Abuse of temporary foreign workers

No one doubts the fact that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been an extremely important source of labour, in order to meet their labour needs and requirements.

Over the past decade the numbers have kept on rising, it has even reached to a record/humongous number exceeding 250,000 Temporary Foreign Worker’s per year/annually on Work Permits!

With this huge influx of workers, potential violations and abuse of the law by Employers is an ongoing issue/topic that has left many foreign workers wondering whether change by the government is imminent.

Sadly but true, in certain instances/situations the foreign worker continues to be completely at the mercy of the Employer. Employers in Canada have successfully managed to use such a Temporary Foreign Worker Program to their benefit and advantage, by hiring/bringing foreign workers by paying them less in comparison with Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The problem with this system is that it can only be defined with one/single word which is “exploitative”. Tragic/sad stories about stripping the rights of workers in Canada, abuse and the tendency to exploit is always on some of the Employer’s agenda!

For the employer it’s simply money making exercise whereby all what they care or concerns them is ‘Cash’! As far as the aggrieved/exploited Temporary Foreign Worker; for them work/employment is their “bread and butter” being their only and main source of income; whereby some have been willing to put up and accept such intolerable abuse/exploitation just to survive and even feed their families whether in Canada or abroad.

Some have criticized the Temporary Foreign Worker Program by calling it a ‘despicable’ program that should be stopped.

So the question that needs to be asked is what the government’s stance/standpoint is or to rephrase what is the federal government  doing about all this?

As of the 1st of April 2011, offers of employment will be scrutinized and strictly evaluated/assessed whereby immigration officers shall have the full and complete authority/discretion to ensure and confirm whether the terms of employment offered to every foreign worker in the two  years preceding the application has been met with respect to working conditions/wage and occupation. This simply means if an Employer has failed to comply with the provinces labour standards then he/she should think ‘twice’ prior to hiring a foreign worker!

Moreover if an Employer is found in breach/violation of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program the Employer in question will be put on a list of ineligible Employers and that specific list will be published on the external website of Canadian’s Immigration!

So to reiterate; the Employer will need/have to think twice prior to hiring a Temporary Foreign Worker, compliance with the new regulations is mandatory, the federal government will  no longer accept abuse or exploitation pertaining to any TFW in Canada. Employers are expected to meet their commitments and to respect t the rights and needs of any worker in Canada, from now on Temporary Foreign workers shall no longer be subject to such vituperative actions by Employers.

Ahmad AlAzem
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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