Labour Day: Immigrant workers hit harder by tough economic times

 

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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 per cent) of participants secured permanent full time employment, two thirds of former workers were either precariously employed or unemployed;
– 77 per cent of workers wages were worse off than what they earned from PMP;
– 36 per cent of male workers and 37 per cent of women workers reported a wage drop of $5 an hour or more;
– 52 per cent or women workers and 42 per cent of men reported that it was difficult to make ends meet since PMP went bankrupt;
– 49.4 per cent of workers felt their health worsened after the plant closures;
– 85 per cent of workers felt age barriers was the primary reason while they could not find permanent work;
– and 67 per cent felt that they were racially discriminated in the labour market. Continue reading “Labour Day: Immigrant workers hit harder by tough economic times”