Injured Workers Fight for Compensation

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In Ontario, a group of injured migrant farmworkers is demanding action from the Workplace and Safety Insurance Board (WSIB).

One of them claimed migrant workers die every year because the conditions are difficult. He further said after getting injured, a worker has to fight to get treatment.

CTVNEWS reports that in an open letter, the group Justice for Migrant Workers that is made up of injured migrant farmworkers and their allies, said it is fighting for “fair compensation and respect from the WSIB.”

The injured farmworkers who were employed by Canada’s temporary worker program believe there are systemic issues with in the workers’ compensation system in Canada.

They feel they are not treated like humans.

They cited the case of Spanish-speaking workers who according to them do not get people to help them with the language issue.

They listed their demands which include that the board must support Spanish-speaking and non-English speaking migrant workers, support for workers who choose to stay in Canada for treatment, permanent immigration status for all.

The WSIB responded to CTV News by addressing the demands.

In its response the board said it was unable to provide retraining for migrant workers while in Ontario due to the contractual limitations of the Federal Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, in its response, said temporary foreign workers have equal rights with other workers in Ontario.

The Ministry said it has hired more than 100 new workplace inspectors and doubled the capacity of support phone lines. This includes accessibility to multiple languages,

On its own part, the federal office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion said the allegations are disturbing. It goes on to say the “Government takes its responsibility to protect the health and safety of temporary foreign workers, as well as the integrity of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program, very seriously….”

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