March 20, 2013
Ministry of Labour employees charged fees to work
Toronto — Pretend recruiters will be outside Ontario’s Ministry of Labour on Friday (March 22nd) charging employees up to 2 years’ salary or CAD$100,000 to go into their own workplace drawing attention to Ontario labour laws that allow migrant workers to be charged fees to work.
WHAT: Wannabe recruiters charging fees from Ontario Ministry of Labour employees
WHEN: 7: 45am. March 22, 2013, three-year anniversary of Employment Protections for Foreign National Act, EPFNA
WHERE: Ministry of Labour, 400 University Avenue
VISUALS: Recruiters in suits and top hats charging fees from Ministry of Labour employees.
“If recruiters can make a quick buck off migrant workers, we can make a quick buck off the people who allow it,” the organizers of the fee-charging drive said in an email call-out earlier this week.”Recruiters aren’t
Though it’s been three years since EPFNA was implemented, Caregivers continue to be charged fees to work. In a survey by Caregivers Action Centre, two-thirds of live-in caregivers arriving after EPFNA was implemented, paid fees averaging $3725. EPFNA does not include protections for agricultural workers or temporary foreign workers.
“By our guessestimation (its pretty hard to get the facts) at least half off Ontario’s 120,000 migrant workers are paying between $3,000 and $10,000 to recruiters or about two years of their annual salary in their home countries. That could be as high as 600 million dollars a year. Imagine how much more money could be made by the rich if we started charging non-migrant workers too. It‘s an untapped opportunity and we need to take matters in to our own hands,” the email announcement calling for recruiters continued.
The organizers insisted that they weren’t exploiting the Ministry of Labour employees.”With few real ways to get into Canada permanently, migrants are forced to pay recruiters to come to Canada on a temporary basis. To do so, entire families get into debt. Here, they pay in to E.I., and CPP, but face insurmountable barriers into accessing these benefits. Health and safety protections are non-existent. Documents are seized and bosses are often abusive. All of this is allowed by provincial and federal laws. We won’t be treating the Ministry of Labour employees that badly.”