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.