Creative Action at Ministry of Labour: Make ’em pay to work!

Join us as we charge Ontario Ministry of Labour employees fees to go to work. Strange? Not at all. Migrant workers have to pay thousands of dollars to work in Ontario, and its legal. If recruiters can make a quick buck off migrant workers, we can make a quick buck off the people who allow it. All you need is suit and a tie. Show up bright and early on March 22nd, around 7:30 or so in the morning.

Please fill out this form so we can send you all the details (its the shortest job application you’ll ever do): http://bit.ly/FeesfromMoL

Still unsure? Don’t worry. Recruiters aren’t licensed in Ontario, so anyone can do it! What’s even better is that recruiters can’t be held liable for what happens at work. So if these Ministry of Labour employees boss turns on them, its no skin off your back.

By our guessestimation (its pretty hard to get the facts) at least half off Ontario’s 120,000 migrant workers are paying between $3,000 and $10,000 to unscrupulous recruiters*. That’s could be as high as 1.2 billion dollars a year. Imagine how much more money could be made by the rich if we started charging the non-migrant workers too. Its an untapped opportunity and we need to take matters in to our own hands.

With few real ways to get into Canada permanently, migrants are forced to pay recruiters to come to Canada on a temporary basis. To do so, entire families get into debt. Here. they pay in to E.I., and CPP, but face insurmountable barriers . Health and safety protections are non-existent. Documents are seized and bosses are often abusive. All of this is allowed by provincial and federal laws. We won’t be treating the Ministry of Labour employees that badly.

** This is the first of many actions, if you can’t make it to this one, please sign up at http://eepurl.com/vFCG1 to hear about future ones**

March 22nd is the three-year anniversary of the passing of the Employment Protections for Foreign National Act (Live-In Caregivers & Others) aka EPFNA. EPFNA banned recruiters fees and seizure of documents from live-in caregivers but left out seasonal agricultural workers, and those in the temporary foreign worker low skilled program. Not only that, EPFNA has not been fully implemented to adequately support live-in caregivers and requires key amendments to ensure that it actually works.

* Two-thirds of caregivers in a survey by Caregivers Action Centre who arrived after EPFNA was enforced paid fees, averaging $3275. Filipino workers that MWAC organizations come in to contact with report paying a base fees of $5,000 while Thai workers report paying a base fees of $10,000.

www.migrantworkersalliance.org | www.facebook.com/MigrantWorkersAlliance | coordinator@migrantworkersalliance.org

Equal Pay for Equal Work! Call for Action. Rally against migrant worker wage cuts!

The Conservative government has given employers in Canada more rein to exploit migrants. Employers can now pay migrant workers 15% below the average wage. This is an outrage! To discriminate on wages simply on the basis of nationality is unfair. Considering that most migrant workers are people of colour, this wage cut is simply racist.

The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, a community-labour alliance of over 40 organizations, will be demonstrating at MP Joe Oliver (Cabinet Minister for Toronto)’s office on May 24th.

11am, May 24, 2012
Outside MP Joe Oliver’s Office
511 Lawrence Avenue West

We are also calling for pickets and demonstrations at Conservative MP offices across Ontario on Thursday, May 24, 2012. If you can organize an action at ANY Tory MP office, please get in touch. Here are some locations we have identified where the Conservatives are susceptible to pressure.

MP Jay Aspin: Nipissing-Timiskaming (Won May 2011 election by a margin of 0.04%)
MP Ted Opitz: Etobicoke Centre (Won May 2011 election by a margin of 0.05%)
MP Bal Gosal: Bramalea-Gore-Malton (Won May 2011 election by a margin of 0.93%)
MP Wladyslaw Lizon: Mississauga East –Cooksville (Won May 2011 election by a margin of 1.44%)
MP Corneliu Chisu: Pickering-Scarborough East (Won May 2011 election by a margin of 2.52%)
MP Peter Braid: Kitchener (Won May 2011 election by a margin of 3.24%)
MP Chris Alexander: Ajax-Pickering (Won May 2011 election by a margin of 5.74%)
MP Kyle Seeback: Brampton West (Won May 2011 election by a margin of 9.78%)
MP Diane Finley: Haldimand-Norfolk (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development)

Can you help organize an action in your community either at these offices or another one? If so, please email mwalliance4change@gmail.com by Monday, May 21, 2012. We can provide call-outs, draft press releases as well as support for visuals.

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change’s demands:
– A RIGHT TO LANDING STATUS be granted upon arrival for migrant workers. They must not be tied to one employer, be required to live in their employer’s home, or be subject to further medical examination;
– A RIGHT TO EQUAL ACCESS for all social programs, including Employment Insurance, health care, settlement services, social services and Workers’ Compensation;
– A RIGHT TO A FAIR APPEAL PROCESS for migrant workers prior to a pre-removal order, and a stop to deportations until this process is in place;
– A RIGHT TO FULL PROTECTION UNDER THE PROVINCIAL EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT AND REGULATIONS currently enjoyed by Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents, including NO FEES for any work placement.
– Immediately implement a NATIONAL REGULARIZATION PROGRAM granting permanent immigration status for all non-residents living in Canada.

Vigil: Celebrate Migrant Workers on December 18th

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change invites you to
Vigil: Celebrate Migrant Workers
http://www.facebook.com/events/302043009829811

5pm, December 18, 2011

Chinese Railway Workers’ Memorial (Map: http://bit.ly/vfFAmk)

Flowers, food, fruits and wine are the markers of the holiday season – grown, packaged, shipped, cooked by migrant workers across this country. As people begin to plan festivities, the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, is calling on migrant workers, undocumented people and their allies to join us at the Chinese Railway Workers` Memorial at 5pm in a vigil of somber reflection and to reiterate the need for immediate, urgent action to ensure justice, dignity and status for all migrants.

We demand: 

* A right to landing status be granted upon arrival for migrant workers. They must not be tied to one employer, be required to live in their employer’s home, or be subject to further medical examination;

* A right to equal access for all social programs, including Employment Insurance, health care, settlement services and social services;

* A right to a fair appeal process for migrant workers prior to a pre-removal order, and a stop to deportations until this process is in place;

* A right to full protection for all migrants under all provincial laws, including the Employment Standards Act, Health and Safety laws and WSIB, and including no fees for any work placement.

* Immediately implement a national regularization programs granting permanent immigration status for all non-residents living in Canada.

On December 18, 2011, migrant and their allies around the world will come together on factory floors, in farm fields, in hotels and construction sites, and on the streets to commemorate and celebrate the struggles of migrant workers on the Global Day of Action Against Racism, And for the Rights of Migrants, Refugees and Displaced People (http://globalmigrantsaction.org/) – Join us in Toronto!

More people are entering the Canadian labour force as temporary workers today then people entering Canada as permanent residents. Temporariness is also being instituted in the family sponsorship class, for parents and grandparents and within the refugee system. This means that migrants, often people of color, are being forced to work in sub-standard conditions, being used and abused by employers and corporations and sometimes having to make the difficult decision between living in the country without immigration status or being pushed out from communities and employment in the country. In spite of this, migrant workers continue to organize, to resist, and fight back. Join us on December 18, to continue this struggle.

Note: Migrant Workers Alliance for Change will also be doing leafletting and flyering at 3pm at Yonge & Dundas Square.

Resisting Precarity Forum

Resisting Precarity: An Immigration-Labour Policy Forum.
Introducing the Migrant Workers-Alliance for Change.

June 1, 2011
10am – 12:30pm
280 POD, Jorgenson Hall, Ryerson University
380 Victoria Street

Please register by: http://bit.ly/ResistingPrecarityMWAC

Join us at this forum to find out about the work and campaigns of the Migrant Workers’ Alliance for Change.

Find out about new fact sheets and resources for community agencies working with migrant worker populations.

Help strategize around winning protections for migrant workers and organizing against immigration policy based on temporary work and increased precarity in the context of a newly elected Harper majority.