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Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights – Canada calls for end to discrimination against migrant workers

News Release

Newly launched Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights – Canada calls for end to discrimination against migrant workers

Migrant worker groups from across Canada are launching a historic coalition to call on Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to end the discriminatory practice of tying migrant workers to specific employers and transition towards permanent immigration status upon arrival for migrant workers.

The Coalition for Migrant Workers Rights – Canada (CMWRC), is a coalition of organizations representing Canadian born and migrant worker groups from coast to coast to coast, aimed at improving work conditions for all workers. CMWRC is launching MoVE – a campaign for Mobility, Voice and Equality for Migrant Workers to call on Prime Minister Trudeau to keep his campaign promises to undo the harm done by the Harper government and to move towards a single-tier immigration system based on permanency and family reunification to ensure decent work for all.

Low-waged Temporary Foreign Workers, Caregivers and Seasonal Agricultural Workers come to Canada on work permits that restrict them to working for the specific employer listed on their permit. Changing employers is extremely difficult which allows bad bosses to lower salaries and work conditions. This creates pressure to reduce salaries and erode work conditions for all workers. A first step to ending this downward cycle is to untie the permits so workers have the ‘mobility’ to leave employers who exploit them. Next steps must move to reorient the system to secure, permanent immigration that protects ‘voice’ and ‘equality’ for workers.

MoVE Demands

ü  Regulatory changes to make it easier for migrant workers to move between jobs thereby improving working and living conditions for Canadian born and migrant workers. Specifically:

o   Transition from tied work permits to open work permits

o   Remove limits on work permits and restrictions on Labour Market Impact

ü  Assessments (LMIA) including a 4-year time limit on workers ability to stay. Permanent resident immigration status upon arrival for migrant workers.

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