Working conditions for workers in the Temporary Foreign Workers Program
“The Canadian temporary foreign workers program (TFWP) is a program operated by the Canadian federal government and it gives employers access to hiring foreign nationals on a
temporary basis to fill gaps in their workforce”. The Canadian encyclopedia.
This program was established in 1973 and at that time it was mostly highly skilled workers that were brought into Canada eg. (doctors). A low skilled worker category was introduced in 2002 and this category to date makes up about 80% of the temporary foreign workforce. The program was expanded and fast tracked in 2006 and revised in 2013 to change employers fee and raise wages, this saw an increase in the temporary foreign worker’s program from 330,000 in 2004 to over 567,000 migrant workers by 2014, the seasonal agricultural workers program (SAWP) is 12% of that total. The live-in care giver program (LCP) a component of the temporary foreign worker’s program was introduced in 1966 to bring caregivers mostly from the Philippines and Jamaica into individual’s home to provide childcare or home support for seniors or people with disability. This program was unique and incredibly popular because it offered a direct path to permanent residency after two years of work for some temporary foreign workers, while on the other hand the seasonal agricultural workers program did not. Unfortunately, as of November 2014 the immigration, refugees and citizenship Canada (IRCC) stopped issuing new live in care giver program work permits.
The workers in the temporary foreign worker’s program face many issues coming and working in Canada, these workers are forced into low quality jobs without income security. Many of these workers have been placed in vulnerable, unsustainable and health threating environments, inadequate housing conditions, poor access to health care, inability to collective barging, illegal recruitment fees and there have been reported cases of violence and sexual abuse. Many of the workers especially those in the agricultural program are tied to their employers and cannot say no to tasks even when their health is at risk. If migrant workers become ill or injured on the job many workers are given a one-way ticket home instead of getting access to health care in Canada. Most workers in the seasonal agricultural program are housed in barracks like rooms with narrow passageways which house 25-30 persons with makeshift beds. There have even been cases where workers have reported that they are sleeping beside massive broilers. Bathrooms showers and kitchen are in separate building some 15m away, laundry is done mostly by hand and to make a...