Logo en Global Donate now

Online Database: Working for the abolition of legalized migrant enslavement through information sharing

GlobalChange

Document Details

 

Print and save

Report/Press release

Temp Foreign Workers take the fall again for farmers and government

Date

2010

Authors

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Abstract

As nine workers arrested, Harper government and farm industry “are both complicit in a system ‎designed to exploit foreign workers and dispose of them,” says national leader of UFCW Canada

Series title

AWA E-News

Responsible institution

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Notes

As nine workers arrested, Harper government and farm industry “are both complicit in a system ‎designed to exploit foreign workers and dispose of them,” says national leader of UFCW Canada

TORONTO - The Ontario arrest and detainment of nine temporary foreign workers "is the latest ‎example that both the Harper government and the farm industry are both complicit in a system ‎designed to exploit foreign workers and dispose of them," says Wayne Hanley, the National ‎President of UFCW Canada.‎

The workers are Thai nationals who were brought to Canada under the federal government’s ‎Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) program. They were arrested near the Sarnia agriculture ‎operation where they were employed.‎

TFWs are typically granted a two-year work permit, but an underground system of job brokers ‎tied into the farm industry directs these workers to continue to work "under the table" after ‎their visas expire. The nine TFWs arrested near Sarnia are being held in a Toronto detention ‎centre. The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirmed they were arrested "for ‎suspected violations of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act."‎

‎"What’s really being violated here is the human rights of these workers," says Hanley. "The ‎federal government encourages farmers to import TFWs, specifically because these workers are ‎granted next to no status and are under the radar when it comes to workplace protections."‎

‎"By deliberately shortchanging these workers of permanent status, what you have is a TFW ‎program that encourages human trafficking," says Hanley. "What confirms it is that while ‎dozens of workers have been arrested over the past year, not one agriculture operation or job ‎broker has yet to be convicted of breaking the rules when it comes to hiring these workers and ‎paying them under the table."‎

‎"The recent arrests have nothing to do with justice, and everything to do with politics," says ‎Hanley. "These are terror tactics to keep all TFWs afraid and vulnerable. And as soon as the ‎latest victims are shipped out, the federal government’s TFW program brings in a new batch of ‎workers to be exploited."‎

UFCW Canada is the country’s largest private-sector union. In association with the Agriculture ‎Workers Alliance, it operates ten agriculture worker support centers across Canada.‎

Links

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 and Documented cases of abuse

Target groups

Public awareness

Regulation domains

Right to change employer, Right to choose place of residence, Right to unionize, Labour standards, Health and safety at work, Newcomers integration programs, Health care & social services, Access to permanent status, Free employment services, Family reunification, Legal aid, Employment insurance, Social security, Remittances and co-development programs, Trips abroad and re-entries, Recrutement / placement agencies, Housing standards, Migration expenses reimbursement mechanisms, Impartial hearing before deportation, Status regularization procedures, Determination fair wages and labour shortage, (Im)migrant workers selection criteria, Right to equality (gender), Right to equality (national origin), Right to equality (social status), Right to liberty, Right to dignity, and Right to privacy

Geographical focuses

Ontario

Languages

French, English, and Spanish