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Report/Press release

Agriculture Workers Alliance Bits and Bites!

Date

2010

Authors

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Abstract

March 9, 2010 marked the first-ever chapter launch of a new national, student-led activist organization – Students Against Migrant Exploitation, or SAME – at Carleton University in the nation’s capital, sponsored by UFCW Canada’s Human Rights, Equity & Diversity (HRED) department. A few days later, on March 12, more than a hundred students took part in launching another SAME chapter, this time on the campus of Brock University in St. Catharine’s, Ont.

Series title

AWA E-News

Responsible institution

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Full text

March 9, 2010 marked the first-ever chapter launch of a new national, student-led activist organization – Students Against Migrant Exploitation, or SAME – at Carleton University in the nation’s capital, sponsored by UFCW Canada’s Human Rights, Equity & Diversity (HRED) department. A few days later, on March 12, more than a hundred students took part in launching another SAME chapter, this time on the campus of Brock University in St. Catharine’s, Ont.

The Ottawa Migrant Workers Forum, co-sponsored by the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) featured a screening of the documentary Los Mexicanos – le combat de Patricia Pérez, the documentary profiling the late Patricia Pérez, who helped establish and ran the UFCW Canada-sponsored Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) support centre in Saint-Rémi, Que. (A second AWA centre in Quebec was established in 2010 in Saint-Eustache, bringing the total number of centres in Canada to 10.) The Carleton University crowd, including students and faculty alike, was addressed by Naveen Mehta, UFCW Canada’s national HRED director.

At Brock, meanwhile, the event included community leaders as well as student activists, and was supported by labour studies professor Larry Savage. SAME’s Brock chapter president Jazmine Mitchell opened the event with a brief but inspiring message, urging students to become active. “Together, students can make a huge difference in the fight for equal rights for migrant workers,” she told the crowd. After viewing the UFCW Canada-produced documentary Vincenzo Pietropaolo – witness to the Harvest Pilgrims, the forum was given the opportunity to learn first-hand from the experiences of Mindy Leung, a farm worker from Windsor, Ont.

Further events are planned for both campuses, as well as at other universities across Canada as SAME organizing continues.

Minimum Wage up to $10.25 in Ontario

As of March 31, 2010 the minimum wage in Ontario went up from $9.50 to $10.25 per hour.
This is good news for the many farm workers toiling in the fields this summer, since they will be one of the many groups of people to benefit from this increase.
UFCW Canada was one of many players from the labour movement in the “$10 Minimum Wage” campaign. The “$10 Minimum Wage” campaign brought together unions and community groups in a very powerful way.
If you require more information regarding this increase or if your employer has not made the necessary adjustments, calls us immediately at our toll free number: 1877 778 7565

Cesar E. Chavez Celebrated across the U.S.

March 31, 2010 marked the 83 birthday of a long time labour activist Cesar E. Chavez. As such, the labour movement in the U.S. celebrated the accomplishments of this illustrious activist.
Cesar was one of the first activists to fight for the rights for agriculture workers in California in the 1960s. President Barack Obama declared March 31 as the “Day for Cesar E. Chavez” and said “today, on the day he would have turned 83, we celebrate the legacy of Cesar and the progress of those who marched at his side.”
In November, the UFCW Canada will host the 11th AWA Cesar E. Chavez Black Eagle Dinner awarding the Black Eagle Award to activist fighting for the rights of agriculture workers here in Canada.

Event

The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford, in Abbotsford, B.C., is presenting “From Different Perspectives: Photographs from the Agricultural Landscape” in the Great Hall from April 8 to June 6, 2010.
From Different Perspectives, tells three stories of forgotten workers whose struggles on the landscape have been forgotten or ignored and reveals a landscape of opposition where workers are both represented and see themselves represented in ways which will challenge dominant views of the agricultural landscape.
For more information visit The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford.

Links

Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers

Content types

Policy analysis

Target groups

Public awareness

Regulation domains

Determination fair wages and labour shortage

Geographical focuses

Ontario

Languages

French, English, and Spanish