Migrant Workers

Migrant Workers Program ‘saves lives’

April 14, 2022

By Mischa Milne, Communications Coordinator

In Mexico, Cinthia was an accomplished accountant working towards her Master’s degree. Her desire to improve her English is what brought her to Canada in 2019.

What she didn’t expect was the hardships she would face. Social isolation and language barriers, something many newcomers experience, were difficult to deal with especially as she had come to Canada alone – but it was an abusive employer that truly impacted her experiences the most.

At first, Cinthia was delighted to think she could utilize the skills she worked hard for in Mexico while gaining more experience – but instead, she found herself forced to perform duties completely unrelated to her job. It soon became evident she was hired under false pretences.

“The employer made me feel like garbage, like I was nobody in Canada. I was harassed and mistreated. I didn’t have any rights at my job. In fact, I didn’t know my rights when I came to Canada,” she said.

Responsibility and hard work are a core part of Cinthia’s values and culture, and she wanted to live up to her obligations to the employer. However, she can now say that she suffered emotional and financial abuse at work.

It wasn’t until a friend connected her with MOSAIC’s Migrant Workers Program (MWP) that things began to turn around.

Carolina Nunez, a Settlement Worker with the MWP, provided Cinthia with the right resources to report her employer, money for necessities like groceries, and information about her rights and responsibilities in Canada.

“Basically MOSAIC and the Migrant Workers Program saved me. It helped me to leave that abusive employer,” she said.

Through the MWP, Cinthia was able to find another job with an employer who treated her well and paid her the rate she was promised. She can now say that she’s enjoying her time in Canada, and feels passionately about the importance of migrant workers knowing their rights and the resources available to them.

MOSAIC has now launched a new Migrant Workers Emergency Fund to support people like Cinthia when they need it most – whether it’s escaping an abusive employer or dealing with an environmental catastrophe.

If you’re interested in supporting the workers who put food on our tables, care for our loved ones, and help build our communities, please donate today.