More cases of abuse reported: Independent Workers Association Homeworkers Section wants action on growing abuse

    TORONTO, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - The Independent Workers Association Home
Workers Section (IWA) says recent media attention on the plight of foreign
workers' exploitation and abuse is more reason the federal and provincial
government must step in to regulate agencies that facilitate - and profit from
-- the problem.
    A Toronto Star exposé and a CBC Radio documentary have once again
emphasized a growing network of abuse that starts with recruitment tactics in
place like the Philippines, where a majority of homecare workers in Canada are
    Connie Sorio, spokesperson for IWA, says governments' inaction make them
complicit in allowing migrant workers' rights to be violated.
    "Placement and recruitment of foreign temporary workers here in Canada
has become a very lucrative business both in Canada and source countries at
the expense of these workers," she said.
    IWA is a collaborative effort of the United Steelworkers union (USW) and
community-based Migrante Ontario to organize caregivers and homecare providers
into an association, The group was recently successful in fighting for a
terminally-ill worker to be allowed to remain in Canada after being denied
twice her right to permanent residence under the federal Live-in Caregiver
Program (LCP).
    IWA was formed in June of this year with a mandate to protect and promote
the rights and welfare of caregivers and homecare providers. Using the union
model, IWA seeks to offer services and benefits such as access to Steelworker
dental offices and education programs, affordable legal services and health
    Above all, the coalition aims to be a voice for marginalized workers and
to lobby for laws that will address the 21st century version of indentured
    "As this industry remains unregulated, these workers can become little
more than slaves," said USW Ontario/Atlantic Director Wayne Fraser. "What's
worse are the unscrupulous agencies that force them to pay for the privilege."

For further information:

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

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