United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada, one of the North American nation’s unions for temporary and migrant foreign workers, has asked the Canadian government to replace the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) with an inclusive immigration system, allowing migrant workers to be provided with the choice to settle permanently in Canada.
Titled ‘A New Vision for a Sustainable Immigration System’, this submission was made by UFCW Canada on 1 June to the Human Resources, Skills and Social Development (HUMA) and the Status of Persons with Disabilities committee hearing in Ottawa, the capital of Canada.
It called on the government to provide migrant workers access to permanent immigration status, if possible, upon arrival in the country, to cut down the exploitative quality of the TFWP; arrange equal access for TFWP and migrant workers to Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance benefits; halt company-specific work permits that can link a worker to an offensive employer; and provide purposeful legal entry to temporary overseas workers to unionise without any threat of retaliation.
UFCW Canada’s National President, Paul Meinema, said that the Canada of yore was built by immigrants; therefore, migrant workers even now merit opportunities on par with workers of those times in Canada. Not being eligible for permanent immigration status will make people under TFWP susceptible to abuse, added Meinema.
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