WINDSOR, ON, Feb. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The CAW is continuing its nearly four
year-long case against former Wheatley fish plant owner Joe Pratas, of
Presteve Foods today in court. Pratas is standing trial for nine
counts of sexual assault and abuse in a human rights tribunal in
Windsor, starting today at 10 a.m.
The hearing will take place at 400 City Hall Square East, Room 409 in
In 2008, Pratas was alleged to have subjected a number of workers to
sexual assault and harassment while they were employed at Presteve
Foods. The workers were also being paid significantly less than their
Many of the workers had been housed at a bunk house, attached to the
facility and their work permits were tied to their jobs at the plant.
Many feared deportation or worsening abuse if they complained or
brought in the authorities.
The union intervened on their behalf after successfully unionizing the
migrant workers. The Canadian workforce at Presteve was already members
of CAW Local 444.
The situation at Presteve points to fatal flaws in the temporary foreign
worker program, said CAW Local 444 President Rick Laporte. "These women
were vulnerable exactly because of the circumstances of the program,"
"Their work permits were tied to their source of employment and if they
left this abusive employer, they would be threatened with deportation.
The Canadian government is repeatedly turning a blind eye to companies
who exploit migrant workers and put them in unsafe working conditions,
with few, if any protections. We know from recent examples that this
can have tragic consequences," said Laporte. Justicia for Migrant Workers will be intervening in the case, as will
CAW Local 444.
SOURCE Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
For further information:
For more information, please call CAW Communications Shannon Devine (cell) 416-302-1699. For more information on Justicia for Migrant Workers, please visit: http://www.justicia4migrantworkers.org/index.htm