Recruitment agencies in the Philippines continue to take advantage of temporary workers by collecting fees from them to be able to work in Canada, ABS CBN reports.
“I didn’t know that there is also a violation when you have to pay for an agency.” Said one temporary worker, Choy Sales.
Sales paid US$6,000 to a recruitment agency in Manila just to get a restaurant job in Canada. Upon his arrival, Sales realized it is illegal for agencies to collect fees from incoming workers under Canada’s law.
Aside from the fees, Sales also paid for his plane ticket to Vancouver, not knowing that his temporary work contract requires his employers to provide him a round-trip ticket.
However, when he raised the matter with his manager, Sales lost his job. Sales is now fighting his case with the help of legal aide provided by Service Canada. Since his work permit remains valid, he is also trying to find another job.
Sales’ case is just one of the many problems temporary workers are facing in different parts of Canada today.
Workshops about temporary foreign workers’ programs are becoming more common as different advocacy groups, like Mosaic, see the increasing need for awareness on temporary workers rights.
“Unfortunately, many of the workers shared the information with us but wouldn’t be willing to share the information in public. They wouldn’t want to endanger their working status. If they are vocal with the violations, their employer would not be willing to submit the sponsorship. They wouldn’t sponsor them and again at the end of their contract, they may not renew their contract,” said Saleem Spindari of Mosaic.
A number of Filipino workers here are also speaking out to remind kababayans to read contracts and do research first before taking temporary work in Canada. Source: ABS CBN Balitang America
The same advice of course applies to migrants hired by Canadian employers from other countries such as India or China.
Hopeful migrants are not fully aware of Canadian immigration laws and procedures, which makes them even more venerable to exploitation and abuse.
Many migrant workers believe the only way to get to Canada is through an agency or employer, however, Canada accepts thousands of people on ‘immigrant visas’ each year which are not linked to a particular employer.
According to Immigration Canada data Canada plans to accept between 225,000 to 265,000 immigrants every year to help meet its economic goals.
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