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Report/Press release

New protections for foreign workers should not stop at Manitoba border

Date

2009-04-01

Authors

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Abstract

April 1, 2009 - Manitoba’s move to regulate foreign worker recruitment agencies and employers who use them, “is long overdue in every Canadian jurisdiction and other provinces should follow Manitoba’s lead,” said UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley.

Series title

AWA E-News

Responsible institution

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Full text

“Every other province should bring in similar legislation,” says UFCW Canada National President

April 1, 2009 - Manitoba’s move to regulate foreign worker recruitment agencies and employers who use them, “is long overdue in every Canadian jurisdiction and other provinces should follow Manitoba’s lead,” said UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley.

As of April 1st, Manitoba’s Worker Recruitment and Protection Act comes into full effect. The Act provides new protections for temporary foreign workers by prohibiting fees charged by recruitment agencies, and by forcing recruitment agencies to register and be licensed with the province.

The Act also requires that employers and recruitment agencies submit detailed records about the place of employment; what the worker was hired to do and their rate of pay; as well as up-to-date contact information for the worker.

“Manitoba is saying it’s not good enough for a recruitment agency to bring workers in, drop them off at some workplace, and then tell them to fend for themselves,” said Hanley. “By keeping a registry of where these workers are, who recruited them, and what they were promised when they were hired, you finally have a jurisdiction with the political will and regulations to penalize and weed out employers and recruiters who abuse foreign workers.”

Under the new Act both employers and recruiters can be fined for failing to comply with its regulations or disqualified altogether from future recruiting or hiring of foreign workers.
The new Act, the only one of its kind in Canada, was developed through consultation with Manitoba’s Labour Management Committee. Robert Ziegler, president of UFCW Canada Local 832, is a member of the committee.

“In Manitoba, and across this country, UFCW Canada continues to be the advocate and union for temporary workers,” said National President Hanley. “Manitoba deserves to be commended for listening to these workers and doing the right thing.

“Every other province should bring in similar legislation because the human rights of foreign workers in Ontario, or B.C. or any other province are the same — and the potential abuse of temporary workers does not stop at the Manitoba border.”

Contact

Stan Raper, National Coordinator
Agriculture Workers Alliance
416-675-1104 x 232
sraper@ufcw.ca

File Attachments

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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, and Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing

Content types

Policy analysis

Target groups

Public awareness

Regulation domains

Recrutement / placement agencies

Geographical focuses

Manitoba

Languages

French, English, and Spanish