Migrant workers demand the right to be with their families on Family Day

As part of Justicia for Migrant Workers’ Harvesting Freedom campaign to mark the 50th anniversary of Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, migrant workers and allies recently visited Immigration Minister John McCallum’s office in Markham, Ontario. They are calling on the Liberal government to include the reunification of migrant workers and their families as part of its family reunification policy, and for permanent immigration status and associated rights upon migrant workers’ arrival in Canada.

Supporters can learn more and sign the Harvesting Freedom petition here.

On the eve of Ontario’s Family Day long weekend on February 12th, migrant workers assembled photos of their children on a large broken heart. They urged the Immigration Minister not to let another Family Day pass in which migrant workers could not be with their partners and children.

copy-of-harvesting-freedom-12-feb-3-of-46copy-of-harvesting-freedom-12-feb-37-of-46copy-of-harvesting-freedom-12-feb-29-of-46copy-of-harvesting-freedom-12-feb-44-of-46

Critics argue BC’s minimum wage increase is too low

David Fairey, Co-Chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition, was quoted in an article in the Georgia Straight on BC’s proposed minimum wage increase. Jobs Minister Shirley Bond is expected to announce this month that in September, the province will raise the minimum wage to $10.65/hour. Fairey has argued that the increase is inadequate, and would still leave the baseline for future Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustments too low.

The province’s imminent minimum wage announcement comes on the heels of a Freedom of Information Request by the Georgia Straight revealing that the BC government had been aware of faulty information guiding its increase in minimum wage in September, 2015. The province had initially intended to move BC to the middle of minimum wages relative to other provinces last year, but ended up leaving it close to the bottom of the barrel. However, once the government became aware of its error, documents show that it failed to correct or reveal this mistake to the public.

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.

 

 

Fight for $15 BBQ & Leafleting August 15th

Join members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) for a BBQ and leafleting event on Saturday, August 15th. They will start the day at 10:30am leafletting the Templeton SkyTrain in Richmond, followed by a BBQ lunch at 11am. Attendees will then head over to the new McArthur Glen Outlet Mall for further leafletting. For more information, see the Facebook event and Fight for 15 BC website.

fight for 15 bbq templeton skytrain station

 

 

 

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.