Recent changes in federal immigration policy will increase the number of undocumented workers in Toronto. Undocumented workers face extreme health risks. These workers are without access to any rights to legislated minimum standards with respect to employment terms and conditions, or health and safety. Like all who are undocumented, they too are excluded from systems of care and support. As a result, undocumented workers are likely to be subject to abuse and exploitation.
This is very troubling because of the potential for increasing numbers of Toronto’s residents being subject to exploitation and rights violations. What’s worse is the effects of a growing, highly exploitable labour force are not limited to only these workers. There are negative impacts on all marginalized workers, both those with and without status. Increased numbers of undocumented workers put downward pressure on wages and working conditions for many in Toronto’s labour market as people compete for employment.
As a result, it is timely that the City is considering the policy issues raised by undocumented workers.