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A Montreal organization that supports migrant workers is seeking authorization for a class-action lawsuit against an international aviation catering company and a recruitment firm that they say illegally employed foreign workers.

The Immigrant Workers Centre says in a court filing that Quebec-based recruitment company Trésor lured hundreds of workers to Canada under false pretences and exploited them once they were in the country.

It claims the workers, who entered the country on visitor visas, were told they would be given work permits once they completed a probationary period.

The application, which must be approved by a judge, claims Trésor and aviation catering company Newrest took advantage of the workers' lack of status in Canada.

It claims the workers were often paid less than minimum wage, were not paid properly for overtime work and were not given adequate training or equipment to work at facilities preparing meals for flights leaving Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.

Guillermo Montiel, the president of Trésor, says he hasn't seen the court filing but he is "stunned" by the allegations, adding his company has never employed people who didn't have the proper permits.

Newrest did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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