Join us in Toronto on Saturday, March 9 for the International Women’s Day Rally and March where care workers will celebrate their recent win! After about 50 years of brave organizing against wage theft, long work hours, unpaid overtime, isolation in the homes where they work, and the exploitation that comes with being tied to only one employer, the government of Canada introduced a new caregiver pilot program on February 23. Care workers who arrive under this new program will get open permits within the caregiver sector, no longer tying them to one employer. They will also be able to bring their family members with them to Canada.
Those already in Canada who have at least one year of care work experience will have a short window of 3 months (March 4 – June 4) to apply for permanent residence through the Interim Pathway for Caregivers. Many workers are worried about being able to collect all the documents they need in order to apply in such a short timeframe. If you or someone you know is a care worker, please visit CaregiversActionCentre.org or sign up to attend the Caregiver Interim Pathway Info Session on Sunday, March 17, 12:00 – 4:00 PM for more information. Please register at firstname.lastname@example.org and bring the documents you have.
Some may wonder why the workers known as caregivers are now calling themselves care workers. The new name highlights the fact that taking care of other people’s loved ones—children, elderly parents, and family members with illnesses—is valuable, skilled work and they deserve fairness just like all other workers. Decent work is so important to the lives of these women and migrants of colour, and to the families they are forced to leave behind back home for years or even decades. Care workers demand Landed Status Now, which is the only way that they can access basic rights such as Employment Insurance.
Although the new caregiver pilot program is a significant victory for migrant women workers, these improvements still do not provide what care workers have been demanding since the 1970s. Permanent residency on arrival is what care workers and all migrants need in order to have meaningful protection at work and in our communities. Until migrants have landed status as soon as they arrive, there will be huge gaps in the system that leave them unprotected at work. This is why care workers will keep organizing until they win the protections and rights they need and deserve. We want decent work for everyone, so please sign the petition to show your support. If you are in Toronto this Saturday, join us in showing our collective power in support of care workers!