中年移民失業可悲的一頁

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中年移民失業可悲的一頁

移民來加拿大為了他們和家人的未來有保障。然而,懷雅遜大學最近的研究,描繪了受2008年經濟衰退長期影響的移民工人黯淡景象。

這項研究跟進調查了數百名前Progressive Mould Products (PMP)僱員5年,以確定他們在2008年工廠宣布破產後,能否維持類似中產級階的生活。可悲的是,那些受訪問者表示,他們現在比剛來加拿大時更糟糕。名為《移民重頭再來?經濟衰退、工廠關閉和年長的少數族裔移民工人:關於Progressive Moulded Products汽車零件廠工人的個案研究》(An Immigrant All Over Again? Recession, Plant Closures, and Older racialized immigrant workers: A case study of the workers of Progressive Moulded Products)的報告,概述1970至1980年代來到加拿大的移民工人的經歷,研究發現:

*只有三分之一(34%)參與者找到長期的全職工作,三分之二前PMP工人不是工作不穏定就是失業。
* 77%工人現時的工資比在PMP時差。
* 36%男工和37%女工時薪跌了5元或更多。
* 52%女工和42%男工表示,自從PMP破產後,他們就很難養家糊口。
* 49.4%工人認為他們的健康在工廠關閉後惡化。
* 85% 工人認為,年齡障礙,是他們找不到長期工作的主要原因。
* 67% 工人認為在勞動市場被種族歧視。

工廠重組永不講清楚最大的影響。這是為甚麼這項研究如此引人注目。它同時提供,關閉工廠在種族和勞工性別的真正成本統計概覽,以及描述這些非工會會員工人,爭取遣散費和解僱代通知金基本權利的阻力。

在2008年6月,PMP汽車零件製造商草率的關閉工廠,使超過2,400名工人失業。沒有得到遣散費和解僱代通知金,這些失業工人堵塞工廠,迫使公司支付數以百萬元計的遣散費和解僱代通知金。

這些工人被僱主和兩級政府犠牲。報告凸出,僱主如何通過有利僱主而非工人的省與聯邦法例,於關閉工廠時脫身。破產法把工人放在支付欠債名單最後。債權人、銀行和其他利益擺在首位,而為把利潤放進僱主口袋的人則一無所有。

聯邦和省的法律原意是保護脆弱的工人,例如給與PMP工人一點安慰。但當一間公司聲稱他們再

無力支付時,破產法並不保證支付遣散費和解僱代通知金。聯邦的支援收入計劃,例如,對於那些非長工,就業保險(EI)並沒有提供所需的收入支援。省的就業標準缺乏必需的執法和立法保護,以保證工人權益得到保障。研究同時凸出臨時工介紹所的作用越來越大,而沒有受到安省充分的監管。那些找到工作的前PMP工人,很多時經由臨時工介紹所介紹,做臨時工,薪水比長工少,經常在較危險的環境工作,因為這是合約的臨時性質。

PMP的故事並非例外而是常態。它代表了越來越多低下層工作,在哪裡我們找到老一輩種族化和性別化移民受僱於一些最危險、骯髒和致命的職位。這項研究的簡要描繪,反映了全加拿大數以百萬計工人的現實景況。

研究報告提出務實和長期的解決方案。以作為改革我們勞工市場的步驟,從提供托兒服務幫助想重返勞工市場的母親;到確保所有移民獲得安居服務;到修訂就業標準以保障受僱於臨工介紹所的工人,以至增加最高工資。報告中明確指出,勞工市場不會照顧自己,應採取步驟減輕老一輩種族化和性別化的移民工人存在的巨大差距。隨著經濟危機持續,我們需要繼續支持長期要求修改法律保障工人免於破產,以及恢復就業公平。我們還需要接受有遠見的需求;族裔移民社區面臨與上一代移民不同的問題。曾經一度存在支持老工人的仁慈安全網,如今已不復存在。這份報告提出了一個大膽的框架,如果頒布後,將給予如PMP工人在今日勞工市場經過努力獲得成功取的機會。

我們的父母來加拿大時作出犠牲,他們做最低工資的工作,仍辛勤工作儲蓄送我們上學,和照顧我們的衣食住行;他們承擔按揭貸款,使我們生活得舒適些。他們在這個社會植根三四十年後,他們的處境更不如初抵達時。PMP是我們集體的故事。這是一個掙扎、對抗、破碎的心和失去夢想的故事,但這也是一個滿懷希望和切盼改變的故事。這是個我們可以做些事情的未完故事。這些男男女女是我們的父母兄弟姊妹,通過倡導健康和體面就業,我們可以採取有必要的步驟來實施改革,這樣,我們的長輩不再需要犠牲,在不合適和不人道的條件下辛苦工作。

相關新聞報導: 失業年長移民找工難


A Sad Page From Being Middle-aged Unemployed Immigrants

Immigrants come to Canada to secure a future for themselves and their families. Yet a recent study undertaken by Ryerson University has painted a gloomy picture of the long lasting impact that the 2008 recession has had on immigrant workers.

The study followed hundreds of former employees of Progressive Mould Products (PMP) over a five year period to determine whether or not they were able to achieve any semblance of a middle class life after their plant declared bankruptcy in 2008. Sadly those interviewed reported that they were much worse off now as compared to when they arrived in Canada. The reported entitled “An Immigrant All Over Again? Recession, Plant Closures, and Older racialized immigrant workers: A case study of the workers of Progressive Moulded Products” profiles the experiences of immigrant workers who arrived in Canada in the 70s and 80s. The researchers found that:

* Only one third (34%) of participants secured permanent full time employment, two thirds of former workers were either precariously employed or unemployed
* 77% of workers wages were worse off than what they earned from PMP
* 36% of male workers and 37% of women workers reported a wage drop of $5 an hour or more
* 52% or women workers and 42% of men reported that it was difficult to make ends meet since PMP went bankrupt
* 49.4% of workers felt their health worsened after the plant closures.
* 85% of workers felt age barriers was the primary reason while they could not find permanent work
* 67% felt that they were racially discriminated in the labour market.

Plant restructurings are never told from the vantage point of the most impacted. This is why this research project is so compelling. It provides both a statistical overview of the real costs that plant closures has on the racialized and gendered workforce but also the resistance that was undertaken by this non unionized workforce to fight for basic rights to severance and termination pay.

In June 2008, PMP an auto-parts manufacturer summarily closed their factory throwing over 2400 workers out of work. Without receiving any severance or termination pay, the unemployed workers blockaded the plant to leverage the company to pay millions of dollars owed in severance and termination pay.
The workers were thrown under the bus by both their employer and both levels of government. The publication highlights how employers are able to get away with plant closures through both provincial and federal laws that favour employers rather than workers. Bankruptcy laws put workers last on the list to be paid when monies are owing. Creditors, Banks and a whole slew of other interests are given top priority while the people who put profit in the pockets of employers are left with nothing.

Federal and provincial laws that are meant to protect vulnerable workers such as the PMP workers provided little comfort. Bankruptcy laws didn’t guarantee paying severance and termination once a company claimed they could no longer afford to pay. Federal Income Support programs such as Employment Insurance does not provide the necessary income supports for workers in long term non permanent employment relations, and Provincial employment standards lacks both the necessary enforcement and legislative protection to assure workers that their interests would be protected. The study also highlighted the increasing role of temp agencies that are not adequately monitored or regulated by the province of Ontario. For those PMP workers who did find work, it was often through temp agencies where their work was temporary for less wages than their permanent counterparts and often employed under more dangerous conditions because of their temporary nature of their contracts.

The story of PMP is not an exception rather it’s the norm. It represents the growing underclass of work where we find older racialized and gendered immigrants employed in some of the most dangerous, dirty and deadly jobs one can find. The snapshot portrayed by this study reflects the realities of millions of workers across Canada.

The study provides both pragmatic and long term solutions as steps in reforming our labour market. From implementing childcare to assist mothers who want to re-enter the labour market, to ensuring access to settlement services for all immigrants, to regulating employment standards to protect workers employed by temp agencies, increases in the minimum wage. The report clearly states that the labour market will not take care of itself, steps should be undertaken to alleviate the disparities that exist for older racialized and gendered immigrant workers. As this economic crisis continues, we need to continue supporting long standing demands for reforms to laws to protect workers from bankruptcy and to restore employment equity. We also need to embrace visionary demands; the problems facing racialized immigrant communities differ from previous generation of immigrants. Where once a generous safety net existed to support older workers, today it is non-existent. This report provides a bold framework that if enacted upon will give workers like these PMP workers a fighting chance in today’s labour market.

Our parents made sacrifices when coming to Canada, they worked hard and saved while working minimum wage jobs so they could put us through school, and take care of our basic necessities; they undertook mortgages so we could be accorded a life of decency. Thirty or Forty years after they laid roots in this society they are faring much worse than when they arrived. PMP is our collective story. It is a story of struggle and resistance. of broken hearts and of lost dreams. But it is also a story of hope and a yearning for change. Its an unfinished story that we can do something about. These women and men are our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, By advocating for healthy and decent employment we can take the necessary steps to implement changes so our elders no longer need to sacrifice and toil under indecent and inhumane working conditions.