Sponsoring “The Hand That Feeds” Feb 11 at Just Film Festival

The BC Employment Standards Coalition, along with the BC Federation of Labour, is pleased to be co-sponsoring the screening of The Hand That Feeds as part of the Just Film Festival. It will be screened on Thursday, February 11th as the second film in a double-feature, with the first film beginning at 7pm. Tickets can be purchased here.

At a popular bakery café, residents of New York’s Upper East Side get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. Behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery and abusive managers who will fire them for calling in sick.

Risking deportation and job loss, the workers team up with innovative young organizers and form their own independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve. In one roller-coaster year, they must overcome a shocking betrayal and a two-month lockout. Lawyers battle in back rooms and workers walk the picket line with support from the “Occupy” crowd. If they can win a contract, it will set a historic precedent. But whatever happens, these workers will never be the same.

The BC Employment Standards Coalition will also be present for a Q&A after the film to share ideas about how the issues depicted in the film, which is situated in New York, relate to the local context in BC.

WCDWA Annual Post-Valentine’s Dinner & Dance Fundraiser Feb 20

12604933_529435833889574_156781708717972016_o The West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association, a member of the BC Employment Standards Coalition, is holding its Annual Post-Valentine’s Dinner & Dance Fundraiser on Saturday, February 20th at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Church at 3150 Ash Street. Tickets are $20 for former or current caregivers, and $25 for community members.

Because the WCDWA faced a large cut-back in funding last year, it needs your support now more than ever. If you are able to support the WCDWA by purchasing tickets, or soliciting sponsorships from organizations or businesses in your community, please let the organization know by calling 604-669-4482 or contacting at natalie(at)wcdwa.ca.

Thank you for your support!

New op-ed on MLA candidates and employment standards

 

Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator of First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.

Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator of First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.

David Fairey, labour economist, a research associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC Office, and Co-Chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition.

David Fairey, labour economist, a research associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC Office, and Co-Chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition.

In this week’s Province newspaper, BC Employment Standards Coalition members Adrienne Montani and David Fairey call on MLA candidates in the upcoming by-elections to clarify their parties’ positions on employment standards. They underscore the opportunity for immediate reform in three areas: minimum wages, child protections, and migrant worker rights and protections.

Read the full op-ed here.

 

 

New Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights calls for Trudeau to MoVE for Real Change

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Migrant worker groups from coast to coast have come together as a historic coalition to jointly advance migrant workers’ rights and working conditions. The new Coalition for Migrant Workers Rights – Canada (CMWRC) includes organizations from Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, PEI, and Quebec who represent Canadian-born and migrant worker groups.

The CMWRC has launched MoVE – a campaign for Mobility, Voice and Equality for Migrant Workers to call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act urgently and end tied work permits, enabling migrant workers to change employers when needed, and to move towards a single-tier immigration system based on permanency and family reunification to ensure decent work for all.

Low-wage migrant workers are generally restricted to working only for the individual employer listed on their permit. In practice, it is extremely difficult for migrant workers to change workplaces when they encounter problematic employers. This has the effect of dampening wages and working conditions down for all workers.

The MoVE campaign is calling on the new government to ensure the rights of all workers. Add your voice to their call: sign the CMWRC petition.

“We need to build a fair immigration system that values people, supports families and rejects divisiveness. That means justice and status for migrant workers. The time for change is now.” – CMWRC

New op-ed: Unjust treatment of farm workers should end

BC Employment Standards Coalition members Gurpreet Pabla and David Fairey published an opinion piece in the online version of The Province on the minimum piece-rate system for farm workers (separate wage rules apply to migrant farm workers hired under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program). You can read it here: Unjust treatment of farm workers should end. Their article was also published in the Georgia Straight. Thanks to the BC office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for assisting with the publication process.