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Calgary – April 7, 2018 – UFCW Canada activists joined over 200 academics, service providers, and government officials from across the country at the 2018 National Metropolis Conference, held in Calgary from March 22 to 24.
Now in its 20th year, the National Metropolis Conference is an annual forum for researchers, policy makers, and representatives from community and settlement organizations to exchange knowledge and experience in the field of immigration and settlement.
At the conference, UFCW activists highlighted the benefits that thousands of UFCW Canada members – including many migrant and temporary foreign workers – have achieved through strong collective agreements, including better job security, higher wages, improved benefits, and seniority rights, among other advancements.
Conference participants also heard from Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Brooks Mayor Barry Morishita, and British Columbia Senator Yuen Pau Woo, and joined a photo action aimed at supporting migrant workers’ rights. As part of the action, attendees demanded:
Permanent residency for all migrant workers in Canada;
Equal access for migrant workers to Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) benefits; and
Open work permits and collective bargaining rights for all migrant workers.
Participants were especially interested in UFCW Canada’s submission A New Vision for a Sustainable Immigration System, which outlines ways in which the Canadian federal government can improve working conditions and living standards for migrant workers labouring in Canada. And UFCW activists also raised awareness of the 2,000 temporary migrant workers and family members in Manitoba who have obtained permanent residency through UFCW Canada collective agreements.
As Canada's leading and most progressive union, UFCW operates numerous agriculture worker support centres that provide essential support and services to thousands of migrant and agriculture workers across the country. To learn more about these services, visit UFCW Canada’s Agriculture Workers website.