Canada's NDP

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March 13th, 2014

Conservatives stripping temporary workers of benefits

The NDP is outraged that the Conservatives are stripping seasonal workers of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

“Once again, the Conservatives are denying workers benefits that they’ve paid for,” said NDP Employment and Social Development critic Jinny Sims (Newton – North Delta). “Seasonal Agricultural workers make valuable contributions to Canada’s economy, and we must ensure that they have access to decent living conditions and are protected from abuse.”

Under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, workers from participating countries can come to Canada for up to eight months. According to a recent study by the United Food and Commercial Workers, agricultural workers and their employers pay $21.5 million into the EI program each year.

“This situation is shameful – the government is helping itself to the EI contributions of seasonal workers’. This is people’s hard-earned money we’re talking about. The Conservatives have once again hijacked the Temporary Foreign Worker Program,” said the NDP’s Deputy Employment and Social Development critic Sadia Groguhé (Saint-Lambert). “We’re urging the government to conduct a detailed and independent study of this failing program to ensure that it is fair for everyone.”