Do you ever think about who picks the local vegetables you eat or who is taking care of some children in our neighbourhoods or who is working at the many construction sites around town?
A great number of these positions are filled by migrant workers who come to Canada on what’s called a Closed Work Permit. These temporary foreign workers come from many countries, including Philippines, Mexico, and India. Unlike skilled workers or students, they face some unique challenges because of the limitations of a Closed Work Permit here in Canada. Their permit requires that they work in a specific job with a specific employer. This means they cannot change jobs, regardless of how they are being treated without having to apply for a new permit to stay in Canada.
Too many Temporary Foreign Workers face challenges as a result of:
- Linguistic barriers that limit their understanding or ability to communicate
- Being isolated in the home where they are employed, or a rural environment
- Unaware of their rights and how they can seek help
Migrant workers often work in constant fear of losing their job or being deported. As a result, many people must find ways to cope with workplace misunderstandings, physical, financial, psychological or even sexual abuse.
For these reasons, ICA is part of a new province wide pilot program which provides support to this vulnerable group. We are connecting with migrant workers and employers that hire migrant workers through community outreach, events, and partnerships. We are providing information to help Temporary Foreign Workers know their rights and to resolve conflicts they have in the workplace or help them get a new job (and a new permit to stay in Canada).
Canada relies on the skills of migrant workers and we want to ensure that workers are supported while they are in our community.
Here are ICA’s upcoming events for temporary foreign workers and their employers:
- November 30 and December 15 – Lunch and Learn for all Temporary Foreign workers
- December 7 – Christmas dinner for Filipino Caregivers
- December 17 – Employment Standards workshop for employers hiring Temporary Foreign Workers
For more information or to sign up for one of these events, please contact Vani Vijay at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250.388.4728 Ext. 181
Note: ICA is a sub-contact to this MOSAIC-funded project through the Temporary Foreign Workers Migrant Support Network.