RECENT moves by the federal Conservative government will cause hundreds of women to remain separated from their children, often for years and in some cases permanently. Changes to the Live-in Caregivers Program (LCP) are creating unfair barriers to citizenship for migrant workers, leaving thousands of vulnerable to prolong separation from their families in order to keep their jobs.
“The Canadian Union of Public Employees is calling for the Conservative government to reverse the changes to the Live-in Caregivers Program and allow mothers to be reunited with their children,” said Paul Moist, National President of CUPE. “Thousands of migrant workers are coming to this country to work as caregivers to Canadian children. Our countries thanks to these workers – the vast majority of them women – should not be exploitation.”
CUPE’s national executive has passed a resolution opposing the abusive changes to the LCP, and is calling for better policies that allow migrant Caregivers to bring their families with them to Canada. The resolution also calls for changes to the LCP, and the Temporary Foreign Workers Program that protect the rights of migrant workers, and not just serve the needs of Canadian employers.
“We need positive changes that respect the human and labour rights of migrant workers – such as making work permits open and occupation specific,” said Moist. “As these programs stand today, under the Conservative government’s watch, migrant workers are essential indentured to their employers, and are far too susceptible to exploitation and unjust deportations.”
CUPE is calling for Canada to become a signatory to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers (C189), and the United Nations International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; and for the Conservative government adhere to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its treatment of migrant workers.
CUPE is demanding that instead of temporary work programs, workers in Canada should have access to skills training and apprenticeships, a living wage and income security, investment in social programs and public services, a robust immigration program and permanent residency upon arrival for all foreign workers.