Migrant workers and their supporters are launching a new coalition to advance the plight of foreign employees.
The formation of the Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada (CMWRC) comes as prime minister–designate Justin Trudeau and his Liberal party are set to assume power.
“The well-being and lives of migrant workers are tied to their employers, and in a number of cases, this has led to abuse and exploitation,” Erie Maestro of the Vancouver-based Migrante B.C. organization told the Straight in a phone interview.
Maestro’s group and its mother organization, Migrante Canada, are founding members of CMWRC, which is being launched Wednesday (October 28) in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, and Charlottetown.
The new coalition is calling for open work permits so migrant workers can move between jobs. It is also demanding the removal of a rule imposed by the Conservative government that limits the time a foreign national can work in Canada to four years.
In addition, the coalition also proposes the granting of permanent residency upon arrival to people accepted to work in the country.
During the election campaign, Trudeau unveiled an immigration plan focused on the reunification of families. He also promised to work with provinces and territories to develop a system to enable caregiver foreign workers to change employers in cases of mistreatment.