Canadian gov't investigating claims of Filipino workers

January 15, 2011 2:34 am 

KALIBO, Aklan, Jan. 14 – The city council of Vancouver, Canada is now investigating the claims of 50 Filipino temporary workers against a restaurant there.

The said investigation is being led by the Mayor's Group on Immigration that has been tasked to take up the complaints of Filipinos who claim to be victims of a scam under Canada's Temporary Worker Program.

The Filipino complainants have filed a $ 10-million class suit action against Denny Restaurant after the management allegedly required them to go home as soon as their contract ends. The allegation, however, has yet to be proven in court with the restaurant management categorically denying it already.

Vancouver councilor Geoff Megs in his blog said that they are investigating the complaints because it may pose a potentially serious problem for the city government.

Also, according to Jojo Quimpo, who hails from Aklan but now based in Canada and is the past president of the Aklan Association in Vancouver, Filipinos in Canada are studying whether to impose a ban against patronizing the restaurant.

Reports had it that the lawyers of the complainants claimed the workers were recruited in the Philippines after paying $ 6,000 as recruiter's fee.

The Filipinos now say they have been denied wages, overtime and travel allowances that they are supposedly entitled to receive based on their contract.

"Once a Filipino worker has made the long journey to BC and is pouring coffee or flipping burgers, his or her existence is entirely dependent on their employer under the terms of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Their visas do not make them as immigrants. They cannot work for someone if they quit their job or are fired. They are supposed to be flown home at their employer's expense when the work ends," Meggs said.

He added that they specifically wanted to know what is the impact of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Vancouver, its immigration settlement services and on the workers themselves. (PNA)

LAP/PTR/AJP/JNA/vlo

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