No More Grand Slam Breakfast

A few months ago, Mable (my partner) and I went for our usual breakfast at Denny’s. Comfort food. We wanted a big, hearty start to our day.

Recognizing fellow Filipinos, our server introduced himself to us. He was a temporary foreign worker and relatively new to Canada. Mable gave him her business card and extended an invitation for him to come to her constituency office should if he have any questions or concerns about his employment. Sure enough, he did.

Months later, Mable’s office assisted him in filling out forms with Employment Standards and supported him in a precedent-setting $10 million class action lawsuit against Denny’s. It’s the first time that temporary foreign workers have come together as a collective to challenge their employer – a decision that was not made lightly considering what’s at stake… their lives and livelihood.

The lawsuit alleges breach of contract where workers did not receive the hours of work, overtime pay, air travel and other conditions stipulated in the employment contract. It also alleges that workers were required to pay approximately $6000 each to a recruitment agency for placement in Denny’s Canada locations in B.C.

I cannot begin to describe the sacrifice Filipino migrant workers make to be able to come to Canada – from the financial stress of travel and recruitment fees to the emotional stress of family separation. The last thing they need is a lawsuit.

Filipinos are generally a hardworking, peace-loving, “head-bowed-down” kind of breed. It takes a lot to get a Filipino up in arms. Just check out our country’s long history of colonization, tyranny and abuse. Something must have gone terribly wrong at Denny’s because Filipino migrant workers have had it. They are speaking out and fighting back.

Mo more grand slam breakfasts for me.

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About Curly Tail Pictures
Angelina Cantada: Photographer. Filmmaker. Writer. Dog Walker.

2 Responses to No More Grand Slam Breakfast

  1. Pingback: Support migrant workers in their fight to win a class action lawsuit against Denny’s | Diego Maranan

  2. Carol says:

    Thanks for the very interesting post! Would love to hear more about any new story development.

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