Mexican workers say wages unpaid
Apr 30, 2008 04:30 AM
A group of undocumented Mexican workers hired to do painting jobs on luxury condos in Greater Toronto claims a Richmond Hill contractor owes them more than $13,000 in wages.
Six of the workers recently filed complaints with Ontario's Ministry of Labour against Com-Kote Interiors Inc., a company that has been involved in commercial and residential projects for clients including Shane Baghai Group, Davies Smith, Goldlist and Tridel developments.
Maria, who came from Mexico as a tourist two years ago and has been here since, said she was referred to Com-Kote in October through an acquaintance and was promised $12.50 an hour to paint at a condo building near Centre and Bathurst Sts. in Richmond Hill.
"The day before payday, they told me I'd be paid only $11 an hour. In total, I worked there for 302 hours but only got paid $900," said Maria, who asked her real name not be used for fear of being deported.
Maria, 28, was terminated in December because she didn't have transportation to travel to a different work site in Mississauga. She said she is owed $3,070.
She entered Canada fraudulently by posing as a tourist thus implying that she would leave Canada on her own volition at a specified date when in fact she had no intention of doing so. Now, she is in Canada illegally, is working illegally, and when her employer does to her what she did to Canada she cries foul and turns to the law when she herself is breaking the law. Oh, the hypocrisy!
Get this quote from the article:
"I expected more respect of the law in Canada than in Mexico" said Parra, the only worker with the group who has a social insurance number as a refugee claimant.,
The gentleman who made the above quote, according to the article, "has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and worked in marketing in Mexico". By that information alone we can assume he is a middle class Mexican. Yet he is also a refugee claimant. From what persecution is he fleeing from? Canada has witnessed a skyrocketing of refugee claims from Mexico, pushing that country into the top spot of refugee producing countries to Canada. I blogged about it here. He is likely part of the wave of middle class economic migrants from Mexico posing as refugees to enter Canada, bypassing the United States as that country is increasingly becoming hostile to illegal Mexican immigration.
So I find it hypocritical of that man to think that Canada should have respect of the law. What respect does he have for Canada's immigration laws? Does he think his fellow Mexicans should also respect the law and go back to Mexico since they are in Canada illegally and working illegally? Probably not.
A labour ministry spokesperson said Com-Kote has received 10 employment standard claims of unpaid wages between 2003 and April of this year, including unpaid overtime, vacation and public holiday pay. Two claims have been investigated and no violations were found, said spokesperson Bruce Skeiff. The labour ministry enforces employment standards regardless of a worker's immigration status.
There are a few things we can gleam from this article.
This first is that Canada should not enforce employment standards when it comes to undocumented workers. This may sound inhumane but if we guarantee paid wages to undocumented workers then we reward abuse of the immigration system.
Second, Canada should financially penalize any business that employs undocumented workers. Undocumented workers are in Canada illegally and are working illegally, making them vulnerable to abuse. Forming a black-market labour force fearful of discovery, they take jobs that pay less than the minimum wage. Their existence is an attack on the most vulnerable of Canadians by keeping wages down and drying up the pool of existing jobs that would otherwise be available and paying the legal wage were it not for undocumented workers. To defend undocumented workers is to attack the poorest of Canadians.
Thirdly, we should not be entertaining Mexican refugee claims.
Immigration advocates plead for compassion in these cases but where is the compassion for Canada's working poor, those who invariable suffer because of illegal immigration and undocumented workers? We must also keep in mind that many recent legal immigrants suffer as well. And, as I have said many times before, that many of Canada's refugee claimants are really middle class third world economic migrants escaping fabricated persecutions. Why reward their deceit?