CAWLS 2016 Conference, University of Calgary, 1-2 June 2016

Strategies for Temporary Foreign Worker organizing

Convenors: Doug Nesbitt, Queen’s University, and Andrew Stevens, University of Regina

In recent years, recurring and sustained debate in the public sphere regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has focused on various aspects of the program, including employer abuse of the program and illegal exploitation of Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs), the loss of “Canadian jobs” to TFWs, and the policy debate surrounding labour market analyses, and consequent government reforms to the TFWP.

Scant attention has been paid to the various approaches of organized labour, migrant advocacy organizations, and migrant worker associations in mitigating the abuses and limitations of the TFWP through participatory forms of worker organizing, whether it be the formation of new labour associations, new demands and innovations in collective bargaining, or forms of labour activism placing direct pressure on employers.

The goal of this panel is to provide space for those engaged in or studying strategies for TFW organizing in actually-existing workplaces, and how these efforts may impact the realm of policy-making.

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