News

Former Tim Hortons foreign workers threatened with deportation

Update in Fernie Tim Hortons temporary foreign workers story. - The Free Press Files
Update in Fernie Tim Hortons temporary foreign workers story.
— image credit: The Free Press Files

A Filipino family and the alleged victims of employee abuse at the Fernie Tim Hortons store are taking action against threats of deportation .

“It’s really hard,” Jona Pineda said.

“It’s okay for me if it’s just me, but I have my family, I have my kids here.”

Alex Hanson, the president of the United Steelworkers (USW) local 9346 said the threat of deportation is the result of a moratorium that was put on the service industry, a moratorium that lasted several months and put a halt to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

“When we saw the moratorium on the food services industry, we knew right away this was the federal governments attempt at splitting the foreign workers and labour groups such as ourselves, trade unions such as ourselves,” he said.

“People in the food services essentially speak up and then they get punished for it by deportation. I think it’s really sad.”

Pineda filed a complaint against former Tim Hortons' franchise owner Pierre Pellier claiming that he demanded cash payment for any overtime wages she received.

Pineda, along with a group of other temporary foreign workers from the Philippines are set to have their complaints over the alleged discrimination heard by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

But Hanson said if Pineda were to be deported, she wouldn’t even be to around for the Tribunal.

“How is anybody supposed to complain or get any justice out of the deal?” Hanson asked.

“We’ve seen the whole food services industry in total disarray, where abuse has become a pattern.”

Now, in response to the threat of deportation Pineda and her husband Chris are seeking legal council and are in the process of applying for a temporary resident visa.

Pineda said the application processing time is around six months and they are currently living in Canada on an applied status. She said she hopes she will be able to finish her immigration papers before her family is deported.

“We really wanted to stay here permanently in Canada….because of our kids,” Pineda said.

“We wanted to give them a better future.”

And Hanson and the USW local 9346 have been working with Pineda every step of the way.

“They are our angels,’ Pineda said.

“They’ve been there all throughout, they’ve been helping us. They’re kind of a blessing to us.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Virk shuffled to new job after Kwantlen flap
 
NDP blasts lottery corporation spending
 
Site C dam construction to start next summer
Fernie Alpine Resort hosts community appreciation day
 
Local child supported
 
New Sparwood mayor and council sworn in
Elkford councillors and mayor sworn in to office
 
Attempted assault at youth centre
 
District ratifies CUPE deal

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.