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Report/Press release

Report on the Status of Migrant Workers in Canada 2011

This document is a key resource




UFCWCanada and UFCW/TUAC Canada


Thank you for taking the time to read the UFCW Canada Report on the Status of Migrant Workers
This annual Report was compiled to educate about the draconian federal Temporary Foreign Workers
Program (TFWP) and the genuine human cost that continues to scar Canada’s reputation internationally.
More importantly, the TFWP continues to be a dark, painful and dreary road wrought with abuse,
exploitation and utter lack of oversite for tens of thousands of people annually entering Canada. As
shocking as it may be for those who deny this reality, primarily governments and employers, parallels have
been drawn to the slave trade and indentured servitude of a colonial era many thought had past. Moreover,
the number of people in Canada who are unaware of the sometimes sub-human conditions that many
migrants are subjected to once in Canada is shocking.
As such, this Report is intended to act as an easily accessible vehicle to raise awareness and concern
amongst our membership of 250,000, the Canadian public, NGOs, international bodies and organizations,
and a variety of governmental jurisdictions across the country.
UFCW Canada is in a unique position to provide a reliable and genuine account of the current national
situation regarding migrant workers. As the largest private sector union in the country, UFCW Canada
annually comes into face-to-face contact with more than 50,000 migrant workers – this is greater than any
other organization, NGO, or government (including the federal government) in the country. Moreover, it
is estimated that the UFCW Canada has the greatest percentage of its membership of any union in Canada
being migrant workers.
We know that the need for support for some of the most vulnerable workers in the country is
tremendous. For instance, in response to our recent 2010 UFCW Canada funded Scholarship for the
Children of Migrant Workers, we received over 4,000 applications within a few short months.
In reading this Report you are likely to be appalled by the testimony and information provided. The
Canadian ethos has been contentedly dismantled by the Conservative federal government in the name of
higher profits for a few. The horrific treatment of migrant workers is a conspicuous symbol of that rupture
in our shared humanity.
If conditions are to change, they will only do so by continuing to build our movement with community
allies and individuals such as you. We ask only one thing. Please speak to your family members, neighbours,
friends, co-workers and elected officials about this ongoing catastrophe of extraordinary proportions.
Only by raising awareness together will change occur.
While our resources are finite, if you are holding an event in support of migrant and immigrant
communities, require speakers or other support, please feel free to contact us.
Finally, if you require ongoing information on migrant workers and our ongoing regional, national
and international campaigns please feel free to visit our webpage at www.ufcw.ca/socialjustice and sign up
for the Human Rights, Equity and Diversity (HRED) E-Mail List Serve.
In solidarity,
Wayne Hanley, President, UFCW Canada
January, 2011

Series title

UFCW Reports

Number of pages


Responsible institution


File Attachments


Economic sectors

General relevance - all sectors

Content types

Policy analysis, Documented cases of abuse, Statistics on work and life conditions, and Numbers of migrant workers

Target groups

Journalists, Public awareness, Researchers, Unions, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses

National relevance