Following the success of the Education Has No Borders event recently held in Toronto (see DIRECTIONS 10.20), UFCW Canada and Migrante Canada combined their efforts in June to launch a series of community workshops. The new workshops are dedicated to helping migrant and immigrant workers find out more about their rights and the hundreds of free courses available to UFCW Canada members and community partners through the union’s webCampus program.
Led by UFCW Canada national representative Alex Banaag, the first workshops were held in Toronto and Barrie, Ontario, from June 5 to 6 and involved over a dozen migrant workers. Most workshop participants were Filipinos currently in Canada under the Live-In Care Program (LCP).
“It was such a big surprise when I received my certificate of completion from Mohawk College which also indicated my student number and grades,” says Lylanie Acosta, pictured right, who has already completed over 20 webCampus courses.
“I am so happy with these courses, all free and user-friendly, and all thanks to UFCW Canada,” says Mary Ann Balingit, who – like Lylanie – is currently working as a live-in care giver on an open permit. “The UFCW webCampus helps migrant and immigrant workers upgrade their skills, and now that my work permit is open, I can apply for work.”
“Sharing the empowering, door opening effect of education with our community partners is an important part of the union’s strategy to strengthen relationships with new Canadians and migrant workers,” says Naveen Mehta, director of the UFCW Canada Human Rights, Equity & Diversity department.
“More than that, we have the ability – through our excellent webCampus program – to help newcomers realize their dreams, and become full members of Canadian society. The workshops are making a real difference in the lives of workers, and that’s what UFCW Canada is all about.”
Vol. X No. 26 • July 5, 2010