Migrant workers’ fight to unionize in the Yukon

Make sure to check out this recent article by Paige Gallette in Briarpatch Magazine about the exploitative and dangerous working conditions migrant workers too often face.

“The problem with that is the employee can be economically hostage,” says Justin Lemphers, former president of the Yukon Federation of Labour (YFL). In his work at the YFL, Lemphers supported many migrant workers whose bosses were also their landlords. “Under the current system of the Yukon Nominee Program, the auditing of employees’ experience is completely complaint driven. I’ve helped two people who were employed by the same employer, [and] who were [also renting from] this employer and ended up being harassed. We filed a complaint through the proper channels of the Government of Yukon’s [Department of] Economic Development […], which is tasked to review complaints of the Yukon Nominee Program, and we were deemed unsuccessful. This resulted in the employees losing their jobs, their housing, and leaving the country altogether.”

Read more in Briarpatch here.