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The mighty Economist magazine features an article dated Nov. 22, 2007, entitled “Canada’s guest workers: Not such a warm welcome”.

“The temporary foreign workers pouring into Canada are often exploited,” says the piece. It focuses on the headline-grabbing stories of workers such as those from Latin America who were hired to work on the rapid transit line from Vancouver airport to downtown. Exploitation was evident once the building trades council noted that they were being paid under $4 an hour.

It also mentions the exploitation of 11 Filipinos, “lured to Canada with the promise of jobs paying up to C$23 an hour” to work in a bottling plant in Ontario. CUPE has contacts with the labour movement in the Philippines and has alerted them to the article.

The article does not mention the exploitation that is occurring as private companies exploit workers who were once in public sector jobs, particularly in the health care sector. Sodexho, Aramak and Compass are private firms trying to take over public health care.

Illustrator Claudio Munoz has captured the essence of exploitation with his image of an open-armed Mountie welcoming foreign workers while the exploiters lurk in the shadows behind.

To read the article, go to http://www.economist.com/world/la/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=10177080.