Ridout Barron


Report says Canada's migrant workers need more attention

According to a recent report, migrant workers may be overlooked in Canada. The report says they are forced to live like second-class citizens as they do very difficult work in harsh conditions. There are tens of thousands of these workers taking on jobs every year.

The report says that they are supposed to have the same employment rights as other Canadians, but they often don't see those rights properly observed in practice. A few examples of the claims in the report include the following:

-- Migrant workers cannot switch employers whenever they choose.-- Migrant workers have to pay into Employment Insurance, though they do not always get the full benefit that other workers get.-- Even though these workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals and pesticides, roughly half of them do not have the right equipment; this comes from a report by United Food and Commercial Workers.-- United Food and Commercial Workers also says that about 50 percent of these workers don't receive proper safety training.-- A lot of workers do not get time off if they are sick.-- Many workers have to keep doing their jobs even when injured.-- Workers are often required to put in overtime hours that go unpaid.-- A lot of workers don't feel that they can stand up for themselves or their rights because they think a boss may retaliate in some fashion.

The report claims that this issue needs more attention and that workers deserve better treatment. It helps to show just why it's so crucial for employees to know what rights they have in Alberta and what they can do to protect those rights.

Source: Waterloo Region Record, "Migrant workers deserve better," July 26, 2016

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