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,


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