Monday, May 05, 2014

Just Shut It Down Already

As if we hadn't already heard enough about the vileness that is the TFWP, we have two major revelations today which more than justify shutting the whole thing down immediately.

According to the email, which was obtained by CBC's iTeam, the Saskatoon-based recruiter told Houston Pizza in Estevan, Sask., that some employers of temporary foreign workers find that over time, the workers "become 'Canadianized' and increase their demands on the employers.'" 
"We believe a simple reminder to the workers will reverse the effects of the Canadian influence," it says.The 2011 email essentially suggested telling such "Canadianized" workers that if things don't work out, they could be sent home. 
International Manpower is part of the Mercan Group of companies which helps employers across Canada recruit temporary foreign workers to jobs many Canadians don't want.
If this doesn't show us in clear and unambiguous terms that this program has become exploitation, I don't know what will.  Essentially, this is telling employers to rule their workers with fear and intimidation - all the while, subjecting them to working conditions that Canadians would never tolerate.  
“After we actually agreed to everything, [Qizel] just said ‘Look guys you are working on commission. You don’t like it, you can get deported, I am cancelling your permit,'" said Soloviov. 
He said they were told they would get 25 per cent from each sale. The shock came on paydays, he said, when they received next to nothing. The employer deducted $225 every two weeks for rent plus other “fines," from the little pay they were supposed to get. 
“If you look at it, it’s modern slavery. Because some people were not actually paid at all,” said Soloviov. “I got paid 50 bucks or 100 bucks in the three months I worked and that’s bad exploitation. But some people were actually slaves and ended up owing him money.”
This is straight out exploitation.  It isn't even just a case of bringing in people from abroad to replace Canadian labour.

However, when you look at this through a different lens, it becomes quite clear that this program has been mutated by the Harper Government into part of a program aimed at driving down Canadian wages.  Like so-called "right-to-work" legislation, the TFWP has become a tool which has been used to dramatically alter the supply-and-demand balance in Canada's labour force.

Make no mistake, the TFWP has been around for ages, but it has been under Harper that it has been broadened to the point that TFWs are being used not as a means to fill a need for specialized knowledge or skills, but as a tool for getting labour cheaper than Canadians would tolerate.


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