Job agency workers offered pennies, strike for living wage

Seventy-one workers with job agency Swipe Jobs, members of Unifor Local 222, have been on strike since January 12. They are contracted through the agency to handle food production, labelling, packing and shipping at Del Monte Fresh in Oshawa, Ontario.

“Del Monte has contracted out Swipe Jobs to provide workers at their facility, all the while not taking responsibility for the subpar wages and lack of benefits, making it impossible for our members to make a decent living,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

The job agency denies workers sick days, health benefits and wage increases resulting in a high turnover of workers hired from the newcomer community.

“This is a unit comprised mostly of newcomers whose first language is not English, and they are being preyed upon by a corporation that refuses to pay them a fair wage and supply them with benefits,” said Unifor Local 222 President Jeff Gray.

The workers voted by 75% to reject the employer’s wage offer of a five-cent per hour raise.

[Photo: Unifor]

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