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Abolition of employer-tied legal status for migrant workers

Date and time

2017.09.12, 8:30 am

Description

MigrantWorkersRights-CANADA
Submission – Federal Consultations 2013 on the Temporary Foreign Worker Programs

A) How to ensure global recruitment activities maintain protection for workers?

Step 1. [Federal immigration regulations and guidelines] Abolition of employer-specific temporary work authorizations and validation procedures of job offers, work contracts or leases imposing a renunciation of one’s fundamental freedom to change employers or place of residence in Canada; replacement with open or sector-specific work permits (including for workers currently admitted without work permit and employed by diplomats, foreigners or foreign companies).

Step 2. [Federal immigration regulations and provincial agreements] Abolition of employer-dependent requirements for accessing permanent status, particularly the requirement to live at employer’s residence.

Step 3. [Federal immigration regulations and guidelines] Admission of temporary foreign workers only in sectors where workers are or can be unionized.

Step 4. [Federal immigration regulations and guidelines] Admission of temporary foreign workers only in provinces that
• adequately fund community support services adapted for migrant workers,
• have exclusively government-run (re)placement services for temporary foreign workers (guaranteeing the respect of the seniority and recall rights of migrant workers already in the country), and
• enforce global recruitment regulations, making employers jointly liable for abuses, in Canada or abroad, of migrant employees by recruitment agents.

Step 5. [Federal immigration regulations and guidelines] Abolition of discrimination based on occupation by allowing equal access to work/study permit for spouse/children of all migrant workers, regardless of occupation.

Step 6. [Federal immigration regulations and provincial agreements] Abolition of time limits to submit paperwork for permanent status or regularization of temporary legal status, and abolition of the prohibitions on travelling abroad and re-entering Canada for persons with valid temporary work permits.
See also steps #7, #9 and #10.

B) How to ensure migrant workers are employed where needed?

Step 7. [Federal immigration regulations and provincial agreements] Admission of foreign workers only under permanent status or under open work permit with access to permanent status upon arrival in Canada, except for special cases of urgent and genuine provincial skill shortages.

Step 8. [Federal immigration regulations] Creation of a national commission composed equally of workers, employers, unions and migrant workers associations to identify special cases of urgent and genuine provincial skill shortages in employment sectors with a documented track record of retaining employees, developing apprenticeship programs and recruiting from within networks of underemployed workers already in Canada. National quotas of open and sectoral work permits must be determined by the new National Migrant Workers Commission according to provincial labour market opinions.

--> See also, again, step #4.

C) Which low-skilled workers should have access to permanent status?

Step 9. [Federal immigration regulations and guidelines] Opening of the Canadian Experience Class to all temporary foreign workers, including all those in the “low-skilled” occupations; recognition of the possibility to ask permanent status at any time after arrival in Canada in order to guarantee that, in most cases, the administrative procedures will be complete by the end of their 12th month of work in the country.

Step 10. [Federal immigration regulations and guidelines] Inclusion in the mandate of the new National Migrant Workers Commission of regular updates of the Federal skilled worker program selection grid; abolition of systemic discrimination against workers with “low-skilled” occupation experience by allowing equal access to permanent status before arrival in Canada.

coordination_canada@migrantworkersrights.net * http://www.migrantworkersrights.net/canada

Coordinated by

File Attachments

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

Content types

Policy analysis

Target groups

Policymakers, 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

French, English, Spanish, and Tagalog