CBSA investigates claim 26 foreign workers were forced to share home

posted on January 14, 2014

By Chris Ensing and Rob Antle, CBC News | Link to Article

By Chris Ensing and Rob Antle, CBC News | Link to Article

The Canada Border Services Agency is looking into allegations that more than two dozen foreign workers were housed in one Labrador City split-level residence, in violation of their employer’s agreement with the federal government.

Four former employees of Jungle Jim’s restaurant and Greco Pizza told CBC News that 26 foreign workers shared the home for months.

“I feel so victimized,” Arthur Lorenzo said.

“I really felt that I made the wrong move of listening and believing this couple — Miriam and Jeff Staples, who fooled a lot of Filipinos, my fellow countrymen.”

But the business owners deny the allegations, blaming disgruntled former workers for spreading false stories.

“This is a bit amazing to me, because you’re talking to people that have a gripe against Jungle Jim’s because they’ve been let go from here, and people that have been let go from Greco,” said Miriam Staples, a director of the holding company for the restaurants.

CBSA agents executed search warrants at the home and at Jungle Jim’s restaurant in November.

Staples said she and her husband Jeff have co-operated with the agency.

“No one has been charged with anything and to this point we still don’t know what it’s all about,” she said.