Posts Tagged ‘TFWP’

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/

 

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

REPARATIONS FOR NOÉ

Reparations for Noé, Justice for Migrant Workers!

https://www.facebook.com/events/702832409862282/

Rally
Sunday, 19 July at 2pm
corner of Queen Mary and Côte des neiges (in the park)

Fundraiser (indiegogo)
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/justice-pour-noe-et-tous-les-travailleurs-migrants#/story

Our comrade and friend Noé Arteaga Santos has struggled for almost 7 years to get justice from Savoura, his former employer. Savoura is a Quebec-based tomato producer which relies on the labour of temporary migrant workers.

Noé came to Quebec in 2008 under the Temporary Foreign Workers programme, to work picking tomatoes for Savoura. After Noé participated in the organization of a very short strike to demand that a sick co-worker receive medical care, Savoura abruptly fired him. Noé was then forced to return to Guatemala.

Returning to Canada, Noé brought a human rights complaint against Savoura. More than six years later, the tribunal decided in his favour: Savoura fired Noé without just and sufficient cause. Moreover, Savoura contravened articles 10 and 16 of the Charter of rights and freedoms, discriminating against its workers on the basis of their ethnic origin and language (read the entire decision here: http://canlii.ca/t/gfqbm).

This constitutes a huge victory, not only for Noé but for all temporary migrant workers and all farm workers, almost invisible in our society. Working in precarious conditions, often exploited by their employers, they provide us with food.

However, in spring 2015, before an agreement on compensation for Noé was reached, Savoura declared bankruptcy. However, the Savoura label continues.

We are launching a compaign in solidarity with Noé and all temporary migrant workers, to demand that Savoura and the Quebec Minister of Labour, Sam Hamad, assume their responsibilities in this affair and that they end the exploitation of migrant workers.

——————-
Justice for Noé Committee
supported by Immigrant Workers Centre, Mexicans United for Regularization, Solidarity Across Borders, le Comité pour les droits humaines en Amérique latineObservatoire critique de droits humains des immigrants et immigrantes and the Industrial Workers of the World

Reparations for Noé, Justice for Migrant Workers!


 

Reparations for Noé, Justice for Migrant Workers!

Our comrade and friend Noé Arteaga Santos has struggled for almost 7 years to get justice from Savoura, his former employer. Savoura is a Quebec-based tomato producer which relies on the labour of temporary migrant workers.

Noé came to Quebec in 2008 under the Temporary Foreign Workers programme, to work picking tomatoes for Savoura. Savoura abruptly terminated his contract and asked the Guatemalan consulate to intervene. The consulate forced him to return to Guatemala before the end of his contract. The role that he played in organizing a very short strike to demand that a sick co-worker receive medical care seems to have been the main reason he was deported.

With enormous courage and persistance, this migrant worker returned to Quebec and brought a human rights complaint against Savoura. More than six years later, the tribunal decided in his favour: Savoura fired Noé without just and sufficient cause. Moreover, Savoura contravened articles 10 and 16 of the Charter of rights and freedoms, discriminating against its workers on the basis of their ethnic origin and language (read the entire decision here: http://canlii.ca/t/gfqbm). This constitutes a huge victory, not only for Noé but for all temporary migrant workers and all farm workers, almost invisible in our society. Working in precarious conditions, often exploited by their employers, they provide us with food.

However, before an agreement on compensation for Noé was reached, Savoura declared bankruptcy.

We are now asking: WHO WILL PAY?

We are launching a compaign in solidarity with Noé and all temporary migrant workers, to demand that Savoura and the Quebec Minister of Labour assume their responsibilities in this affair.

We realize that, realistically, it is going to be a long time before the State and Capital agree to make reparations and stop exploiting workers … In the meantime, we are turning towards you, members of our communities, to ask for your support and solidarity, to provide the compensation due to him.

We are aiming for $50,000. This is the amount identified by Noé as damages in negotiations with Savoura. It is a calculated on the basis of $10,000 lost salary per year for five years. The money we gather will be used to reimburse Noé for previous costs in his campaign (airplane ticket for his deportation and return to Quebec, administrative legal fees, travel costs, etc.) as well as future leg

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/justice-pour-noe-et-tous-les-travailleurs-migrants/x/8421381#/story

GUATEMALAN INDEPENDENCE DAY: NOTHING TO CELEBRATE FOR AGRICULTURAL WORKERS

Media Advisory

Guatemalan Independence Day: Nothing to Celebrate for Agricultural Workers

We continue marginalized, exploited, and excluded through Quebec’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)

Press conference
Monday, September 15th, 10am
4755 Van Horne Avenue, office 110

Noe Arteaga
Noé Arteaga, ex-foreign agricultural worker from Guatemala at “Savoura” and volunteer at the Immigrant Workers Centre

The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, are governed byagreements such as the one between Canada and Guatemala. These programs are questioned by academics, activists, and human rights and grassroots organizations due to their systematic violation of human rights. Migrant workers are vulnerable because of their migrant status and the lack of labour regulations. Labour deregulation increases the labour precarity. Labour precarity is increasing not only among temporary migrant workers, but among all immigrant workers as well as Canadian citizens.

Media coverage of Noé Arteaga’s case brought visibility and knowledge of the unfair labour conditions and rights violations that occur within the SAWP. It also called attention to the lack of regulation of employers and recruitment agencies. Noé’s case demonstrated that the problem is not a few “bad apples” – as officials try to make out – but a structural problem in the programs themselves.

Noé Arteaga worked for the agricultural enterprise Savoura. This enterprise fired him in 2008 when he complained about injustices in the workplace and labour conditions. Noé returned to Montreal in 2009 to start legal action against Savoura because of the unjustified dismissal. The action against the SAWP was without legal precedent in Quebec and was an important step to regaining the dignity and rights of temporary agricultural foreign workers. Noé Arteaga demanded reintegration into work, payment of supplementary work hours, a refund of the airline ticket he paid to return to Guatemala when he was fired, and a public apology from the enterprise.

After more than five years, and despite a hunger-strike waged by Noé, the legal action has yet to produce any results. The undue length of the legal process highlights the vulnerability of foreign workers to abuse and exploitation. The difficulties that foreign workers face in seeking justice means that employers can abuse these workers with impunity. Many suffer these violations of their fundamental labour and human rights without any pathway to permanent residency.

contact 438-985-5399

Source :

Temporary Foreign Workers Association
http://iwc-cti.org /attet/
Tél. 514-342-2111
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PRESS CONFERENCE TO UNMASK BILL 8

20130714-0168© Photo: Victor Vargas Villafuerte .

When: Sunday 20th July at 3:00 pm
Where: Main entrance of the Oratoire Saint-Joseph, 3800, Queen Mary Road (metro Côte-des-Neiges), Montréal (Québec).
Who: Noé Arteaga, ex-temporary foreign worker and member of the Immigrant Workers Centre of Montreal.

This Sunday 20th July, Noe Arteaga will hold a press conference about Bill 8 which makes certain amendments to the Labour Code of Quebec (Chapter C-27). Organizations that defend human rights, labour rights, and immigrant and migrant workers should be deeply worried about these modifications because they exclude from legislation the ability of agricultural temporary foreign workers to unionize and to defend their rights in front of employers. “It is about a gradual increase of the private sphere of labour relationships, then giving more power to agricultural employers and adding more vulnerability to workers,” says Arteaga. These amendments are specifically applicable to workers of “farming business” that ordinary and continuously employ fewer than three workers. This Bill was presented in the context of the upheaval of the end of the parliamentary session of the last government, and it is not receiving enough attention from media, public opinion, unions, employers, employees, and the government. The modifications this Bill proposes infringe on the rights of agricultural workers whose great portion includes temporary foreign workers.

According to the proposed modifications by Bill 8, the dispositions of sections 2 and 3 of the Chapter II, and also, the Chapters III to V of the Labour Code will note be applicable to workers of farming business with fewer than three employees (Section 111.27). In that way, this measure excludes these workers from the legislation that regulates the unionizing and organizing processes of agricultural workers. The organizing and unionizing is an elemental and basic right of any worker, as much as the setting of collective agreements that legally ensure the respect of employers to basic rights of workers. As well, the proposed section 111.28 says the employer must give an association of employees of the farming business a reasonable opportunity to make representations about the conditions of employment of its members. Besides the ambiguity of terms as “reasonable opportunity”, in practice this section means workers shall not have the option to dialogue and negotiate with their employers about issues of wages, social security, neither they have right to strike. This will happen because the representation of workers will be excluded from the legislation that certifies their association. In this way their rights to exert political and collective pressure in front of the abuses of employers, and in front of the system that exploits them, are taken out of legislation.

The Temporary Foreign Workers Programs have been questioned since a long time ago because the systematic infringement of human and labour rights that migrant workers suffer. This situation takes place due to the combination of factors derived from their migrant status and location, and the labour de-regulation. This problem tends to increase labour precariousness, also spreading among the same Canadian citizens.