Immigrant workers suffer harder after layoffs: Report

Age, race biggest barriers to overcoming unemployment, precarious work
By Amanda Silliker
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/24/2013

In June 2008, 2,400 workers at Progressive Moulded Products (PMP) in Vaughan, Ont., were laid off after the company went bankrupt. Ninety-seven per cent of the workforce were immigrants.

Five years later, these workers are facing unemployment and precarious work, and struggle with the challenge of "being immigrants all over again," according to a report by Ryerson University’s Centre for Labour Management Relations in Toronto, in collaboration with the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union.

"After more than half a lifetime of working in Canada, these workers find themselves faring worse than when they first arrived," said Winnie Ng, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson and lead author of the study. "The economic crisis has ‘unsettled’ these long-term immigrant workers in a highly competitive labour market."