The Saskatchewan labour federation has raised alarm bells concerning the increase in foreign workers across the province.
A statement from the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL), released on Sept. 9, pointed out the number of employers using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is on the rise, according to data obtained from a freedom of information request. That includes several new companies — which the federation said are exploiting foreign workers.
“When the people of the province first learned about how temporary foreign workers were being exploited as cheap labour, there was an expectation that our governments would address abuses of the TFWP,” said Larry Hubich, president of the SFL. “Not only has that not happened, but the number of employers in our province pursuing a low-wage agenda at the expense of migrant working people has actually increased.”
Among the most common employers hiring from the TFWP include those in the food, hospitality and service industries.
Hubich maintained the TFWP was designed to recruit skilled labourers, but instead is used as a first resort for employers looking for labour practice shortcuts.
“The TFWP was never intended as a way for Saskatchewan companies to pursue a low-wage agenda,” he said. “All working people in our province should be treated fairly, and migrant working people are no exception.”