Canada’s unions release migrant worker video to mark Human Rights Day

To mark Human Rights Day, Canada’s unions released a new video to raise awareness of the human rights issues faced by migrant workers in our country.

The video tells the story of an agricultural worker who must leave her home and family behind to work long hours in isolated and dangerous conditions – a situation faced by many migrants entering through Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). It asks Canadians to take a minute to think about the migrant workers who harvest our food, care for our children and elderly relatives, and perform many other jobs in our communities.

Migrant workers come to Canada with a hope of earning a better future for themselves and their families. They pay income taxes, and contribute to EI and CPP. But those coming through the TFWP – 91,211 people in 2015 – do not receive the same rights or protections as other workers in Canada.

Canada’s unions believe that no matter where you’re from, if you work in Canada, you should be treated fairly. In collaboration with migrant worker organizations, unions support programs that educate and empower migrant workers. They also advocate for policy change.

A fair future for migrant workers must include:

  • A pathway to permanent resident status for all migrant workers who want to stay in Canada;
  • Legislation to protect migrant workers’ human and labour rights, including the right to join a union;
  • A system to enforce those rights and prevent exploitation; and
  • Empowerment through access to justice, services and information.

To learn more about how unions support migrant workers’ rights, visit: http://www.fairnessworks.ca/migrant-workers/