Migrant Workers Are Parents Too
Migrant workers are parents too. Each season, migrant agricultural workers leave their families for as long as three years to do hard and gruelling work to put food on the tables of Canadian families.
Now, the Harper government has attacked some of the most vulnerable workers in Canada by disqualifying migrant workers from Employment Insurance (EI) parental and compassionate care benefits — despite the fact that migrant workers must continue to pay over $25 million a year in EI premiums, and have paid hundreds of millions of dollars into the EI fund for decades.
Migrant agricultural workers and their employers have been paying into the EI fund since 1966. Migrant workers have always been excluded from the collection of regular EI benefits (benefits paid when a worker's employment is interrupted).
The only benefit migrant workers ever received for the millions they paid in EI premiums are parental, maternity and compassionate care benefits. Those benefits have now been arbitrarily ripped away.
Without consultation, notice, or right to appeal, the Harper government has erased the rights of migrant workers to benefits they must continue to pay for through tens of millions dollars deducted from their pay.
It is unfair, exploitive, grossly discriminatory, and a blow against migrant parents and their families.
Send a message to Prime Minister Harper that Migrant Workers Are Parents Too, and to re-instate the right of all workers who contribute to EI to have equal access to the Parental Benefits of the program. Add your voice to the UFCW Canada and Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) national campaign to restore EI equity for migrant workers in Canada.