Migrant worker laws being debated in the legislature.
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Bill 18 & Migrant Workers
Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act just passed second reading. That means it’s going to now be looked at closely in the General Government committee by this group of elected MPPs (Member of Provincial Parliament).
Moving at an unusually fast pace, the committee will hear presentations from the public on Thursday (Oct. 30), and the Bill is expected to go to third and final reading on November 3rd.
If it passes, here’s how Bill 18 will change the working lives of migrant workers in Ontario:
  • Employers and recruiters will be prohibited from charging fees, recruitment and placement costs from migrant workers;
  • Employers and recruiters would be prohibited from seizing worker’s passports, work permits or other papers;
  • Workers will be able to file wage theft claims against employers for up to two years
  • There will be no arbitrary $10,000 limit on the amount of unpaid wages workers are allowed to get back;
  • Client companies and temp agency will be jointly responsible for paying workers’ unpaid wages and overtime pay.
On Thursday, our member organizations will be at Queen’s Park in Ontario calling for some important amendments to Bill 18 to ensure maximum protections workers. Download our backgrounder on changes we are demanding.  
Migrant Workers Speaking Tour, Nov 10-16, 2014 
Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers

You’ve heard a lot about Temporary Foreign Workers, now come hear from them!  Join 3 migrant workers – a Live-In Caregiver, a Farmworker, and a Restaurant worker – to learn about their struggles, their rights, and the laws that impact them. Lets fight together to build strong, healthy communities for all of us. Get more info and RSVP here.

WINDSOR – Mon / Nov 10 - 6PM - 1855 Turner Road

LONDON – Tue / Nov 11 – 7PM - Vitali Student Lounge at King’s College
PETERBOROUGH – Wed / Nov 12 - 730PM - Market Hall, 140 Charlotte
HAMILTON – Thu / Nov 13 – 6PM - 267 King Street East, Volunteer Hamilton
GUELPH – Sat / Nov 15 – 1PM - UC 103 at University of Guelph
TORONTO – Sun / Nov 16 – 3PM - Beit Zatoun, 712 Markham Street.
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But migrant workers need and deserve much more. We need a massive Ontario wide movement to create real change. We need you to make that happen. Get in touch with us, and come to one of our speaking events to join us in demanding: 

Recruiters should be licensed, employers should be registered, they should be jointly and severally liable and the provinces and federal government should work together – and with workers’ home governments – to make sure that protection is effective across all borders. 

All workers should be entitled to minimum wage, overtime and other statutory protections. They should be able to enforce these rights after their contracts are done, so five years – not just two.
Everyone must be included in the “universal healthcare” system; farm workers need strong health and safety protection at work; caregivers must be included in occupational health and safety laws; the WSIB must give injured migrant workers the choice and means to stay in Ontario for health care and they must end “deeming” of workers who are abroad.

Migrant workers often live at or near their workplaces. They deserve decent housing and this requires regulation, inspection, enforcement, and viable alternatives. 

Migrant workers should be able to make complaints against an employer without fear.  To have a stronger voice at work, migrant workers need the Ministry of Labour to put more resources into proactive enforcement of their rights and to allow third party complaints.  Migrant workers should have the right to unionize, to change employers and stay in the country when they come forward about a violation.
The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change includes Alliance of South Asian Aid Prevention, Asian Community Aids Services, Caregivers Action Centre, Industrial Accident Victims’ Group of Ontario, Justicia for Migrant Workers, KAIROS, Legal Assistance of Windsor, Migrante Ontario, No One Is Illegal – Toronto, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Social Planning Toronto, South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, Unifor, United Food and Commercial Workers and the Workers’ Action Centre.
Copyright © 2014 Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, All rights reserved.

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