Changes to provincial rules would protect temporary foreign workers

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says the government could mitigate potential abuses of the Temporary Foreign Workers program with changes to this province’s labour standards legislation and enforcement.

“The saga of unacceptable treatment of temporary foreign workers continues across the country and this province has received a low grade for our treatment of temporary foreign workers by the Canada Council on refugees,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.

“I ask the Minister responsible for the Labour Relations Agency, will he improve the protection of foreign workers by making changes to labour standards as was done in other provinces?”

Newfoundland and Labrador operates under a complaint-driven system; in other provinces, inspectors can check the working conditions of temporary foreign workers without a complaint. Reports from across the country in the last few weeks indicate that workers have been intimidated by employers when they question their pay, work hours, accommodations and other factors.

“Will the Minister make changes to Labour Standards so that government can take a more proactive approach to inspection of the workplaces and living conditions of temporary foreign workers?” Michael asked.

News stories in this province have reflected apparent violations of the federal agreements; Michael said, “I ask the minister, was he aware of complaints made concerning the use of temporary foreign workers in this province? I ask the minister if he has been in touch with the federal government over the allegations of complaints concerning the use of temporary foreign workers in this province.”

Associated Caucus Members: 

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