Sunday, 25 November 2007

Temporary Labour or Disposable Workers?

"Foreign labourers are brought to the tar sands, but are easily sent home"

Here is an excellent article by Tim Murphy which further exposes the exploitation of workers through the Government sponsored Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

This is a source of terrible embarassment. These types of programs will cause serious damage to Canada's reputation around the globe if we don't start paying attention to ensuring workers rights are respected and protected.
"It's a litany of horror stories that almost smack of servitude. They [the workers] are artificially subdued because the threat of being sent back is always hanging over their heads and so the complaints part of the process is largely silent." - Don MacNeil, CEP


Richard_Cranium said...

Tim ought to spend a bit of time in a country like China. No matter how badly he thinks they are treated in the oil sand business, it is still a billion or so times better for them than being in China working for a nickel an hour for 18 hours a day in a sweat shop. I suppose it is a relativity thing.

Larry Hubich said...

That's not the point. We don't treat workers that way in Canada.

And we shouldn't be treating Temporary Foreign Workers worse than everybody else, just because it's better than what they are used to.

What, the measuring stick is becoming this: "Our sweatshops are better than their sweatshops - so it's all good"??

Richard_Cranium said...

I think that ANY one who comes here on a company sponsored work visa runs the same risk of being sent back if the work ends. That is simply a fact of our immigration and foreign labor laws. Whether they are terminated, or the company ceases to function, same result.

Larry Hubich said...

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is not immigration. It is government sanctioned and government supported legalized worker exploitation.

It has been used by corporate agriculture to rip off workers and provide cheap labour for many years now - under the title of "seasonal agricultural worker program".

The concept is being expanded and extended to other sectors. These aren't "seasonal jobs" nor are they short term. It's just like some of the other short-sighted concepts that employers have engaged in to their own detriment. Like hiring somebody "casual" or "temporary" and keeping them in that phony designation for 15 or more years.

Then they complain about problems with recruitment and retention, and the fact that there is no longer any "employee loyalty". DUH!