Thursday, May 07, 2009

Goodbye Rhuby Thursday

Now a third housekeeper/caregiver has come forward with allegations of abuse at the Dhalla family home. The Toronto Star:
A third foreign worker has complained of being treated as a low-paid servant by the Dhalla family. The 32-year-old woman says MP Ruby Dhalla promised she would help the Filipino national stay in Canada if she passed a tryout at the Mississauga home. The test turned out to be brutal working conditions, and long hours, and money paid under the table. Nine days later, the woman quit.

The woman was in Canada working on a temporary work permit at an Ontario resort. When that job ended, a placement agency sent her to work at the Dhalla home in Mississauga.

Unlike the other two workers, who were nannies, this woman was hired as a housekeeper. In an interview with the Star, the woman said Dhalla’s mother, Tavinder, worked her so hard she had no choice but to quit. She had to wash all the floors while on hands and knees daily. She also had to shampoo the rugs each day at the four-bedroom home.

She said Rhuby Dhalla promised she would sponsor her through the Live In Caregiver Program if she stayed. She was eventually paid $370 cash for working 12 hours a day for 9 days.

Liberal MP Rhuby Dhalla has bravely demanded an investigation from the Parliamentary Ethics Committee into the tales of nanny/caregiver abuse alleged by former employees in the Dhalla home to clear her name, which is all well and good, except the nannies/care-givers are alleging criminal and labour violations. The parliament ethics committee can only investigate and clear her of any ‘ethnic violations’ and not labor violations or criminal behaviour.

Regardless, of which family member takes the fall for the violations, $370 for 9-12 hour days works out to less than a $3.43 an hour and is the merest breathe away from slave wages and is not close to the $250 a week offered to the other ‘caregivers/nannies’.

Furthermore, according to the transcripted conversations/emails between the Toronto Star reporter and Liberal MP Rhudy Dhalla, the caregivers were for her mother, a woman who is neither elderly or infirm, and in fact, according to the Right Honourable Dhalla, her mother even cooked for her ‘caregivers’ all of which would rule against sponsoring anyone for the nanny/caregiver program. Even promising to sponsor said potential employee was an abuse of a federal government program process and Dhalla family should have known better.

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