Vancouver – November 12, 2014 – Canada’s most progressive union recently helped Migrante BC celebrate the opening of their new home in downtown Vancouver. Bahay Migrante is the first permanent home of Migrante BC, where workers and activists in the Filipino community can come together for meetings, workshops, art exhibitions and cultural gatherings.
Migrante BC is a proud member of Migrante Canada, Migrante International and the International Migrants Alliance. The organization is a leader in the struggle to secure the rights of Temporary Foreign Workers and live-in caregivers throughout British Columbia. For many years, Migrante BC activists have been conducting workshops and events in churches, libraries, parks and community centres. And now the dream of having a permanent home for activism and education has been realized!
On Saturday, October 4th, Migrante BC celebrated the opening of Bahay Migrante with an all-day Filipino breakfast, guest speakers, and an art sale and exhibition. Migrant workers, union members and community allies joined together to share stories of struggle, hope and victory. Cutting the ribbon at the open house was Mable Elmore, the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Kensington and the first member of the BC legislature of Filipino heritage. UFCW Canada National Representative Felix Martinez also joined with Migrante BC members and guests for the festivities.
As Canada’s union for migrant workers, UFCW Canada is an active and vocal supporter of Migrante BC. In 2012, the union played an important role in demanding justice for Temporary Foreign Workers from the Philippines who were employed at Denny’s restaurants in British Columbia. UFCW Canada joined together with Migrante BC to support a class action lawsuit launched by the workers against Denny’s parent company Northland Properties Corporation.
“On behalf of our more than a quarter-million members across Canada, I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Migrante BC on the opening of their new home,” says Paul Meinema, UFCW Canada National President, “Having a permanent home where workers can come together to plan, organize and celebrate is such an important part of our shared and collective struggles.”