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Take action against elimination of EI benefits for migrant workers

Date and time

2012.12.14 to 2012.12.31, 8:00 AM to 8:00 AM


Once again, the Stephen Harper government has viciously attacked migrant and temporary workers in Canada.

In spite of the fact that migrant and temporary foreign workers pay millions of dollars every year into the Employment Insurance (EI) fund, they have now been cut off from receiving the EI Special Benefits their premiums pay for. Seasonal migrant agriculture workers alone pay more than $25 million in EI premiums , but they and other temporary workers have now been essentially barred from receiving benefits that other workers in Canada receive.

Below there is a list of actions you can do to support this fight:

A) J4MW Campain
C) CLC/CTC Campain

A) J4MW Campain

1) Spread the word! Circulate J4MW press release and Toronto Star articles among your friends and networks. Links below

2) Write a letter to the editor to express your outrage over how migrant workers are treated in Canada.

3) Send the article to your Member of Provincial Parliament (MP)and ask them where do they stand on this issue and what steps will they take to restore EI benefits for migrant workers?

4) Take a picture and tweet it!

5) Come out to J4MS's Vigil on Tuesday December 18th, International Migrant Workers Day!

6) Send a message to Minister Finley to Stop the Great Tory Ripoff of Migrant Workers by dropping the abusive EI changes that blatantly discriminate against migrant and temporary foreign workers:


Visit the UFCW website and send a message to the Fed government:

C) CLC/CTC Campain

Conservatives take away benefits from
seasonal migrant workers

On December 6, 2012, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Diane Finley, under the logo of the government’s questionable Economic Action Plan announced yet another attack on migrant workers.

Just 15 days before Christmas, Minster Finley issued a press release stating migrant workers who have paid into maternity, paternity or compassionate care benefits will no longer be able access them once their work visa in Canada has expired.

This regulatory change has not undergone any parliamentary debate. According to the Minister, the regulatory changes were made “to ensure the EI program remains fair and consistent."

The Minister did not mention that Canadians and permanent resident workers who pay into the EI system are able to access maternity/paternity benefits when they reside out of the country.

Neither did the Minister make mention of the millions migrant workers pay into the EI system via wage deductions but are now essentially barred from accessing these benefits. United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) has noted migrant workers alone contribute $25 million into the EI fund annually.

In a CBC National news report on migrant workers that aired on December 10, 2012, Minister Finley sent in this comment: “We take our responsibility to maintain the integrity of the TFWP program very seriously, which is why we have strengthened compliance measures and introduced increased protections for foreign workers in Canada.”

Taking away access to benefits that migrant workers have paid into, is not fair or consistent. Nor do these changes come close to ‘increased protections’ for migrant workers.

Tell Minister Finley diane.finley@parl.gc.ca what you think "fair and consistent" really means for workers no matter where they come from.

Contact points for Minister Finley:
Simcoe Office
76 Kent Street, South
Simcoe, ON N3Y 2Y1
T: 519-426-3400 FREE 519-426-3400
F: 519-426-0003

Dunnville Office
231 Chestnut Street
Dunnville, ON N1A 2H2
T: 905-701-1881 FREE 905-701-1881

Ottawa Office
House of Commons
Confederation Building, Room 707
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
T: 613-996-4974 FREE 613-996-4974
F: 613-996-9749
E: diane.finley@parl.gc

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Economic sectors

General relevance - all sectors

Content types

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Target groups

Policymakers, Journalists, Public awareness, Unions, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses

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