Court certifies suit by Filipino and other temporary workers against Mac’s store chain

  • Page Views 2429
  • A B.C. Supreme Court has certified a class-action suit filed by temporary foreign workers against Mac’s Convenience Stores and a number of immigration companies in Surrey.

    The class suit was filed by Filipino and other temporary foreign workers recruited from Dubai.

    The workers claimed that they paid recruitment fees and were promised jobs in Canada.

    However, when they arrived in Canada, there were no jobs waiting for them.

    In addition to Mac’s Convenience Stores, the class-action suit was also filed against these immigration firms: Overseas Immigration Services Inc., Overseas Career and Consulting Services Ltd. (OCCS), and Trident Immigration Services Ltd.

    The workers said that they received contracts to work at Mac’s stores in B.C., Alberta, the Northwest Territories, and Saskatchewan.

    “This is a disturbing case of how low income workers spent their life savings to try to find a better life in Canada through a job at Mac’s Convenience Stores but instead found they had lost their money and most had no employment,” said lawyer Carmela Allevato, who represents the workers.

    Allevato, who is based in Vancouver, said that some of the works went back to Dubai, and some to the Philippines.

    Lawyer Susanna Quail, who is also helping the migrant workers, said there may have been up to 450 workers who were brought to Canada.

    Natalie Drolet, executive director and staff lawyer with West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association, said cases like this send a strong message to employers.

    The lawsuit has yet to be tried in court. The claims have yet to be proven in trial.

    The notice of claim was filed by the workers in  December 2015.

    Hundreds of migrant workers claimed they paid more than $8,000 for convenience store jobs which didn’t exist.

    The notice of claim was filed with the B.C. Supreme Court. It alleges that from December 2009 onwards, the workers were recruited in Dubai to work at Mac’s stores in B.C., Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

    When the workers arrived in Canada, they found the more than 425 jobs they had been contracted did not exist.

    The immigration firms named in the suit are based in Surrey, B.C.

    The firms allegedly charged the workers an illegal $8,000 recruitment fee and made them pay their own transportation to Canada.

    Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, migrant workers are issued a permit linked to the employment contract offered by their new employer.

    If the worker’s job role, location, or employer changes, their work permit becomes invalid.

    Mac’s Convenience Stores Ltd., which began as Mac’s Milk in 1962, now has about 800 stores across Canada.

    B.C. Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman issued the decision dated September 18, 2017 certifying the lawsuit.

    “Shortly after arriving in Canada, each of the [representative plaintiffs] learned that there was no job for them at Mac’s,” Silverman wrote in his ruling.

    The workers allege that as many as 450 people, mostly from from Nepal and the Philippines, had similar experiences when they were recruited by consultants in Dubai.

    In the decision, Justice Silverman wrote that the defendants “deny wrongdoing on their own behalf, and deny any responsibility for whatever wrongdoings, if any, that any of the other defendants may have committed”.

    Mac’s Convenience Stores claimed that it contracted with OCCS in 2012 to recruit temporary foreign workers. However, the company said that it did not authorize the collection of fees.

    Mac’s also claimed that it understood that any payments made by the workers were for helping them navigate the Canadian immigration system.

    The immigration companies have denied charging fees. They also said that most of the workers retained OCCS for “immigration and settlement services”.

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 22 September 2022
      2 weeks ago No comment

      Vhong Navarro under NBI custody for rape charge

      Metro Manila — TV host and actor Vhong Navarro remains under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as of Tuesday, a day after he was slapped with two arrest warrants over complaints filed by model-stylist Deniece Cornejo in 2014. Navarro’s camp has yet to file a motion ...

    • 22 September 2022
      2 weeks ago No comment

      Meet and greet with Jinny, Ramon and Surrey Forward

      The Surrey Forward party is ready to serve the city and its residents. Surrey Forward is fielding Jinny Sims as mayoral candidate in the October 15, 2022 local election, and the party also has seven candidates for council. One of these candidates is Filipino Canadian financial professional Ramon Bandong. ...

    • Queen-Elizabeth-King-Charles-2022
      15 September 2022
      3 weeks ago No comment

      Farewell Queen Elizabeth, Long live King Charles!

      The world is mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II, U.K.’s longest-serving monarch, who died on September 8 at the age of 96. Queen Elizabeth, whose reign spanned 70 years, was succeeded to the throne by her eldest son Charles, who has been proclaimed as King Charles III. The ...

    • 08 September 2022
      4 weeks ago No comment

      Filipino concert scene returns to Vancouver

      After a long hiatus because of COVID-19, the Filipino concert scene is revving up in Vancouver. A series of shows has been lined up starting in the month of September 2022, and ReyFort Media Group is calling on the community to support these events. The ReyFort Media Group wants ...

    • 01 September 2022
      1 month ago No comment

      Boni Barcia’s summer soiriee with B.C. NDP and Filipino community

      Boni Barcia hosted a summer party at his Coquitlam residence, which saw leading figures with the ruling B.C. NDP government rubbing elbows with members of the Filipino community. Among those in attendance at the August 28, 2022 bash was David Eby, presumed frontrunner in the race to become the ...

    %d bloggers like this: