Treeplanting company ordered to pay exploited workers

The Employment Standards Branch has just ordered Khaira Enterprises Ltd., a treeplanting company to pay $228,687.51 to tree planters who worked for the company from March to July, 2010. Most of the workers are originally from Africa and they were routinely subjected to racial slurs, discrimination and racialized violence, as well as horrendous working conditions.

Many workers have been in financial crisis for months due to the unpaid wages and the inability to collect Employment Insurance (EI). EI continues to rely on Khaira’s drastically underreported hours to deny the workers the benefits they are entitled to.

The BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre (BCPIAC) is representing about 25 of the workers. “This is a monumental victory for the workers,” said BCPIAC lawyer Ros Salvador. “We hope Khaira pays right away”.