Filipino temporary workers in restaurant industry face a bleak future

Filipino temporary workers in restaurant industry face a bleak future

Federal Minister of Employment Jason Kenny bans hiring temporary workers in restaurants…

Crisanta Noble, a 32 year old, is all smiles as she pours newly brewed coffee to a customer and says: “Fresh coffee for you.” Alex Santos, a 20-year old single accepts an order for a hamburger and softdrink from a Filipino customer: “Parang Pinas kami dito, halos lahat Pinoy.” (It is almost like Philippiines, most of us are Filipinos working here.”)

These two Filipinos, not their real names, have been working at the two famous franchise restaurants less than two years; and thru their smiles, their way of welcoming and serving the customers, have all the winnings ways, truly great employees in a food industry in Edmonton, making them as the most adaptable employees in the food industry, but, both of them are temporary workers in Canada. And their the lives of their families have changed for the better.

“Tamo, iyang si Nanang Bibay nakabili na ng kotse, aba, ang dalawang anak niya’y nagtratrabaho sa McDo sa Edmonton.” said by her neighbor in a suburbs of Manila. (Look at Nanay Bibay, she was able to buy a car due to her two sons working in McDo in Edmonton.”)

But lately, Crisanta and Alex’s friends and relatives in Manila are facing a bleak future to work in Canada as temporary workers, a stressful news for those who have been waiting for approval, and a sense of unreallized dreams for applicants who want to help their families from the economic hardships in a politically embedded economy in the Philippines, a country where politics define the social and economic status, pardon my punt, due to the congenitalcorruption of the majority of our appointed and elected public officials. (Even those “ghost employees” who collect their salaries every the 15th and 30th of the month,are protected by elected officials.)

The action of Jason Kenny, Federal Minister of Employment, against the reported abuses of the Federal Temporary Workers Program, resulted to many anxieties among the prospective temporary workers in the Philippines.

Program, resulted to many anxieties among the prospective temporary workers in the Philippines.

Furthermore, the moratorium also hurts the bottom lines of some restaurant owners: “ We have to shut down some of our hours of operation, we have had too much turnover of Canadian workers, they want to work in the offices and in the oilsands,” one of the employers said.”Most of them do not want to work in various shifts.”

“This is unfair for those who have qualified to work as temporary workers here in Canada, they deserved respect.” said by one of our kababayans. “Best workers naman ang mga Pinoy.” (Filipinos are the best workers.)

But the Federal Temporary Worker Program has many critics and lately these crtics are very vocal: “These temporary workers lower our labour standard, they accept even low wages, just to get out from their poverty in their countries,” extolled by one of the union leaders in the Western Canada.

And from a certain Martin Collacott, secretary of the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform in Vancouver, as the National Post reported, he said: “Canadians are well aware that there are already large number of people in the country who are unemployed and prepared to work for reasonable wages. These include unemployed youth, aboriginals, recent immigrants and people laid off from the manufacturing industry. Public opinion is therefore, increasingly in favour of a drastic reduction in the temporary worker program. The sooner the government takes action on this, the better.”

And from the Banks of Montreal and TD, in their released studies, widespread labour and skill shortages were a myth!

Temporary workers from some countries serve as one of the economic engines in any industry. Look at the Middle East. so progressive, and yet, employers accept so many temporalry workers in the various industries. And Canada cannot be isolated from these hard working foreign workers. Canada needs them and the abuses by some sectors, as reported, are isolated!

I do hope these critics will go to these franchises and pour fresh coffee and slice a new-heated bagel! And please smile and have a happy face while serving, an important quality in the hospitality industries.

And for Christina and Alex, their relatives and friends can wait!

The Filipinos in the fast food industry have all the smiles while serving the Canadian public. As one of the employers say: “The Filipinos are the best employees. with fresh smiles while serving fresh coffee.” And who can argue with this statement. Go and ask for a cup of fresh brewed coffee, and with their smiles, they have made your day, great!