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Help us Keep the Immigrant Workers Centre open

The Immigrant Workers Centre has experienced one of it busiest years as more and more courageous workers, sometimes without status, fighting for respect and protection against bosses, who believe that workplace abuse is justified particularly if the worker is a recent immigrant or someone without status. Staff and volunteers at the centre accompany workers in their fight back. For individuals with grievances, it takes many hours to prepare cases, do the research, support given to workers and with determination to win, there have been setting precedents cases against all odds. And we do win. Examples include unemployment and occupational health benefits for those who have lost jobs as temporary foreign workers. In another case, a worker was given severance benefits far beyond what she would have received from the Commission des Normes de Travail. We see the daily abuses of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program and help workers navigate the complexities of it.
But this is not enough. We go beyond individual successes in two ways. First, we campaign for policy change. We are working in two areas: Temporary Placement Agency Work, and the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. We describe these campaigns in the accompanying newsletter. Second and perhaps more important, workers themselves, are the spokespeople and witnesses for these campaigns. The IWC is a political project in the sense that it supports building power and a collective voice for immigrant workers, both with and without status. This is the exciting part of the work and the most inspiring. Recently we held a meeting that brought together approximately 60 workers, domestics, and those employed through temporary employment agencies and those in the temporary foreign workers program. They shared stories of the abuse and exploitation but more important worked together to present demands to the Quebec Minister of Labour. The minister’s office met to discuss these issues. We will share more as the process unfolds.

This letter is to ask for your financial support. Despite the successes and the important achievements of the IWC during the past year, there have been many months where we had to decide whether to delay the rent or pay, often for weeks at a time. Currently, volunteers carry out most of the work at the centre with one person currently on staff, one on a short-term grant from Emploi Quebec and the other on a special grant from that office. We have made progress with trade unions and are in discussion with several of the large unions in Quebec for support. There is a growing understanding of the importance of the IWC as a component of the broader labour movement. Both temporary placement agencies and the Temporary Foreign Workers program are part of a wider attack on the living standards of all workers. Unions understand the importance of the IWC in organizing and supporting those workers. Our longer-term goal with the unions is to raise enough on a recurrent basis to pay the salary of one organizer. We continue to apply for both government and foundation grants and enter into partnerships with academic projects, but with limited success in an environment of budget compression. We need your help. If you support the goals of the centre please give generously and support our campaigns for justice for immigrant and migrant workers!

Sincerely

Eric Shragge

President

Board of Directors

Please donate through Paypal on our website  https://iwc-cti.ca/ You can give a single donation or a recurrent monthly donation.

Or you can make a check payable to the Immigrant Workers Centre and mail it to our office 4755 Van Horne #110 Montreal Quebec H3W 1H8

Photos of Mayworks 2013!! performances and skits by Immigrant workers depicting their struggles!

//quelquesnotes.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/110513-2/

Precarious Worker Campaign Media

=>(english) //www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/05/01/quebec-foreign-worker-agricultural.html

=>(english) //www.montrealgazette.com/news/Foreign+workers+face+changing+landscape/8323510/story.html

=>(francais) //www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/societe/2013/04/05/003-travailleurs-immigrants-protection.shtml

=>(francaise) //www.ledevoir.com/societe/actualites-en-societe/377067/le-cauchemar-de-maher


Montréal International Women’s Conference set for August 13-16, 2010

Media Advisory, Montreal, Quebec, Friday, August 6, 2010

The first Montreal International Women’s Conference hosted by the Committee of Women of Diverse Origins is set to get underway August 13-16, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec.

For close to a decade a group of Montreal-based women have been working tirelessly to improve women’s lives here and abroad. They are the Committee of Women of Diverse Origins, and as the name suggests, their members have roots in several countries and they take on a number of social issues from migrants’ rights to violence against women. What makes their approach unique are their strong links to and participation in women’s struggles in their countries of origin including the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Iran, Palestine, Pakistan, Mexico, Ecuador, and Mali, bringing militancy and a truly global perspective to their work here in Quebec and Canada.

August 13-16, 2010, the Committee of Women of Diverse Origins will host the first Montreal International Women’s Conference with the theme of Building a Global Militant Women’s Movement in the 21st century. They are joined by co-conveners from the south including Gabriela Philippines, Asian Rural Women’s Network and Action Network for Marriage Migrants Rights and Empowerment (AMORRE).

Tess Tesalona, Conference Coordinator: “The over two hundred women that will be at this conference represent women’s networks and struggles around the world. Many of these women are on the front lines of life and death situations and resistance movements in their home countries. For us, feminist concerns are not in a vacuum but are related to a broader social context.”

For the past nine years the Committee has organized a March 8 conference and demonstration, mobilizing and inspiring women young and old to support and join struggles against war and violence. This conference, honouring 100 years since the declaration of International Women’s Day, will build on past initiatives, bringing together women from 19 countries and f

Fight Back; Book now available

Workers

Fight Back

Work Place Justice for Immigrants

Aziz Choudry, Jill Hanley, Steve Jordan, Eric Shragge, Martha Stiegman

Displacement of people, migration, immigration and the demand for labour are connected to the fundamental restructuring of capitalism and to the reduction of working class power through legislation to free the market from “state interference.” The consequence is that a large number of immigrant and temporary foreign workers face relentless competition and little in the way of protection in the labour market. Globally and in Canada, immigrant workers are not passive in the face of these conditions: they survive and fight back. This book documents their struggles and analyses them within the context of neoliberal globalization and the international and national labour markets. Fight Back grew out of collaboration between a group of university-affiliated researchers who are active in different social movements and community organizations in partnership with the Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal. The book shares with us the experiences of immigrant workers in a variety of workplaces. It is based on the underlying belief that the best kind of research that tells “how it really is” comes from the lived experience of people themselves.

For more information, please visit //www.fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/367

Or download an Order Form here.

CTV Montreal – March For International Women’s Day

March for International Women’s Day

Updated: Sun Mar. 08 2009 6:39:44 PM

Organizers for this year’s march for International Women’s Day are
aiming to highlight a number of local and international issues.

“Every year, we march down the streets of Montreal and assert our
power to fight for our futures and demand justice for all. We take to
the streets to celebrate and stand in solidarity with the daily
struggles of all women, here, on occupied Indigenous land and
throughout the world,” says a statement from the group’s website.

This year, the organizers encouraged citizens to wear masks to show
support against a proposed bylaw at city hall that would ban protesters
from wearing masks.

The march

The march got underway a little later than planned due to daylight saving time.

Starting from Cabot Square on Ste-Catherine at Atwater, the
organizers had a few speeches planned before starting the group on a
route that would end at 2:30 p.m.

There were at least two stops planned: one at the army recruitment
centre for an anti-war speech and one at the Israeli Consulate for a
speech from a Palestinian woman.

Other speeches planned include a talk by a Sri Lankan woman about the Tamils’ situation.

Nice weather

As of 12:15 p.m. about 250 people had gathered.

According to organizer Mubeenah Mughal, at last year’s march there
were between 350 and 500 attendees, and that was in the middle of a
snow storm.

“This year it’s so nice out, so we’re expecting more people,” she
said “There’s children here this year,” where the weather at last
year’s march kept the kids at home.

Taken from CTV Montreal on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 from //montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20090308/mtl_womens_090308/20090308/?hub=MontrealHome

Watch CTV Video Coverage //watch.ctv.ca/news/top-picks/womens-day/#clip147556