As the Covid 19 pandemic continues on, a group of people that Canada depends on have been pushed out of most coverage and discourse. With much of the focus being on businesses and lower/middle class Canadians, seasonal migrant workers are rarely, if ever, mentioned on TV or internet news.
The fact is that migrant workers are an essential part of many Canadian industries and provide labour that is the bedrock of our society. As such, they must have extra workers protections put in place such as:
- Access to healthcare regardless of their immigration status, as migrant workers have more barriers to healthcare
- Paid sick leave
- Given essentials such as food, shelter, toilet paper, etc. during their 2 week quarantine period
- Access to Employment Insurance which typically excludes temporary workers
- The right to a safe work environment with proper PPE, and channels to anonymously report business that do not provide these
- Clear information on their rights and protections in their own language upon arrival into Canada
- The right to unionize
- Mental health programs to support workers due to their social isolation from family
If you want to support an organization fighting for the rights of migrant workers, check out the Migrant Rights Network, and sign the petition to target Justin Trudeau as well as provincial and municipal leaders.