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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:56 am
 


I removed your duplicate thread under "Social issues". This is a better place for your concerns anyhow.<br /> <br /> Have you reported this to anyone at the Labour board?<br />



Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra as opposed to the Bible? - Frank Zappa


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:34 pm
 


I anywhere did not report the matter. I will not have enough my colloquial English that all to explain. Anybody does not advise me something to do of my friends. I simply wanted to discuss this problem with other people. What do in Canada in such cases? And how concern to oppressions on work?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:42 pm
 


If my boss is abusive - I quit. But I have that option. It does not sound like some people can just quit. But even being unemployed is better than being treated like that.<br /> <br /> There are government agencies that help people, such as the Labour Relations Board. But they have only limited powers. A sly boss may know how to fool them. But if you have all your pay stubs, and your bank records, you can prove to them that you boss did not pay you for two weeks. You can also prove that you worked 5 days 'training' without pay - which I believe is illegal.<br /> <br /> If they get enough complaints about this employer, they can investigate. The only reason employers like this can continue is that there are always more people where you came from. Spread the word, let people in your community know how this guy operates, and his workforce will dry up.<br /> <br /> Might I suggest something as well? There are many trades which don't have enough people to fill jobs. Find one of those jobs - labourer in construction for example - and you will find better employers. Not enough people means the employer must be nice to keep the people he has got.<br /> <br /> Start with an agency such as Catholic Social Services or your Member of Parlament/Member of the Legislative Assembly/City Councillor, they may not be able to help you, but they can tell you who can help.<br />



Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra as opposed to the Bible? - Frank Zappa


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:56 pm
 


I've worked for Subway and other food service chains myself and they do tend to treat their employees very badly. They use young people and immigrants, ie vulnerable people, and pay them part-time only, no benefits, in an often dangerous workplace (like many other young people I was in charge of a Subway store by myself until very late at night in a bad area). I worked in those situations and talked to enough managers to know that although they complain about it they actually COUNT on high employee turnover because it actually keeps their costs down, so employees quitting are unlikely to change the workplace situation and make it better. And that's just to start, not counting more severe problems like outlined above. <br /> <br /> And part of the problem, or its root, is that this employer believes he can treat immigrants poorly. Unfortunately that is a problem throughout much of the Canadian working world, whether employers are dealing with people with PhDs and extremely valuable knowledge and skills or people who are just starting out. There have been <a href="http://www.vivelecanada.ca/article.php/20040421130750254">news stories about it</a> and I have personally heard from people who have left Canada or considered leaving (if they had that option), and others who can't afford to, because of their difficulty finding a job where they are valued, treated well, and paid what they are worth--let alone one in their actual field of knowledge in the case of people who have skills from their coutnry of origin, in many cases EVEN AFTER they get the additional education or upgrades required for this country. A lot of that is just pure racism. It is a serious problem and one which exists in many companies besides Subway, unfortunately.<br /> <br /> As to Dr C's recommendation of trying a trade and working as a labourer to get treated better, speaking from experience, it won't be any different in a trade. My husband works as a welder and has been in workplaces throughout Alberta (and heard about others through friends etc in various other trades)that treat their workers like crap, making them work extra hours for no pay, ignoring stat holidays, bringing in bad policies, verbally abusing employees, not giving our severance and firing under iffy circumstances, etc etc. Workers may be in demand, but generally it is the journeymen who are the most desirable, not the labourers. Labourers are generally new to the trade, much less skilled, unticketed, and younger. Labourers are at the bottom of the totem pole, and the most vulnerable, so they receive the worst treatment. They get the worst pay, the crap jobs, get fired/laid off first, and also generally get treated like scum by more senior employees. And in many cases employers won't sign apprenticeship papers for labourers or let them take time off to get their required schooling (because then they lost a cheap source of labour), meaning it is difficult for labourers to get their 2nd, 3rd year and tickets and move up in the pay scale or to better jobs. <br /> <br /> Alberta has worse labour laws than many provinces and fewer unions, granted, and they are also poorly enforced, but it's still likely the same treatment occurs in other trades across the country. Trades are also still very closed to women and immigrants because frankly, racist and misogynist attitudes still prevail in trades to an extent I haven't seen in other businesses, where at least there seems to be some acknowledgement of the issues and policies to deal with problems as they arise. That's why there are still so few women welders, for example. However, as I said, I am certain that racist attitudes toward immigrant workers are still present throughout all industries and workplaces in Canada, unfortunately. <br /> <br /> The worst part about these situations is that employers have the power. Many employees may not know the law or how to use it, and if they try, it may still not be enforced (while they have meanwhile surely pissed off the employer and company and likely lost their job). Employers use the powerful threat of firing to keep employees quiet, keep them from reporting issues, and to generally make them put up with bad treatment. Contrary to what Dr C said about quitting, IMO in most cases employees DO want to or need to keep their jobs, since it isn't always easy to find another one and they probably need it to meet bills and eat. In my husband's case he had a family to support and stayed at a bad job a lot longer than he or I wanted. Part time employees who just started a job won't be getting money from the govt if they lose it or quit to find a new one, and EI has been changed so that it is much less money and harder to get than it used to be even for full-time employees with a good work record--even in cases where employers aren't as uncooperative as the one above. Another serious problem is also that to get another job you need a good reference or two from previous ones, especially your most recent job, and that's difficult to get from a bad employer if you quit, let alone if you're fired, making it much harder to get another job (this happened to my husband when he quit his last job, depsite the fact that he was there four years and advanced to the position of assistant manager, and has a position on the local apprenticeship board). It's a bad situation that leads to what my husband and I like to call "battered worker syndrome", where workers continue to believe that they need to stay to live or "for the kids", and also fear the boss and esp getting fired enough not to rock the boat too much or speak up-- or leave. <br /> <br /> I think the best strategies are still to publicize the problem if possible, and to work with others like union and labour lawyers who may do pro-bono and cheap advocation for you. Racism may exist even in unions or among lawyers and labour board employees however so you may need to seek out groups that advocate specifically for immigrants. You might post your story to the following site and seek their advice as well for eg: http://www.canadaimmigrants.com/<br /> <br /> Meanwhile thanks for raising this issue and passing on your personal experiences. Best of luck and don't give up, there are plenty of other Canadians facing the same problems (both immigrants and regular working people).<br /> <br />



Once it was decided that Canada was to be a branch-plant society of American capitalism, the issue of Canadian nationalism had been settled.--George Grant


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