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Jul 04

Migrant Voices

Migrant Voices is a series of testimonies recorded in workshops organized by the IWC. In these segments, workers share their stories about their lives and struggles in their places of work.

This project is part of the ongoing efforts of the IWC to help organize workers to defend their rights, and to raise awareness about im/migrant labour justice in Montreal.

In these recordings, workers tell of their struggles for dignity and respect as they face wage theft and physical abuse by employers, separation from family, and the constant risk of unemployment and deportation.

These stories also bear witness to the tremendous courage of workers – who come from as far as Guatemala, the Philippines, Senegal, and Bangladesh – and who organize and fight back against exploitative and precarious conditions.

Many of the Migrant Voices workshops take place in the production studios of CKUT Radio, where volunteers and workers learn radio production techniques in order to share their stories.

The Migrant Voices project is a new chapter in a history of struggle that too often goes untold in Canada and Quebec: stories of the subjugation of working people, but also of their collective power.

Please share these stories with your friends and encourage them to donate to the IWC via PayPal to support our work.

Thank you to the Béati Foundation, along with QPIRG-McGill, CKUT 90.3 FM, Radio Centre-Ville, PINAY, Solidarity Across Borders, Mexicanos Unidos por la Regularización, Dignidad Migrante, and all the volunteers who have contributed to this project.

Migrant Voices: IWC Radio

The Migrant Voices project is a collection of audio testimonies about the experiences of people who come to Canada as im/migrant workers. These testimonies are linked on this page. 

As much as possible, we have endeavored to present these testimonies in English, French and Spanish but not all recordings are yet available in all languages.

For more information about the project, click here.

Please note that this page is under construction.

The Immigrant Workers’ Centre presents the story of a Filipino machinist who came to Canada through the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program.

His identity is confidential due to the precarity of his status and the threat of retribution by employers.

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Noé Arteaga Santos came to Canada as a temporary foreign worker, but he was fired and deported to Guatemala after he helped organize a work-stoppage to get medical attention for a fellow worker. He is now seeking refugee status in Canada and is demanding justice from his former employer.

In this interview, Noé tells his story.

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The Immigrant Workers Centre presents the vivid testimony of a temporary agency worker about the dangerous and difficult conditions he faced on the job in Montreal. Interview by Noé Arteaga, followed by discussion by IWC volunteer Yumna Siddiqi and workshops coordinator Leah Freeman. This segment aired on CKUT, 90.3 FM on Monday June 2, 2012.

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In this interview, a Filipina who came to Canada through the Live-In Caregiver program discusses her struggles as a migrant worker.

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A Mexican man recounts his experience working as a butcher for up to 80 hours per week in slave-like conditions. His boss controlled his immigration papers and bank account, and denied him access to health care.

When he quit his job after three years, his boss refused to relinquish his temporary work visa, forcing him to work without legal status in Montreal. He describes this experience as “a thousand times more exploitative than in the United States,” where he had worked without status for many years.
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“Certainly one could compare it to slavery, and I’ve been able to understand in my time here that just by an individual’s skin colour, when I go to the placement agency, there’s work for those that are black, and there’s work for those that are white.” -A temp agency worker describes his experience working at a Dollarama

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