A ground-breaking new report on migrant worker recruitment abuses was released this week by the Metcalf Foundation. The report, written by lawyer Fay Faraday, calls for stronger protections for migrant workers against recruitment fees.
The report outlines how migrant workers pay thousands of dollars to work in Canada and illustrates how our current laws are not working to stop recruiter and employer abuses.
Workers who are protected under current laws are falling through the cracks. The Caregivers Action Centre has documented that two-thirds of caregivers surveyed had paid fees since the new law came into effect. Farmworkers and other migrant workers have no protection at all, yet are paying fees of up to $12,000 to come and work in Canada. The report highlights what we have seen on the ground through our work at the Workers’ Action Centre – workers are very reluctant to speak up about workplace abuses when their entire families have gone into debt to pay recruitment fees.
The report echoes the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change’s (MWAC) call for the overhaul of the proposed Ontario Immigration Act (Bill 161) and the passing of Bill 146 with amendments.
The report documents how other provinces are taking a lead to make sure migrant workers are protected with comprehensive recruiter licensing, public employer and recruiter registries, joint and several liability and proactive enforcement measures. Ontario should follow these best practices – its time to ban recruitment fees for all workers in Ontario and bring in protection that actually works for migrant workers.
Support Decent Work, Decent Lives. Tell your MPPs to support minimum-wage, temp, unionized and migrant workers. Sign the petition: www.decentworkdecentlives.ca