Status for All Migrant and Temporary Workers in Canada! End Canada's Participation in Human Trafficking!
The government must be held to account for its role in
creating a temporary foreign worker regime that employers use to
provide cheap workers for themselves. Through this and other programs
that deprive temporary workers of their rights, the government also
enables private agencies to profit from recruiting and often outright
robbing the foreign workers they traffic to employers.
The unjust treatment of
migrant workers shows that Justin Trudeau's claim to champion the cause
of women's rights is also bogus in practice. The Trudeau government has
not sorted out the trafficking and killing of Indigenous women and
girls. Likewise it does not protect and defend the rights of temporary
foreign workers, the majority of whom are women.
people demand justice and a guarantee of the rights of all. The
state-organized deportation of the Concepcion family on January 27 (see
below) and other attacks against migrant and foreign temporary workers,
in many cases suffering abuse from employers and human traffickers,
An example of such abuse is the criminal case recently
concluded, after six years, against Hector Mantolino, the owner and
operator of a company in Halifax. On March 1, Mantolino was sentenced
years in jail for violating the Immigration
in which 56 charges originally filed in 2013 were ultimately rolled
into one indictment. Over the years, Mantolino brought 28 workers from
the Philippines under a foreign worker program. He was found to have
underpaid his workers and exploited them. The case revealed that he
threatened workers and told them that if they complained about their
situation to others then the Canadian government would deport them back
to the Philippines. Documents estimate that Mantolino paid them at
least $500,000 less than their total reported salaries. According to
local media, one of these workers, Liza Alcantara, was told by
Mantolino that "she would have to pay Mantolino $2,000 for air fare and
$100 a month for her rent. Alcantara said she was also told that her
real salary would be $500 for 134 hours worked ($3.75 per hour) with
only $5 for overtime."
The government takes no responsibility for contributing
to and parasitizing off of the situation of an economically depressed
and oppressed Philippines. Colonial plunder and control have left the
Philippines destitute and severely underdeveloped, forcing some 12
million Filipinos to leave their homeland and live abroad seeking a
better life for themselves and their families.
Filipino workers who have migrated abroad collectively
contribute some $30 billion annually to the foreign-dominated
Philippines economy. ExPress Money, which many Filipino migrant
workers use to transfer funds to their families in the
Philippines, noted in 2016: "Money transfers from Filipinos
working all over the world account for at least 10 per cent of the
country's GDP, the second largest source of foreign capital after
value-added exports like electronic components, and a major
source of private consumption which in turn accounts for
75 per cent of the GDP."
Successive governments in the Philippines, including the
present Duterte regime, have done nothing to extricate the
Philippines from the U.S.-dominated imperialist system of states.
The regime actively encourages the out-migration of workers from
the Philippines, while providing no protection for them from the
abuse and thievery of unscrupulous human traffickers and foreign
regimes, such as in Canada, that facilitate this inhumanity.
This article was published in
Volume 49 Number 16 - May 4, 2019
Status for All Migrant and Temporary Workers in Canada! End Canada's Participation in Human Trafficking! - Philip Fernandez