International Migrants Day
Today is International Migrants Day. While we salute and celebrate the contribution of hundreds of thousands of workers worldwide, KAIROS is saddened and concerned about a series of changes over the past year, which reduce migrant workers’ rights. As a result many migrant workers in Canada are worse off than they were a year ago.
KAIROS and our community partners have deep concerns about the treatment of migrant workers as disposable, short-term labour with fewer rights and protections than Canadian workers.
The “temporary” status renders migrant workers in Canada vulnerable to exploitation and abuse as a result of restrictions on their work permits. Thousands of workers classified as “low-skilled” migrant workers, yet performing hard labour vital to our economy, still don’t have access to permanent residence.
As of December 9, 2012, the parental and maternity Employment Insurance benefits (EI) migrant workers had were stripped away, despite the fact that these workers and their employers contribute as much as $303 million annually into Canada’s Employment Insurance system.
We call the KAIROS community to please take a minute and get in touch with HRSDC Minister Ms. Diane Finley to express your opposition over how migrant workers are treated in Canada; request that the EI benefits be restored and emphasize that the solution is to expand access to EI benefits for all workers including migrant workers rather than to exclude categories of workers from our EI system.
Please let us know what action you will take.
Alfredo Barahona, Migrant and Indigenous Rights Program Coordinator
1-877- 403-8933 ext. 251 or 419-463-5312 ext. 251
Minister Finley’s contact details are as follows: