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Coalition calls for immigration status for migrant workers

Last Updated Oct 28, 2015 at 11:04 am PST

(Martin MacMahon, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The temporary foreign worker program as it exists needs to go, says a new group representing migrant workers.

The program restricts the movement of people who arrive in this country through it, by tying their ability to work to one specific employer.

This new group — the Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights, say that opens up these people to abuse.

Jane Ordinario is with the group calling on Justin Trudeau’s incoming Liberal government to end it for good.

“Canada needs to recommit itself to bringing permanent immigrants who have a path to citizenship, and farther on, nation building,” says Ordinario.

Labour groups are also playing a part, saying the temporary foreign worker program pushes down wages and erodes rights for all Canadian workers.

“The temporary foreign worker program has too often been used to drive down wages and benefits,” says BC Federation of Labour Irene Lanzinger. “Unfortunately we’ve seen some pretty egregious abuses of workers rights, including workers denied overtime pay, money deducted from paycheques, employers charging exorbitant and outrageous rents at the expense of workers.”

Ultimately, the group wants the Trudeau government to set up a “single-tier” immigration system that puts everybody on an equal footing when it comes to employment.