Michael continues defense of temporary foreign workers
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi), following up on yesterday’s Question Period, sought further clarification today from government on the protection this province gives temporary foreign works.
“Yesterday the Minister said temporary foreign workers are protected by our Labour Standards Act, but our Act is complaint-driven. Workers themselves have to report abuses which we hear they are afraid to do,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.
“Manitoba’s Worker Recruitment and Protection Act requires employers to register their temporary foreign workers and submit to regular, proactive inspections.
“I ask the Premier, when will this government change our Labour Standards Act to protect temporary foreign workers who don’t feel free to speak out?”
Manitoba is not the only province that legislates to counteract potential exploitation, Michael continued.
“Alberta has a policy of proactive enforcement where employment standards officers are assigned specifically to audit compliance of employers when it comes to temporary foreign workers,” she said. “Why has this government not yet initiated proactive enforcement of the Labour Standards Act?
Yesterday the minister said government regularly reviews legislation. “The Labour Standards Act hasn’t been reviewed for more than ten years,” said Michael. “When is his Department going to initiate a long-overdue legislative review of the Labour Standards Act?”