Thursday, April 17, 2014

TFW: The Dark Side Of Corporate Feudalism

The Temporary Foreign Worker program has become a symbol of the worst predations of corporate thinking.  As more revelations come out, the depths that corporate groupthink can sink to are revealed.
Foreign workers recruited from Belize are accusing McDonald’s Canada of treating them like "slaves," by effectively forcing them to share an expensive apartment – then deducting almost half their take-home pay as rent. 
“When we arrived at the airport, they said, ‘We already have an apartment for you,’ so at that point we already know we don’t have a choice of where to live,” said Jaime Montero, who came to Edmonton with four others in September to work at McDonald’s. 
"We had to live there. We were told this is what we are doing," said another worker who didn't want to be named because he still works for McDonald's.
At first glance, providing an apartment that can be rented by the workers almost seems beneficent.
Five workers paying $280 bi-weekly works out to $3,030 per month. That suggests McDonald’s charged them $600 more for rent than what it paid. 
So, the corporation tried to make money off the temporary workers by charging them more in rent than the apartment actually costs the company.  Dishonourable at the least, downright crooked by my standards.  Oh, and it gets better:
“They actually said even if we leave the apartment and go rent another apartment, that McDonald’s would still deduct the rent from our salary,” said the other worker.
So, it's not even an option for the workers to move somewhere else.  The deductions for rent are happening in the payroll?  Holy cow.  This reeks of corporate feudalism at its worst.

This is exploitation, plain and simple.

Time for the TFW program to be shut down, and a detailed investigation of the practices of every company involved.  Worker exploitation is wrong.  Dead wrong.  The sociopaths who are exploiting workers should be charged and held accountable for their misdeeds.

... and the TFW program should be shut down posthaste.  

1 comment:

John B. said...

The most egregious act by the employer in this sorry affair has to be its slanderous disparagement of the dismissed worker through the statutory accusation of “intimidation” of fellow employees. This is the standard response by dishonest union-busting employers to organizing drives and information pickets. The use of this tactic when dealing with a lone employee, who appears to have simply demonstrated the independence and courage to bring forward to his superiors a complaint regarding treatment and then dared to discuss the issue with his fellow employees, is absolutely outrageous.

This country has been better than to allow such misconduct. The people of Canada should support all efforts of these vulnerable workers to obtain fairness in their workplaces and, having demonstrated neither the will nor the ability to address the abuses that have occurred since he began to direct the operations of the program from his throne at Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenney should be relieved of his current command.