Media Advisory - United Steelworkers Campaign Asks Public for Help in Exposing Abuses of Harper's Low-Wage Model

TORONTO, May 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) launches a new campaign today entitled "Give Everyone a Chance for Canada's Future."

A key element of the campaign involves asking people affected by the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to speak out about their first-hand experiences through the campaign's website found at Temporary workers exploited by employers or Canadian workers passed over or replaced by temporary workers can call a hotline at 1-888-899-4405

The campaign illustrates how the Harper government in partnership with corporations is flooding Canada with low-wage and highly vulnerable temporary workers from abroad at a time of record unemployment, particularly among youth and Aboriginal communities. 

"As a union representing 225,000 workers and their families, we have a dual responsibility to ensure Canadian wages and working conditions are not undermined by a permanent class of highly exploited and low-wage workers," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director. "We also demand that workers coming to our country are treated with dignity and respect."

The website decries the loss of employer-based job training programs in Canada and calls for a comprehensive reform of the patchwork of programs developed at the national and provincial levels. It highlights the need for job training in mining areas where over 80,000 jobs are expected to be created by 2016. 

"We hope we can conduct the campaign in conjunction with other unions, community organizations and immigrant groups to bring about wholesale changes that will lead to a high-wage development model for the benefit of all Canadians, including newcomers to our shores," said Neumann.

The online portion of the campaign has several interactive features including a place for people affected by the program to submit their stories, an opportunity to submit a letter to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, and a number of resources to help Canadians stay informed about the low-wage development model the federal government is increasingly relying upon. 

The USW is also planning actions in targeted communities to educate and mobilize the public. 

The campaign can be found at:

SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, / 416-544-6009


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