Do you work in Ontario for less than $16.55/hr? Your wages are going up!

Over 1 million workers in Ontario will see a wage boost on October 1, 2023.

Here are 3 things you need to know:

1. Wages are going up because workers fought and won!

In 2014, Ontario workers pushed for a law that ties wages to rising prices (inflation). Higher wages do not cause inflation. But because workers took action to tie minimum wage to cost of living increases, wages are going up. When we fight, we win!

What else can we win together?

2. Even if you make more than minimum wage, your wage will go up.

Every worker in Ontario making less than $16.55/hr before October 1 will get a wage raise, because workers like you pushed for changes and won! Check your paystub for your hourly rate, and make sure that you get paid $16.55/hr for all hours worked on and after October 1, 2023.

If your boss is stealing your wages, contact us for support!

Migrant Care Workers: 416-897-4388
Migrant Healthcare Workers (refugee & undocumented): 647-782-6633
Migrant Student Workers:  647-858-2854
Migrant Fishery Workers: 506-251-7467
Migrant Farm Workers (ENG):  905-324-2840
Trabajador@s Agrícolas (ESP):  647-807-4722

3. $16.55/hr is not enough!

We know minimum wage is not enough to live on – we need better wages to pay for rent, groceries, medical costs, school, and other essentials. Some workers are even excluded from the right to minimum wage. You and your co-workers deserve more!

Join us to fight for better wages and labour rights for yourself and others. To learn more, message an organizer from Migrant Workers Alliance for Change today:

Migrant Care Workers: 416-897-4388
Migrant Healthcare Workers (refugee & undocumented): 647-782-6633
Migrant Student Workers:  647-858-2854
Migrant Fishery Workers: 506-251-7467
Migrant Farm Workers (ENG):  905-324-2840
Trabajador@s Agrícolas (ESP):  647-807-4722

Celebrate grape and wine season by thanking a migrant vineyard worker!

Before a bottle of wine reaches you at the store or a glass of wine is set on your table at a restaurant, the grapes are grown, harvested, and processed by migrant vineyards workers from Mexico, Vietnam, and Caribbean countries.

We are separated from our families for over half a year and miss out on family birthdays, graduations, and funerals. It’s heartbreaking to be away for so long and the days can seem never ending. Your support during the season encourages us to keep pushing through. We want to hear from you!

Get the Facts: Family Open Work Permits for Farmworkers

You deserve to be together with your family – all migrants do! Sadly, the Canadian government keeps us separated by denying us permanent resident status. One way the government promises to unite migrant families is through measures like open work permits for family members.

What is the Family Open Work Permit?

For years, migrant workers like you have been speaking up and taking action together about family unity. In 2022 the Canadian government was pressured to allow more spouses and adult children dependents of some migrant workers to get open work permits in the country. (Read the government announcement here.)

This expanded government measure has 3 phases:

  1. Phase 1 started January 30, 2023 which is for family members of workers in the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program. Farm workers are excluded.
  2. Phase 2 will expand to family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, after consultations with bosses. This phase will still exclude farm workers.
  3. Phase 3 is consultations with bosses in the agricultural industry to see if including family members of farm workers will benefit them and their business. It is not guaranteed that farm workers will be included after the consultations.

You can see how farm workers are shut out at every phase, this isn’t fair! That’s why we’re uniting together to take action and win change to the unfair system. Join us: Send a WhatsApp message to 905-324-2840 for more information about how you can make a change with us.

Who can apply?

  • Family members of workers in high-wage streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program

Not sure if your job qualifies as high-wage? You must be earning what’s called the “median hourly wage” or higher, which depends on what province in Canada you work.

Current wages for farmworkers in Canada are as low as $13/hour and we deserve so much more! That’s why we’re also fighting for higher wages, so our families will have more opportunities.

Do you agree that your family deserves more? Send a WhatsApp message to us at 905-324-2840 to learn how you can join our fight to win a better life!

Who cannot apply?

  • Farm workers in the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program and the Agricultural Stream (Ag-Stream) of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program
  • Fishery workers who are not in the high-wage stream
  • Any migrant worker in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program who is paid low wages
  • Migrants with Open Work Permits for Vulnerable Workers who are paid low wages
  • Migrants with work permits who are also refugee claimants or H&C applicants
  • Migrants without papers/immigration status

To read the full requirements, tap this link:

So many people are shut out of this measure, it’s not fair.

That’s why migrant workers are uniting together to take action and win change, including permanent resident status for all, so that we can all be together with our families!

Migrant farmworkers: You have a voice, let’s get loud for status for all!

Take action using this form and let Prime Minister Justin Trudeau know that the world is watching! Let’s unite together and make sure Canada does the right thing and grants permanent status for all – including people without papers and those who arrive in the future.

Your message will only be sent once you hit the red “ADD YOUR NAME” button at the end.

Note: Your name and contact information will be kept confidential. This form is created by Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, a migrant-led worker rights organization whose leaders and members are migrant farmworkers, care workers, international student workers, and undocumented workers. Learn more about us by tapping the link here:

Permisos de Trabajo Familiar para Trabajador@s Agrícolas

1.279 Trabajador@s agrícolas migrantes participaron en una encuesta sobre permisos de trabajo familiar.

El 98.3% de los encuestados dijo que el gobierno de Canadá debería permitir que tod@s l@s inmigrantes, incluid@s l@s que trabajan en la agricultura, estén junto con sus familias y reciban permisos de trabajo.

El 93.45% cree que l@s trabajador@s estacionales (con contrato de 8 meses o menos) deberían poder tener familia con ell@s en Canadá. No debería haber exclusión para trabajador@s estacionales.

El 89.53% de l@s encuestad@s afirmó que alquilaría alojamiento para sus familias.

L@s trabajador@s conocen claramente las opciones disponibles y las dificultades potenciales que pueden enfrentar. El 58% de l@s encuestad@s señaló que encontrar vivienda sería difícil y el 55.16% señaló dificultades por el elevado coste del alquiler. Algo menos del 50% de l@s encuestad@s también se mostró preocupado por conseguir empleo para sus cónyuges e hij@s. Más del 40% también estaba preocupad@ por el acceso a la atención sanitaria, el acceso a la educación y el coste de los viajes.

Cuando se le preguntó: ¿Traería a su familia si no estuviera seguro de poder mantenerles o pagar los gastos? Un increíblemente alto 97.3% de l@s encuestados dijo que no.

Esto muestra que l@s trabajador2s no optarán por traer a sus familias si les preocupa conseguir propiedades de alquiler o pagar sus viajes o alojamiento. Incluso si se creara un programa, l@s trabajador@s tomarían decisiones individuales en función de sus circunstancias antes de decidir solicitar permisos de trabajo.

El 93.02% de l@s encuestad@s quiere el estatus de residente permanente a su llegada porque es la única forma en que l@s inmigrantes pueden acceder a servicios esenciales y protegerse contra los abusos.

En resumen, l@s trabajador@s agrícolas migrantes están unid@s en su reclamo de permisos de trabajo familiar y estatus de residente permanente para tod@s.

Estas presentaciones fueron realizadas conjuntamente por la Alianza de Trabajador@s Migrantes por un Cambio (MWAC), RATTMAQ: Réseau d’aide aux travailleuses et travailleurs migrantes agricoles du Québec, Cooper Institute, Sanctuary Health y RAMA.

Para obtener más información, comuníquese con

Speak up for fishery workers in crisis

Many migrant workers were forced to leave the country on August 26 for trying to organize for their rights. They’ve been in the country since April but have not been working and are starving. Read their story below and add your name to send a message.

¿Qué es el Permiso de Trabajo para Trabajador@s Vulnerables?

  • Es el último recurso para trabajador@s quienes tienen un permiso cerrado (con empleador específico) y quienes están en riesgo de abuso o están experimentando abuso con el empleador con el cual tienen un contrato vigente.
  • L@s trabajador@s pueden aplicar mientras siguen trabajando y también cuando ya han dejado la granja o lugar de trabajo. (Por favor recuerde, entre más pronto aplique después de dejar a su empleador será mejor ya que migración de Canada puede cuestionar el porque no aplico antes)

¿Cómo le podemos apoyar en el proceso?

  • Necesita escribir una narrativa, esta es una carta explicando con todos los detalles posibles (incluyendo quien, cuando, donde, como). Mientras más detalles es mejor, necesita explicarle al oficial de migración que va a revisar su caso y quien quizá no va a estar familiarizad@ con las condiciones en las fincas o lugar de trabajo por lo tanto es importante dar detalles y expresar sus sentimientos en esta carta. Use expresiones como: me sienti triste, enojado, decepcionado, etc) 
  • Proveer evidencia: Necesitamos por lo menos 3 piezas de evidencia las cuales pueden incluir, fotos de usted trabajando, copia de su contrato, talones de pago, fotos de las condiciones de trabajo o videos cortos (preferiblemente de 1 minuto o menos), notas médicas, mensajes de texto con el empleador, recursos humanos o supervisores, cartas de apoyo de testigos como amig@s, conocid@s, cualquier evidencia que apoye los detalles de su narrativa.
    • Necesita proveer los siguientes documentos:
      • Copia de su permiso vigente (si su permiso está vencido no son podra aplicar) 
      • Copia de pasaporte y visa  (el pasaporte necesita ser válido por los menos 1 año, si es menos, recomendamos que lo renueve antes de aplicar) pero si su situación es urgente y necesita dejar a su empleador, puede aplicar, en este caso si le aprueban el permiso, solo será otorgado por los meses que le queden en su pasaporte) 
      • Un correo electrónico activo y la hora que está disponible para una llamada.

¿Cuánto tiempo toma el proceso?

  • El proceso puede tomar entre 1-3 meses dependiendo de varios factores incluyendo si su narrativa y documentos de apoyo necesitan ser traducidos.
  • Su habilidad para proveer documentación y darle seguimiento a su caso.
  • Si  la organización a quien le referimos tiene una lista de espera o no.  

Cosas importantes de considerar antes de aplicar:

  • Probablemente ya no podrá participar en el programa de trabajador@s agrícolas de su país (PTAT) ya que su consulado probablemente diga que usted incumplió su contrato porque dejó a su empleador. Esto no es justo y muchos migrantes como usted están luchando para encontrar soluciones a estas reglas injustas. Si quiere saber más de cómo puede unirse, déjenos saber a un organizador y le dara seguimiento.
  • Necesita tener un plan si va a dejar a su empleador, NO podemos ayudarle a encontrar casa y encontrar casa podría ser difícil y costoso.
  • Asegúrese de tener dinero ahorrado si decide dejar a su empleador para que pueda solventar gastos mientras espera que el permiso sea procesado.
  • Tenga un plan B en caso que su permiso sea negado.
  • El permiso abierto le permitirá encontrar otr@ empleador. Ya no será parte de un programa que lo conectará con empleador@s.
  • Considere que usted tendrá que buscar empleo sol@. Hay agencias que le podrían ayudar, pero la Alianza de Trabajador@s Migrantes por un Cambio (MWAC) NO le ayudamos a buscar trabajo.

Si ha leído este documento y piensa que califica para el permiso abierto para trabajadores vulnerables,

Trabajadores Agricolas 647-807-4722

Trabajadores en Planta procesadora de Mariscos 506 251 7467

Mandar un mensaje que diga “Permiso Abierto”, su nombre completo, ciudad donde se encuentra, y nosotr@s le contactaremos después del 5 de septiembre.

Para más detalles de lo que se considera como abuso, que tipo de evidencia necesita y quién puede aplicar, visite el enlace de migración Canadá (IRCC).

What is the Open Work Permit for Vulnerable Workers?

  • It is the last resource for workers who hold a closed work permit (employer-specific) and who are at risk of experiencing abuse or are already experiencing abuse with the employer they currently have a contract with 
  • Workers can apply while they are still working with the employer as well as after they have left the farm or workplace Note: The sooner you apply after leaving the farm, the better as IRCC might question why you didn’t apply right away.

How do we support you in this process?

  • We support you to prepare part of the application then we will refer you to a partner organization to finalize the application at no cost to you.  When possible we can refer you to a local organization in the province you are living wheter that is the province where the farm is or the province you are currently living.  .
  • We can assist you in writing your narrative if you have literacy limitations (your case can take a bit longer)
  • We write a letter of support for your case and follow up with you during the process until your case concludes (approved or refused) . We might be able to continue supporting you if you are refused depending on your case and if our partner organization makes a case for workers to reapply.
  • You need to write a narrative. This is a letter explaining  with as many details as possible including  who, when, where , how.  The more details the better, you need to paint  a picture for the immigration officer who will review your case and who might not be familiar with the conditions at the farm or workplace so it is important to give details and express your feelings in this letter. Use expressions like: I felt sad, angry, disappointed, etc.
  • Provide evidence: We need at least 3 pieces of evidence which can include, photos of you at work,  copy of work contract, paystubs, photos of working conditions, housing conditions or short videos preferably 1 minute or less, doctors notes, text with employer or human resources (HR), letter of support from witnesses such as friends and acquaintances, anything you can think it will support the details on your letter
    • You need to provide the following documents:
      • Copy of current work permit (If your permit has already expired you are not eligible to apply)
      • Copy of passport and visa (passport needs to be valid for at least a year  if is less than a year, you need to renew it before you can apply), but is your situation is dire and you need to leave your employer, you can apply for the open work permit, but it will only be approved for however many months you got left on your passport.
      • An active email address and best time to reach you.

How long does the process take?

  • The process can take anywhere from 1-3 months depending on many factors including if your narrative and supporting documents need to be translated
  • Your availability to provide documents and follow up on your case 
  • If the organization we will refer you to has a waiting list.

Important things to consider if you decide to apply:

  • You might no longer be able to participate in your country’s farm work program (Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program) as your liaison officer or consulate official might say you breached your contract by leaving the employer. This is not fair  and migrant workers like you are fighting for solutions to these unfair rules. If you want to know more on how you can join, let us know and an organizer will follow up with you. 
  • You need to have a plan if you are leaving your employer we are not able to support you  finding housing and it can be difficult and expensive. 
  • Make sure to put some money aside if you decide to leave your employer so you can support yourself while waiting for your permit to be processed.
  • Have a plan B in case your Work Permit is  refused.
  • An open work permit allows you to work in any job, anywhere in the country for any employer. You will not be part of a program that will connect you with an employer. 
  • Keep in mind that you will need to look for a job yourself. There are agencies that could help you with job search, but MWAC does not find employment for workers.

If you have read this document and think you qualify for the open work permit for vulnerable workers , please get in touch with us!

Farm Workers 905-324-2840 

Fishery workers 506 251 7467

Send a message with the code “Open Work Permit”, your full name, and the city you currently are and we will get back to you after September 5th as we currently have a waiting list for new cases.

For more details of what is considered  abuse, what types of evidence, who can apply  etc,  see the IRCC website:

Regularize Everyone! Community Meeting at Jane & Finch

We are in a crisis of inequality and migrants are caught in the middle of it! Rent is high, wages are low, food is expensive, and services are being cut. We grow food, care for children & the sick, build homes, and keep society functioning. But we are denied basic rights because we do not have permanent resident status.

Prime Minister Trudeau promised to regularize undocumented migrants, but nothing has happened. Join us on Sunday, August 20, 2023 at 3pm for a community meeting at Jane Finch Corner Commons (1911 Finch Ave West) to get ready for our massive day of action on September 17th. We will share food, music, and conversation – bring your friends!

This event is being hosted by Migrant Workers Alliance for Change & Jane Finch Action Against Poverty.