Temporary Foreign Worker program must be ended
in a manner that respects the rights of workers
EDMONTON – The moratorium on Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) in the food service sector is a first step towards ending the program, but something needs to be done to help TFWs who are already in the country. These workers are just as much victims of bad public policy as the Canadians who have been displaced by the program.
That’s the message that will be delivered by Alberta’s top labour leader and a leading migrant-workers advocate at a news conference this afternoon.
“The Harper government’s Temporary Foreign Worker program is a train wreck. It should be scrapped and the government should go back to the drawing board,” says Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “But thousands and thousands of foreign workers now face the prospect of deportation. Today, we want to present the government with a modest proposal: close off all low-wage streams of the TFW program going forward, but let the workers who are in Canada already stay – but let them stay as permanent residents and citizens as opposed to disposable, exploitable guest workers.”
At the news conference McGowan will explain how closing the low-wage stream of the TFW program will protect Canadian jobs and how granting permanent residency to foreign workers already here will uphold Canadian values.
McGowan will be joined by Marco Luciano, executive director of the migrant workers advocacy group, Migrante, Junniflor Magno, former Temporary Foreign Worker at KFC, as well as a number of Temporary Foreign Workers who will tell stories of mistreatment under the current TFW program and their hopes to stay in Canada as citizens.
1:30 p.m., Thursday, May 15, 2014
Alberta Federation of Labour offices, #300, 10408 - 124 Street, Edmonton
Gil McGowan, President, Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL)
Marco Luciano, Executive Director, Migrante
Junniflor Magno, former Temporary Foreign Worker at KFC
Olav Rokne, Communications Director, Alberta Federation of Labour at 780.289.6528 (cell)
or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org