Live-In Caregivers Program (LCP), agricultural workers under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, and other workers under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP), face tremendous physical barriers that position them as second class citizens to the Canadian state in terms of their rights and benefits.

The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (formerly the Coalition for Change) is comprised of various advocacy and community groups, unions, workers and community members, aimed at improving working conditions and fighting for better protections for live-in caregivers, seasonal agricultural workers and other temporary foreign workers.

Several groups working with temporary foreign workers began meeting informally through the winter and spring of 2009 to talk about joint strategies in addressing issues facing migrant workers. The catalyst to form a formal coalition came in May 2009 when caregivers who were members of the Caregivers Action Centre became the centre of a media backlash after speaking out about exploitative working conditions. The coalition formed to develop a strategy to speak out in solidarity with these caregivers, and to highlight the need for better protections for all TFWs. Since then the Migrant Workers-Alliance for Change has been actively organizing rallies and launching campaigns urging provincial and federal governments to provide better protection for TFW and caregivers, while ensuring they have access to the services they require to maintain an adequate standard of living.

The Migrant Workers-Alliance for Change will strive to build a strong community alliance of migrant workers, activists, grassroots community groups, community faith groups, and labour organizations to develop a range of activities to campaign in support of the demands for change in (LCP), (SAWP) and others in the (TFWP).

Crucial to the Migrant Workers-Alliance for Change vision is its commitment to promote migrant workers’ leadership development to ensure their engagement, participation, and direction of the alliance activities.

DEMANDS:

A RIGHT TO LANDING STATUS be granted upon arrival for migrant workers. They must not be tied to one employer, be required to live in their employer’s home, or be subject to further medical examination;

A RIGHT TO EQUAL ACCESS for all social programs, including Employment Insurance, health care, settlement services, social services and Workers’ Compensation;

A RIGHT TO A FAIR APPEAL PROCESS for migrant workers prior to a pre-removal order, and a stop to deportations until this process is in place;

A RIGHT TO FULL PROTECTION UNDER THE PROVINCIAL EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT AND REGULATIONS currently enjoyed by Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents, including NO FEES for any work placement.

Immediately implement a national regularization programs granting permanent immigration status for all non-residents living in Canada.

Status

Active

Address

720 Spadina Avenue Suite 223

City

Toronto

Province

Ontario

Country

Canada

Postal code

M5S 2T9

Email

Links

Coordinated campaigns

Endorsed campaigns

Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers, Occupations in services - Domestic work, Sales and service occupations - general, Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations - general, Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations - general, Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing, Dancers, and Other

Target groups

(Im)migrants workers, Policymakers, Journalists, Public awareness, Employers, agencies and their representatives, Researchers, Unions, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses

Canada, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, Other provinces, Federal, Nova Scotia, and National relevance

Languages

English