Court certifies suit by Filipino and other temporary workers against Mac’s store chain

  • Page Views 1366
  • A B.C. Supreme Court has certified a class-action suit filed by temporary foreign workers against Mac’s Convenience Stores and a number of immigration companies in Surrey.

    The class suit was filed by Filipino and other temporary foreign workers recruited from Dubai.

    The workers claimed that they paid recruitment fees and were promised jobs in Canada.

    However, when they arrived in Canada, there were no hobs waiting for them.

    In addition to Mac’s Convenience Stores, the class-action suit was also filed against these immigration firms: Overseas Immigration Services Inc., Overseas Career and Consulting Services Ltd. (OCCS), and Trident Immigration Services Ltd.

    The workers said that they received contracts to work at Mac’s stores in B.C., Alberta, the Northwest Territories, and Saskatchewan.

    “This is a disturbing case of how low income workers spent their life savings to try to find a better life in Canada through a job at Mac’s Convenience Stores but instead found they had lost their money and most had no employment,” said lawyer Carmela Allevato, who represents the workers.

    Allevato, who is based in Vancouver, said that some of the works went back to Dubai, and some to the Philippines.

    Lawyer Susanna Quail, who is also helping the migrant workers, said there may have been up to 450 workers who were brought to Canada.

    Natalie Drolet, executive director and staff lawyer with West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association, said cases like this send a strong message to employers.

    The lawsuit has yet to be tried in court. The claims have yet to be proven in trial.

    The notice of claim was filed by the workers in  December 2015.

    Hundreds of migrant workers claimed they paid more than $8,000 for convenience store jobs which didn’t exist.

    The notice of claim was filed with the B.C. Supreme Court. It alleges that from December 2009 onwards, the workers were recruited in Dubai to work at Mac’s stores in B.C., Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

    When the workers arrived in Canada, they found the more than 425 jobs they had been contracted did not exist.

    The immigration firms named in the suit are based in Surrey, B.C.

    The firms allegedly charged the workers an illegal $8,000 recruitment fee and made them pay their own transportation to Canada.

    Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, migrant workers are issued a permit linked to the employment contract offered by their new employer.

    If the worker’s job role, location, or employer changes, their work permit becomes invalid.

    Mac’s Convenience Stores Ltd., which began as Mac’s Milk in 1962, now has about 800 stores across Canada.

    B.C. Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman issued the decision dated September 18, 2017 certifying the lawsuit.

    “Shortly after arriving in Canada, each of the [representative plaintiffs] learned that there was no job for them at Mac’s,” Silverman wrote in his ruling.

    The workers allege that as many as 450 people, mostly from from Nepal and the Philippines, had similar experiences when they were recruited by consultants in Dubai.

    In the decision, Justice Silverman wrote that the defendants “deny wrongdoing on their own behalf, and deny any responsibility for whatever wrongdoings, if any, that any of the other defendants may have committed”.

    Mac’s Convenience Stores claimed that it contracted with OCCS in 2012 to recruit temporary foreign workers. However, the company said that it did not authorize the collection of fees.

    Mac’s also claimed that it understood that any payments made by the workers were for helping them navigate the Canadian immigration system.

    The immigration companies have denied charging fees. They also said that most of the workers retained OCCS for “immigration and settlement services”.

     

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 16 May 2019
      3 days ago No comment

      Ice in the age of social media

      Ice Seguerra, who began his career long before the age of social media, says that he’s still “trying to find” himself in today’s music landscape, which is now reliant on digital formats and streaming services. “I’m still trying to figure out who I am in this space, what I ...

    • 14 May 2019
      5 days ago No comment

      GMA Network sustains ratings lead in Urban Luzon; Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho remains no. 1 nationwide

      For the month of April, GMA Network maintained its TV ratings lead in Urban Luzon, which accounts for 72 percent of all urban TV viewers in the country. According to the latest data from the industry’s widely-trusted ratings service provider Nielsen TV Audience Measurement, GMA posted 36.6 percent average ...

    • 14 May 2019
      5 days ago No comment

      Wander in Hanoi with PAL

      Philippine Airlines, the only 4-star global airline and the country’s flag-carrier, expand the operations of their Manila Hubs to new Asian destinations as they launched a new route to Hanoi, Vietnam. This marks another milestone for Philippine Airlines who now gives two gateways to Vietnam—Saigon, and now the capital ...

    • 14 May 2019
      5 days ago No comment

      Why ‘Quezon’s Game’ will make Filipinos proud

      Much has been told about the legacy of Manuel L. Quezon, but little awareness, it seems, has been brought to an “act of humanity” of the late former president, which today resonates through the distinguishing hospitality of Filipinos. That lesser-known fact unfolded in the 1930s, when millions of persecuted ...

    • 09 May 2019
      1 week ago No comment

      Hidilyn Diaz, Gretchen Ho tagged in Palace ‘matrix’, deny knowledge of video sharer

      An Olympian and a television host were among new personalities Malacañang linked Thursday to an alleged conspiracy to discredit President Rodrigo Duterte. Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and morning show host Gretchen Ho were linked to webmaster Rodel Jayme, who is accused of spreading the controversial “Ang Totoong Narco-list” videos. Their ...

    %d bloggers like this: