MEDIA

Workers urgently need your support

 

November 2016

Workers urgently need your support

 

The IWC is working with a group of Temporary Foreign Workers. These workers had worked for different farms and companies in and around Victoriaville.  For various reasons linked to difficult working conditions and labour code violations, they left their employers and sought work elsewhere.  They found a temporary placement agency that had them sign contracts and pay for the transfer for their work permits to the company.  As they worked, the new employer started to deduct money from their salaries stating that he was paying himself back the recruitment fees and other fees related to their applications for new work permits.  They were of course defrauded and when one of the former employers denounced the agency the CBSA along with SQ raided their work place and arrested 15 of the workers. They spent up to three weeks in detention while the recruiter walked scot-free

 

One worker has a son in the hospital in Guatemala with a serious head injury and will not be able to follow-up on his treatment if the family can’t pay.  He is also in debt as he borrowed money to pay money lenders to ensure his recruitment back in Guatemala. Many of the workers are in similar situations – when they were put in detention, it appeared that they would be deported without a chance of filing complaint processes to get their money back.

 

The staff and volunteers of the IWC along with lawyer, Susan Ramirez, worked relentlessly to secure the release of all the detained migrant workers in this case. With the support of our network and allies they were given guarantees for food and lodging. The IWC team has filed a collective complaint with the CNESST to try to get back the money stolen from the workers, while their lawyer has filed cases with the SQ against the placement agency and the immigration consultant that colluded for fraud and criminal threats.
Our goal now is to get the workers TRPs and open work permits. This will allow them to stay to follow through with their complaints processes and allow to work to gain some income to support themselves and their families back in Guatemala.

 

There is still a mountain of work to do while the centre has very limited resources. We hope to support several of the workers’ families back in Guatemala, who rely on their income. While we fight for their right to earn income while they stay, their families are in dire need. There are also fees related to legal applications, not to mention travel cost associated with many of them having to meet all together at the centre to participate in the decision making surrounding their claims and the Program and the regulation of unscrupulous temp placement agencies.

 

These are the core campaigns of the centre and we have gained powerful actors for change in the Guatemalan workers who seek justice. But we need you help to continue! Please donate to the Immigrant Workers Centre to help with this great endeavour

 

Please go to our website http://iwc-cti.org and donate through our PayPal Account

 

Thanks,

Eric Shragge, President of the Board of Directors, on behalf of the IWC Team

financial-appeal-iwc

 

FORMER MIGRANT WORKER DEMANDS AN END TO CANADA’S SYSTEM OF LABOUR APARTHEID

Former migrant worker demands an end to
Canada’s system of labour apartheid

June 3, Saskatoon — Immigration Minister John McCallum will be in Saskatoon this weekend to participate in a consultation with the Canadian Council for Refugees, but he will not attend Sunday’s National Forum on Migrant Worker Issues. McCallum’s visit comes at a time when Canada’s migrant worker programs are currently under review by the Liberal government.[1]

Like the Harper regime, the Trudeau administration continues to exclude migrant workers from any meaningful participation in assessing legislation that directly affects their lives and livelihood. Not many voices of workers have been heard in the House of Commons, and the review will only make non-binding recommendations, likely allowing for the perpetuation of the structures that create precarity for hundreds of thousands of migrants.

Last month, a migrant worker from Jamaica, Sheldon McKenzie, died after he was denied medical care. Recent reports point to growing precarity under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), as it more quickly disposes of workers through the enforcement of the “four in and four out” rule. This measures forces them to leave Canada after four years of work, blocking them from returning for another four years. The measure excludes migrants from jobs that some have worked for decades and creates additional barriers for organizing for better conditions, while leaving many indebted from exorbitant fees paid to recruiters.

Meanwhile, migrant workers remain tied to a single employer and many are denied access to permanent residency no matter how many years they have worked alongside Canadians. They are vulnerable to detention and deportation at any time, with little to no access to labour protections or the benefits that they pay into. And they frequently experience social isolation, with many being cut off from ordinary Canadians except when they come into town to shop for groceries once a week.

Former migrant worker Noé Arteaga Santos says: “People should be treated like human beings. Why have a specific set of laws that deny a particular group of people basic human rights? Everyone should have access to the same basic protections. Everyone should be treated with respect and dignity.”

“Canada has created the laws that have allowed for the exploitation of migrants in the first place. It is time that the government becomes accountable to migrant workers and ends this system of labour apartheid.”

Arteaga is a member of the Montreal-based migrant justice group Solidarity Across Borders, which has declared June 2016 to be a “Month Against Borders and Deportations” to highlight the violence caused by Canada’s immigration system.

“Canada’s immigration system ensures that Canadian capital profits not only from migrant workers, but also from refugees and undocumented migrants,” says Arteaga. “I intend to speak directly to Minister McCallum in order to denounce the violent ways that the Canadian government exploits those who enter its colonial borders.”

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Contact:

narteaga@iwc-cti.org

(438) 878 5416

(only in French and Spanish)

[1] Although Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk is overseeing the review itself, the minister of immigration ultimately has the power over who remains in Canada and under what terms. Part of the precarity of the temporary foreign worker program is that it is divided between different government bodies and the private sector, creating serpentine structures that leave ample space for a lack of accountability to workers.

IN THE SHADOW OF BORDERS

In the Shadow of Borders: documentary film screening followed by discussion
Monday, June 13 , 2016
6pm at L’auditore
5214 St Laurent (L’auditore )
(Radio Centre-Ville)


Cost: Free
Accessibility information: This venue is wheelchair accessible. There are accessible washrooms.
Language: English, French and Spanish with french subtitles

IN THE SHADOW OF BORDERS: trailer https://youtu.be/9ReOyEYNCgc

Website: http://shadowofborders.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MigrantJusticeDocumentary
Email: info@shadowofborders.com
Please join us Monday, June 13, to watch In the Shadow of Borders, a 37 minute documentary film produced in 2015. Is Canada the welcoming country for migrants it likes to call itself? In the Shadow of Borders challenges this myth and, through personal stories of detention, denial of essential services, labour exploitation and deportation, exposes how precarious are the lives of those without status.

By connecting histories—of indigenous sovereignty, of Canada’s role in displacement, of its discriminatory policies—this documentary portrays grassroots resistance to xenophobic governmental practices and the struggle of migrants for freedom of movement.

We also invite you to stay after the screening to talk about the film and ongoing migrant struggles. People who participated in making the film, along with some of those interviewed and active in organizing around these issues in Montreal will be present for the discussion. The film is in English, French and Spanish and this projection will be of the English subtitled version, however DVDs of the Spanish and French subtitled versions will be available at the event.

This documentary is meant to serve as a popular education film, so if you cannot make the event or would like to share the film with others, we encourage you to organize your own screening! It could be shown in your home, workplace, school, community group, local park, etc. We can also help to organize screenings with someone to answer questions, facilitate a discussion and provide materials for workshops. Please be in touch at mexicanxsunidxs@gmail.com and we can get you what you need to set up your event. Also keep following our website and Facebook page to receive news of other screenings 

Website: http://mexregularizacion.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MurUnidxs
Email: mexicanxsunidxs@gmail.com

A MONTH AGAINST BORDERS AND DEPORTATIONS!

A MONTH AGAINST BORDERS AND DEPORTATIONS!

Solidarity Across Borders declares June 2016 a “Month Against Deportations.”

In the context of ongoing struggles for justice and dignity for all migrants, refugees and undocumented people, Solidarity Across Borders and allies are organizing actions throughout the month of June to publicly denounce the violence, racism and oppression of border controls, and their daily impact on tens of thousands of people in Montreal.

This summer we will amplify our voices as community members, lovers and fighters, with public art projects, demonstrations, community meals, and a variety of activities in fierce resistance to colonial borders and economies built on the deportation of certain people.

We invite you to join us this June, and into the future!
Not one more deportation! Down with colonial borders!

Schedule of events ::

★ Saturday June 4th @1pm: Borders are bonkers, theatre action
★ Saturday June 4th @7pm
(location to be announced): Demo and block party with le Collectif de résistance antiraciste
Saturday June 11th from 8am to 6pm: Picnic and soccer tournament with Antiracist Soccer  [https://www.facebook.com/events/476583835872683/]

★ Monday le 13 juin @18h: atelier ” FILM Audiotorie”

★ Tuesday June 14th @6:30pm, QPIRG Concordia (1500 de maisonneuve Ouest, room 204): “Building a Solidarity City” workshop
★ Thursday June 16th, evening in Parc Jarry: Film screening with Cinema Politica
★ Monday June 20th @6:30pm, QPIRG Concordia:
workshop for new members of Solidarity Across Borders
★ Saturday & Sunday June 24&25
(location & times to be announced): Party and mural painting!

Over the past decade, deeply racist and Islamophobic border controls have strengthened. These border controls fortify the “Global North” in order to manage the migration of people from the “Global South”, who are only permitted entry if they can contribute to the destructive advancement of Canadian capitalism, or be exploited under it. Extending its power through imperialism and colonial occupation of Indigenous land, the Canadian state uses these border controls to assure that the majority of those who migrate to Canada live and work in precarity.

As we fight this reality, we want to celebrate the inspiring struggles that have taken place this past year against racism and exploitation, by migrants here in Montreal and around the world.
We have taken to the streets under the banner of ‘Refugees Welcome’ along with others across the world, as the “migrant crisis” was spotlighted within global mainstream consciousness. We know that this crisis is nothing new, although we also know that there has been a notable increase in deaths, by the thousands, this past year, as a direct result of increased border militarization.
Here in Montreal, we have seen the inspiring mobilization of the Haitian community in a collective fight against deportations, following the lifting of the moratorium on deportations to Haiti and Zimbabwe, with the Non-Status Action Committee.
We have seen the Non Status Women’s Collective in Montreal courageously denounce their conditions of oppression and exploitation, demanding status for all. These non-status women have spoken about living their everyday lives as if hidden under a mask, invisible, and struggling for a life of dignity, security and peace. Non status people continue to live in precarity in the shadows of our society.

As we celebrate resistance in our communities, we also want to mourn those who lives were stolen while in the custody of immigration and border authorities.
Since the year 2000, 14 people have died in Canada Border Services Agency custody. Most recently, Francisco Javier Romero Astorga died while being detained at the Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton, Ontario, in March 2016.
This is part of a larger struggle against police violence and anti-Black racism, which has seen the mobilizing, in Montreal, of Montreal Nord Republic and Montreal Noir, following the death of Jean-Pierre Bony by Montreal police in April 2016.

We know that struggles against immigration controls, for justice and dignity, are fought by thousands of people in our city, in our communities, often in isolation, and we want to honour those individuals and families for whom courageous resistance is part of daily life.

In confronting and actively fighting the systemic racism inherent in Canada’s exploitative immigration regime, and its oppressive foundations in capitalism and ongoing colonialism, we aspire towards strengthening our networks of solidarity and mutual aid, to counter this reality, here in Montreal.
Join us!

MIGRANT JUSTICE ORGANIZERS DENOUNCE THE DEPORTATION OF GUATEMALAN MIGRANT WORKER THIS MORNING

Press Conference: Migrant justice organizers denounce the deportation of Guatemalan migrant worker this morning, the result of drug raid on employer

 

Friday April 29th at 10am

At the Immigrant Workers Centre

4755 Van Horne, Office #110 (Metro Plamondon)

 

Montreal, April 29, 2016 – Migrant justice organizers are denouncing the recent arrests and deportations of temporary migrant workers based near Drummondville, QC, the result of a drug arrest having to do with the employer, and not the workers.

 

One migrant worker is scheduled to be deported this morning to Guatemala as a result of a Surêté du Québec raid on the Éric Dupuis Strawberry Farm on December 23, 2015. According to an article in L’Express, Éric Dupuis, the Canadian employer, was producing psilocybine (magic mushrooms) at his farm in Wickham, Québec. The workers had come to Canada in October 2015 believing that they would be working in fruit and vegetable production, including strawberries, raspberries, apples, and mushrooms. Tied to their employer and rurally isolated, the workers did not speak French or English. When the workers turned to the Consulate of Guatemala for support following the seizure of their workplace, they were handed over to the Canada Border Services Agency and detained.

 

The Guatemalan worker’s request for a stay of deportation was rejected Thursday (April 28th) and he is slated to be deported at 9:35am today. A father of four, he is worried about the consequences his deportation will have on his family and his future. Having taken out nearly $5,000CAD in loans to pay recruiters and administrative fees to come to Canada, the worker is leaving Canada more indebted than when he arrived.

 

“They are going to remove me from Canada as they wish because we Guatemalans come here to work, and we just do what they tell us to do in order to have a bit more to live, to support our families, not to steal from anyone. Yes, I’m leaving this country, but what can I do, we are just temporary workers and we are not allowed to stay.”

 

Noé Arteaga, a former temporary foreign worker residing in Montreal, adds: “I am angry that workers are being treated in such a way in a country that claims to be democratic and respect human rights; all in all, the basic rights of Guatemalan migrant workers are not protected.”

 

Contact :

Noe Arteaga

514-342-2111

links: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2687635459/

 

Links

 

http://newswiremtl.info/migrant-justice-organizers-denounce-the-deportation-of-guatemalan-migrant-worker-this-morning/

 

Temporary Placement Agency Workers Launch report

Temporary Placement Agency Workers Launch report: Employers, and Agencies systematically are in violation of CSST laws.

Montreal, April 20, 2016 –

A report will be launched today by the Temporary Agency Workers Association(TAWA), which will publicly highlight the personnel stories of numerous temporary agency workers who experienced violations of their health and safety rights, and the causes of systemic neglect and abuse by both employers and Temporary Placement Agencies, will be unveiled at a press conference this morning. The report is entitled: Reimbursement of work boots: a basic right violated, the document denounces that many employers routinely violate – and harmless – to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (CSST). Workers will be on hand to share their experiences as employees of temporary placement agencies hired to work in different warehouses, and sectors.

What: Press Conference organized by the Temporary Agency Workers Association
Time: 10 am
Where: 4755 Van Horne Avenue, Suite 110
Why: Unveiling a report on employer abuse of Temporary Agency Workers.

About The report

The report consists of testimonies from workers, and employers, and an analysis of thirty intervention reports made by the CSST, which we had access too following several requests for access to information from the CSST. In summary, the report states that workers who are both employees of temporary agencies, and recent immigrants are particularly vulnerable to all forms of abuse: they know little about their rights, and are reluctant due to pressures, and fear to submit CSST complaints.

Finally, since the Labour Standards, Equity, Health and Safety Commission (CNESST) is well aware of the systemic neglect by both agencies and employers to apply the most basic CSST requirements and laws. We feel the lack of enforcement by CSST itself is also responsible for the abuse of agency workers by employers, and that the CSST is responsible for ensuring that employers and agencies meet the basic standards of employment health and safety.

Jacques Dago, who worked for years in a warehouse through a temporary placement agency, and now involved at the Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC) explains: “The report talks about the barriers that prevent us from defending our rights. We hope the CNESST take the report into consideration and that changes will soon be made. It is urgent to regulate the agencies and monitor their practices. ”
Patrice Benoit, treasurer of the Central Council of Metropolitan Montreal-CSN, the report explains the systemic discrimination faced by temporary placement agencies workers who are recent immigrants. “It is imperative that the government act to ensure that its own laws are applied, regardless of the employer or employee.”

TAWA considers it essential that the public and policy makers aware of the many abuses that are subject immigrant workers who have no choice in the vast majority of cases, to find a job through an agency of staffing.

Source: Temporary Placement Agency Workers Association

Contact: Immigrant Workers Centre 514-342-2111 tawa.mtl@gmail.com

This is the English-language newswire for social justice groups in Montreal.

 

Demonstration for raising the minimum wage to $15

April 15, 2016

Demonstration for raising the minimum wage to $15

A coalition of community and labour groups call for a $15 minimum wage in Quebec

Montreal, QC, On April 15 – Rallies will be held in cities across Canada calling for $15 minimum wage. In Montreal, a series of activities are being organized by different groups throughout the day culminating in a joint rally and march in Petite-Patrie. Yesterday, similar actions have taken place in the United States. In addition, on the same in the last year, hundreds of demonstrations for $15 minimum wage were taken in more than 200 cities in North America. Since 2012, the campaign for $15 minimum wage has been gaining momentum throughout North America.

The groups organizing this campaign invite the population to join a rally followed by a demonstration in front of the Jean-Talon metro station from 5 pm.

Details

What: The rally at 5 pm in from of the Jean-Talon metro station, the speeches and a demonstration in Petite-Partrie. The press briefing will be held at 5 pm at the rally.

When: Friday, April 15, 2016

Where: Jean-Talon metro station (Exit Jean-Talon South: rue Jean-Talon & Avenue de Chateaubriand)

Why : Campaign for raising minimum wage to $15 an hour

Research conducted in 2015 by the IRIS (Institut de recherché et d’information socio-économiques) confirms that a substantial raise of the minimum wage is necessary to lead a decent life. However, the government of Quebec proposes to raise the minimum wage only by 20 cents to reach $10.75 from May 2016. “This is not enough!”, according to Jasmin de la Calzada, of the Filipino Women’s Organization in Québec, PINAY.

According th the IRIS, more than 850,000 people live in poverty in Quebec. “Even a full-time job does not guarantee an escape from poverty, because of the growing low-wage jobs,” says Viviana Medina an organizer for the Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC).

In Canada, the average annual income of the top 100 CEOs reached $8,958,650 in 2014, estimates the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. From 1986 to 2009, the average income of the top 0.1% Canadians has increased by 135%, while the average income of the 90% from the bottom has increased only by 8%. Raising the minimum wage to $15 would contribute to reducing the inequalities and improving the situation of minimum wage earners and those earning close to the minimum wage, more than 450,000 workers in Quebec according to the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

The campaign for raising the minimum wage to $15 aims to improve labour standards through popular mobilization. “A minimum wage increase does not solve all workers’ problems, but it is a good start!”, explains Dominique Daigneault, president of the Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain (CCMM-CSN). Domique Daigneault adds that this demand gives a full sense to the word ‘solidarity’, because it leads us to fight for the most precarious people. For the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) “A guarantee of a dependable number of working hours, a reinforced application of work standards, and fair and just working conditions are legitimate demands.”

Since 2012, the campaign for $15 minimum wage has been gaining momentum throughout North America with New York state recently signing it into legislation while California makes moves to do the same.

Groups participating

15 plus, 15 & Fairness McGill, Association des travailleuses et travailleurs de l’agence de placement (ATTAP), Association des travailleuses et travailleurs étrangers temporaires (ATTET), Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now–Montreal section (ACORN), Communist League, Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain–CSN (CCMM-CNS), ÉtudiantEs socialiste of the UQAM (ES-UQAM), Ex-workers of the Sérigraphie Richford, Front de défense des non-syndiquéEs (FDNS), Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC), Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), MexicainEs unis pour la régularisation (MUR), Montreal Old-Port employees’ Union (PSAC) , PINAY (Filipino Women’s Organization in Québec), POPIR–Comité logement, School of Community & Public Affairs Students’ Association of Concordia University (SCPASA), Socialist Alternative

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For contact: Viviana Medina (IWC), 514-342-2111, iwc_cti@yahoo.com

Canada wide migrant worker coalition calls on Trudeau to MoVE for Real Change.

Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights – Canada

Media Release

October 27, 2015

IMMIGRANT WORKERS CENTRE

4755 Van Horne

Montreal, Quebec

10:00 AM

 

Canada wide migrant worker coalition calls on Trudeau to MoVE for Real Change.

 

Newly launched Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights – Canada calls for end to discrimination against migrant workers.


Canada – Migrant worker groups from across Canada are launching a historic coalition to call on Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to end the discriminatory practice of tying migrant workers to specific employers and transition towards permanent immigration status upon arrival for migrant workers. The Coalition for Migrant Workers Rights – Canada (CMWRC), is a coalition of organizations representing Canadian born and migrant worker groups from coast to coast to coast, aimed at improving work conditions for all workers. CMWRC is launching MoVE – a campaign for Mobility, Voice and Equality for Migrant Workers to call on Prime Minister Trudeau to keep his campaign promises to undo the harm done by the Harper government and to move towards a single-tier immigration system based on permanency and family reunification to ensure decent work for all.

Low-waged Temporary Foreign Workers, Caregivers and Seasonal Agricultural Workers come to Canada on work permits that restrict them to working for the specific employer listed on their permit. Changing employers is extremely difficult which allows bad bosses to lower salaries and work conditions. This creates pressure to reduce salaries and erode work conditions for all workers. A first step to ending this downward cycle is to untie the permits so workers have the ‘mobility’ to leave employers who exploit them. Next steps must move to reorient the system to secure, permanent immigration that protects ‘voice’ and ‘equality’ for workers.

 

“We are the only workers who are tied to employers, and can’t change jobs. We come here without immigration status and that puts us at a disadvantage. That’s not fair to us, it’s not fair to Canadian workers and it’s not fair to employers,” says G.T., a seasonal agricultural worker. “Mr. Trudeau has promised real change, and an immigration system that welcomes and values all of us and that means untied work permits and immigration status upon landing,” says Noe Arteaga, a former agricultural temporary foreign worker.
“Over the past decade, deep changes were made to Canada’s immigration system that bring migrant workers into the country with temporary status under conditions that predictably leave them vulnerable to exploitation by employers and recruiters,” says labour and human rights lawyer Fay Faraday. “Tied work permits, mandatory removal after four years and lack of pathways to permanent status drive real precariousness for migrant workers. There is an opportunity now for a fresh start to rebuild the system on principles of security, decent work and permanence.”

 

MoVE Demands

  • Regulatory changes to make it easier for migrant workers to move between jobs thereby improving working and living conditions for Canadian born and migrant workers. Specifically:
    • Transition from tied work permits to open work permits
    • Remove limits on work permits and restrictions on Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) including a 4-year time limit on workers ability to stay.
  • Permanent resident immigration status upon arrival for migrant workers.

 

WHO: Founding members of CMWRC:

 

  • Cooper Institute (PEI)
  • Migrant Workers Alliance for Change*
  • Migrante Canada
  • Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture (Okanagan Valley)
  • Temporary Foreign Workers Association in Quebec
  • Temporary Foreign Workers Coalition in Alberta
  • Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregiver Rights (Vancouver)

*Migrant Workers Alliance for Change includes Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (Toronto), Asian Community Aids Services (Ontario), Caregivers Action Centre (Ontario), Fuerza Puwersa (Guelph), Industrial Accident Victims’ Group of Ontario, Justicia for Migrant Workers (Ontario), KAIROS Canada, Legal Assistance of Windsor, Migrante Ontario, No One Is Illegal – Toronto, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Social Planning Toronto, UNIFOR (Canada), South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, United Food and Commercial Workers (Canada), Workers United and the Workers’ Action Centre (Toronto).

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Media Contacts:

 

Montreal – Enrique LLanes, Temporary Foreign Workers Association, 514-342-211

 attetquebec@gmail.com

http://migrantrights.ca/en/press/

FOREIGN WORKERS SEEK COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR APPLICATION FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY

Olymel foreign workers seek community support for application

for permanent residency

Olymel workers 2

TERREBONNE, QC ― A group of temporary foreign workers from Mauritius who work at the Olymel slaughterhouse in Saint-Esprit, Quebec, as well their supporters, are inviting their friends, community members and the press to hear their arguments as to why they should be allowed to stay in Quebec.

Before recent federal changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, industrial butchers were able to apply for the Programme de l’expérience Québécoise (PEQ). The province’s program allows “skilled” temporary foreign labourers to get a Quebec selection certificate after one year of skilled work experience and other requirements and then apply for permanent residency.

“We feel cheated,” explains Francisco Mootoo who entered the country in 2012 to work for Olymel. “We based all our sacrifices and hard work on the promise of establishing ourselves here and sponsoring our families to build a better life. Now, the federal government has decided that our work is no longer considered skilled.”

Past workers from Mauritius successfully granted permanent residency after working for Olymel for several years when they applied between 2011 and 2013. Changes at the federal level now considers “industrial butchers” as “non-skilled” making them ineligible to apply through Quebec’s PEQ. With the federal regulation of a four-year maximum stay in Canada imposed on temporary foreign workers, Mootoo and his co-workers will be asked to leave when their work permits expire.

“Franciso and his co-workers have been unjustly denied any pathway to permanent residency by the various levels of government,” says Enrique Llanes, a community organizer for the Immigrant Workers Centre and the coordinator for the Temporary Foreign Workers Association in Quebec a group helping to publicize the plight of the Mauritius workers.

“We are calling out the politicians on this one, from the federal and provincial levels.” Llanes adds. “They have to answer for this mess which is impacting the workers, and their community of supporters. We have to oppose the creation of disposable workers in Quebec and Canada. If they are good enough to work here, then they should be good enough to stay”

What:             Assembly at Parc Jardin Vitré,
Rue Saint Jean Baptiste, Terrebonne, QC, J6W 1E5 (corner Saint André)

 

When:            Thursday, September 17, at 11am

 

For information:

Enrique Llanes, Immigrant Workers Centre, (514) 546-9382, iwc_cti@yahoo.com

Riding to Saint-Rémi to Demand Justice for Temporary Migrant Farmworkers

Media Advisory

Justice on Wheels: Riding to Saint-Rémi to Demand Justice for Temporary Migrant Farmworkers

Saturday, 22 August
Press point and departure of bikes at 9:30am @ Black Rock, Bridge Street, Point St. Charles, Montreal
Departure of cars at noon @ Lasalle Metro, Montreal
Rally at 1pm @ 25, rue Saint-Sauveur, Saint-Rémi

A caravan of bikes and cars will travel from Montreal to Saint-Rémi on Saturday to rally in support of justice for Noé Arteaga and all temporary migrant farmworkers. Mexican and Guatemalan farmworkers – brought in seasonly to harvest Quebec crops for cheap – will be gathered in the rural town for a three-day festival sponsored by the Mexican and Guatemalan consulates.

The Justice for Noé committee is organizing the caravan and rally to demand compensation for Noé Arteaga and denounce the super-exploitation of migrant workers. Denied social benefits and systematically prevented from collective organizing, these workers heavily subsidize the Quebec food market and their labour provides a windfall to Quebec capital.

In 2009, Guatemalan farmworker Arteaga was fired and deported after attempting to organize a brief strike to insist that a fellow worker get medical care. After six years of effort, Arteaga finally won a labour rights case against his former employer, Savoura, only to be cheated out of compensation when the Quebec tomato giant declared bankruptcy.

Journalists are invited to a press point to send off the bike caravan at 9:30am at the Black Rock in Point St. Charles and to a rally in Saint-Rémi at 1pm.

Contact
514 342 2111