Migrants’ group in Canada calls for better protection for migrant workers

“Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable as they are easily intimidated because of their unfamiliarity with the local place and culture.” Migrante-Alberta


MANILA — Filipino migrants group Migrante-Alberta is urging Canadian employers to ensure the safety of foreign workers in their respective work places, after two recent incidents that left two Filipino workers injured.

“Foreign workers have a lot of adjustments to make. They adjust to the climate, the language, the homesickness, food and transportation, and the local norms, while making sure that they perform their duties in their workplaces,” said Marco Luciano, Migrante-Alberta spokesperson.

He added that migrant workers “willingly take the risk because of their need for job security.”

Last Sept. 11, Jaysen Arancon, 26, was shot during an armed robbery at the West Park Fas Gas. A Red Deer Advocate report said Reyes had just arrived in Canada under a Canadian government’s program that allows employers to temporarily hire migrant workers for jobs that could not be filled up locally.

“My son is a simple man, with a lot of dreams,” Sercia, Reyes’ mother, told Calgary Sun in an interview, “Why my son? Why hurt him? He’s a really good man. He would not hurt a mosquito.”

Calgary Sun reported that Reyes was shot in the face and his hands were also wounded when he instinctively tried to cover his face with it.

Two weeks later, another Filipino, Ronald Padilla, was stabbed in the abdomen while working on a night shift for Fas Gas.

Migrante-Alberta said migrant workers are “particularly vulnerable as they are easily intimidated because of their unfamiliarity with the local place and culture. The group said it could take anywhere between six months to a year for a foreign worker to adapt to the local environment.”

The migrant rights group added that while Alberta’s work alone policy provided provisions to protect workers such as a system to contact their supervisors in cases of emergency, Luciano said, “In situations where you are being held at gunpoint or threatened with a knife, a call to the immediate supervisor won’t really solve anything.”

Migrante-Alberta is suggesting that for graveyard shifts at least two workers should be assigned.

The Red Deer Advocate reported that, “Parkland Fuel Corp., the Red Deer-based company that owns Fas Gas service stations and convenience stores, has already committed to reviewing its worker safety practices.”

Migrante-Alberta is currently holding a fund raising activity for Reyes and, so far, has been able to raise $3,000.

Red Deer Advocate said in a report that the injury sustained by the two Filipino workers is just a reflection of a bigger problem.

After the film showing of Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy’s “End of Immigration,” Luciano said, many workers are unaware of protections available to them. Foreign workers, according to the report, are charged heavy placement fees and paid less than their local counterparts. The film, according to Luciano, aims to tell the story of migrant workers.

“A lot of Canadians do not know what is going on. Meanwhile, migrants are pitted against Canadian workers when they are being accused of ‘stealing the jobs of locals,’” said Luciano in the report. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

Share This Post

One Comment - Write a Comment

  1. Crazy, I actually used to work at that Fas Gas….I worked night shifts by myself too, I didn’t mind it so much because I’m a night-owl and people pretty much left me alone…… but one night some guy came in and piled a bunch of stuff on the counter and tried to pay me with crack…..I was just like….’I’m sorry, but I don’t think my boss would appreciate seeing that in the cash register in the morning…’

    Another guy came in one night and just left like ten grams of weed beside the counter.

    A lot of weirdos in Red Deer on the gas station nightshift….

Comments are closed.