Community Groups Demand Better Protection for Precarious Workers

For immediate release April 3, 2013

Community Groups Demand Better Protection for Precarious Workers


On April 5th, the Immigrant Workers Center (IWC) and allied community organizations will put forward demands for a provincial law protecting precarious workers during a public assembly. Banding together under a common banner, domestic workers, migrant workers, undocumented workers and temporary agency workers will present their case pushing for legislation that includes CSST coverage for Live-in domestic workers, accountability of temp agencies and companies alike and better protection for temporary foreign workers regardless of their status. The groups are also looking to raise the minimum wage to twelve dollars per hour for the province.

After receiving word that Agnès Maltais, the Quebec Labour minister, declined an invitation to participate in a town hall meeting, the groups decided to go ahead with the public event. Quebec workers doing precarious jobs will discuss their personal experiences highlighting the need for the changes they are asking for.

Neil Ladode speaking for the IWC’s Temporary Foreign Workers committee believes that part of the job of the labour minister’s office is to hear the demands of precarious workers. Ladode came to Quebec from Indonesia and found himself in an exploitative situation while working for a restaurant in Montreal.

“Minister Maltais should not ignore the voices of migrant and immigrant workers,” says Ladode. “It’s the responsibility of the minister to remove the barriers to our rights in order to respect and protect all workers in Quebec.”

A campaign coalition was initiated by the IWC, which includes PINAY–Filipino Women’s Organization of Quebec, the Association of Temporary Agency Workers, Dignidad Migrante and Mexicans United for Regularization. The Centre approached allies when it became aware of a possible legislation around precarious work by the Marois government.

“We’ve been hearing rumors for months that the provincial government is discussing a possible bill on precarious work,” explains Jasmin de la Calzada of Pinay, whose membership is made up mainly of live-in domestic workers from the Philippines.

“We wanted to be pro-active in this process,” says de la Calzada, “the people who are directly affected must speak up and put forward progressive laws that better protect our collective rights.”

The public assembly will be held on Friday, April 5 at 6pm at the office of the Immigrant Workers Centre on 4755 Van Horne, room 110 (Metro Plamondon). Migrant workers, live-in domestic workers and temporary agency workers will be available for interview by the media.

For more information please contact:

The Immigrant Workers Centre, (514) 342-2111

Noé Arteaga (French)

Mostafa Henaway (English)


Letter to the Minister Agnès Maltais