New association for home workers in Ontario: Steelworkers and Migrante-Ontario call on federal government to let ailing worker stay



    TORONTO, June 10 /CNW/ - A new association aimed at providing
representation for home workers has been set up by the United Steelworkers
(USW) and Migrante-Ontario. Its first act is to call on the Federal
Citizenship and Immigration Minister to allow a terminally-ill live-in
caregiver in Toronto to remain in Canada.
    "It is precisely situations like that of Juana Tejada that have prompted
the need for new activism in defending home workers," said Coordinator Peter
Leibovitch. "It is a horrible example of the mistreatment of foreign and
temporary workers in our country. If Ms. Tejada was entrusted with caring for
children, then she should be given the respect and dignity to stay in this
country and be treated for a terminal illness that she developed while working
here."
    The Independent Workers Association - Home Workers Section will offer a
unique form of representation, based on a union model, to workers who are
living in Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP).
    The Live-in Caregiver Program falls under Citizenship and Immigration
Canada and was created in response to the demand for domestic workers and
caregivers in the homes of well-to-do Canadian families.
    The Independent Workers Association (IWA)-Home Workers Section will
organize workers who are still in the program and those who have gained
landed-immigrant status and citizenship but continue to provide home care as
either a caregiver or a personal support worker.
    The USW and Migrante-Ontario are committed to defending the interests of
marginalized workers, who do not have traditional bargaining relationships
with employers, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. The
IWA-Home Workers Section will offer services and benefits such as access to
Steelworker Dental offices and education programs, affordable legal services
and health care.
    "The most offensive thing about the Juana Tejada case is that her
mistreatment does not come from an employer but from the very government that
set up the program which now, in her time of need, rejects her. This is
bureaucracy at its most cruel," said Marco Luciano of Migrante-Ontario.
    The organizing campaign is a partnership between the USW and
Migrante-Ontario, a community-based organization that aims to promote and
protect the rights and welfare of immigrant workers from the Philippines in
Canada. Migrante-Ontario's involvement in this organizing iniative reflects
the fact that the majority of home care workers in Canada are from the
Philippines.
    Home workers can contact the IWA-Home Workers Section on a 24-hour
hotline, 1.866.621.9655, or independent.caregiver@gmail.com.





For further information:

For further information: Peter Leibovitch (USW), (416) 243-8792, ext.
231; Marco Luciano (Migrante-Ontario) (647) 205-5908, Connie Sorio, (647)
200-2839


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