Guatemala, Guatemala - November 7

Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Training

Today Dalia Gesualdi-Fecteau, a Canadian lawyer, trained the Global Workers Defender Network on the Canadian temporary foreign worker program as well as Canadian labor laws. Dalia recently left her post as a public lawyer for non-unionized workers in Quebec to take a position at a university. During her transition she is conducting fieldwork on the Canadian program in Guatemala. Taking advantage of the trip, Global Workers quickly pulled together a training and extended the invitation to the Guatemalan foreign and labor ministries. Both ministries sent the key representatives and were extremely appreciative for the training. The Guatemalan government is hard pressed to defend their workers abroad when they are unaware of the applicable laws.  In three hours, the training covered how the temporary worker program functions and applicable federal and provincial laws. For the most part, the federal laws regulate the visa and recruitment system and the provincial laws cover labor rights. The Defender ODHAG, hosted the event and most of the Defenders were able to make the trip to Guatemala City on short notice.  As Dalia will soon be affiliated with a university, we are discussing forming an alliance to provide additional training materials for the Defender Network and the Guatemalan government (as we have in the U.S. with legal manuals and worker rights materials). Hopefully in the near future Global Workers will be able to open an office in Canada, but until then we will develop creative relationships with committed people with the goal of reducing the exploitation of Guatemalan workers in Canada.

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