Alliance advocates for immigrant workers' rights
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Foreign farm workers, nannies and other temporary labourers in Canada are forming a united front to fight for better treatment by employers.
“What we are seeing now is a shift and expansion of the temporary foreign workers program from agriculture and live-in care to food industry, restaurants, hospitality and tourism,” said Sonia Singh of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, the coalition to be launched this week.
“We are seeing worsening work conditions for these workers. It sets a dangerous path to have our immigration policy based on temporary work.”
Despite the recent economic downturn, the number of temporary foreign workers in Canada has skyrocketed from 160,908 in 2006 to 283,096 in 2010.
Individual groups have organized within their own sectors, but it is time to have a united front to advocate for all foreign workers, who are at the mercy of Canadian employers and third-party recruiters, said Singh, whose group is made up of 17 grassroots organizations and unions.