I just got home from spending three days at the BC Federation of Labour’s union renewal conference, which focused on strategies for fighting racism in our unions and workplaces and growing a more diverse labour movement. To see how the conference went, check out the liveblog/Tumblr here.
On the first day, Canadian Labour Congress Anti-Racism and Human Rights Director Karl Flecker gave a presentation about Canada’s changing labour force and why acknowledging our history and embracing anti-racism is essential for the future of our movement. To give some examples of the unique issues immigrants to Canada face, Flecker showed the following video produced by TRIEC (Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council):
I think this ad is a concise and effective way of making the point about the injustice many foreign-trained professionals face upon coming to Canada. The irony is that many time Canada evaluates the same immigrants and admits them at least partially based on the fact that they have needed professional skills, but when they get here we put up all possible road blocks to them practicing the profession they’re trained in.
Watching the ad again on YouTube I came across the other 2 ads in the same campaign by TRIEC and thought I’d share them here.
The point is not to malign service jobs, but to point out the racism in the system that marginalizes new immigrants, especially immigrants of colour, and refuses to allow them employment commensurate with their experience.