Montreal, Quebec, Canada - May 14, 2014

While in Montreal, Executive Director, Cathleen Caron met with various Canadian advocates and government officials to buttress developments of Global Workers program in Canada. While the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)-Canada continues to be Global Workers staunchest ally in Canada, we are now establishing more partnerships to increase access to justice for Canadian temporary foreign workers.  One such project in development is with the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM). We took one step closer to entering into an agreement with the Human Rights Clinic to receive cases our Defenders identify in Mexico or Central America and push them through the Quebec administrative procedures to challenge unjust treatment in Canada.  Currently, Global Workers is pressed to find legal support in Canada for individually aggrieved workers.  This agreement will significantly increase Guatemalan workers access to justice in Canada. 
Cathleen also met with the Quebec Labor Commission, the equivalent of a state department of labor.  Most foreign agriculture workers in Quebec come from Guatemala, though Mexican workers used to predominate. The labor commission, which provides lawyers free of charge to represent the workers, struggles to assist the workers once they leave the country. Though we have previously teamed up with the labor board to help them on several cases, we discussed options to intensify this work and provide "know your rights" information before workers leave Guatemala to go to Canada. Speaking with the Special Investigation Unit, it was alarming to learn that human trafficking cases are on the rise through the Temporary Foreign Worker program , aided as well by corruption.  All of this results in workers, and sometimes Canadian farmers, paying excessive and unlawful fees to participate in the program. The conditions for Guatemalan workers going to Canada have deteriorated significantly over the past year.  
Finally, Cathleen met with the Immigrant Workers Centre, a non-profit that provides the space for immigrant workers to come together to organize and fight together for change.  It was a great opportunity to exchange information and learn about the various initiatives spearheaded at the Centre around temp workers, undocumented workers (estimated around 500,000 in Canada), domestic workers, and temporary foreign workers. It was unique to see all the different sectors represented in the same center supporting each other’s causes.
What Cathleen learned in Canada underscored the need to strengthen our work in Canada to address these growing problems.

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"Tribunal canadiense ordena a empresa indemnizar a trabajadoras mexicanas" (fuente: La Jornada)

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA: Guatemala, Guatemala - Hoy Global Workers Justice Alliance, la Pastoral de Movilidad Humana de la Conferencia Episcopal de Guatemala y La Oficina de Derechos Humanos del Arzobispado de Guatemala hacer saber al publico nacional e internacional de la apropiación irregular de títulos de propiedad por parte de reclutadores de trabajadores migrantes temporales, con el informe "Confiscación de Títulos de Propiedad en Guatemala por parte de reclutadores en Programas de Trabajadores Temporales con Visas H-2B". Sigue el enlace para acceder el comunicado completo:

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