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Employees in the Newrest premises at Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau airport (Archive photo)
Airline catering company Newrest formally denied on Wednesday having employed undocumented workers in its Montreal facilities or having used their precarious status to exploit them.
Newrest, which provides meals for airlines such as Air Canada, KLM and Air France, affirmed that it scrupulously respected Canadian and Quebec laws on this matter. employment and immigration.
According to the class action request, more than 400 people were lured to Canada with false claims by the Laval-based employment agency Trésor.
Newrest says it takes these complaints seriously and is conducting further investigation.
The company, which has been operating in Canada since 2010, claims to have never been sanctioned by Canadian authorities.
Benoît Scowen , from the Center for Immigrant Workers, which is at the origin of the request for collective action, explains that the workers were in a very precarious situation.
They had worked without proper permits, and the employer and the [Treasury] agency threatened them with loss of opportunity for work permits, possible dismissal and even deportation, assures Mr. Scowen.
The workers allegedly suffered physical, psychological and sexual abuse. They were not properly paid or adequately trained or equipped, according to the class action request documents. In addressing such egregious violations, it is imperative to go beyond the legal aspects and focus on Resolving a negative workplace atmosphere.
Andrea Chavez, who worked for more than a year at Newrest, claims to have suffered physical, psychological and sexual abuse from her supervisors. I started working and I had panic attacks because the pressure was too much, she testified on Radio-Canada.
A representative of the Center for Immigrant Workers, Manuel Salamanca Cardona, said in an interview on the show Le 15-18 that he wants justice to be done and that the judgment of this case, if the request for collective action is authorized, becomes a legal precedent.
The Immigrant Worker Center says Newrest is not an isolated case.
With information from La Press Canadian and Aimée Lemieux