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Report/Press release

Agriculture Workers Alliance Bits and Bites! 2(17)

Date

2009

Authors

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Abstract

- Temporary Foreign and Non-Status Workers Report is released‎

- AWA Leamington Office opens its doors with a bang! ‎

- California’s Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein proposes legalization of migrant farm ‎workers.‎

- Agriculture profits up 63% — what is the farm workers share?‎

Series title

AWA E-News

Responsible institution

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Full text

Temporary Foreign and Non-Status Workers Report is released‎
The long awaited report and recommendations from the Standing Committee on Citizen ‎and Immigration regarding the situation of Temporary Foreign and Non-Status Workers ‎was released on May 6, 2009 – including separate minority reports from the ‎Conservative, Bloc Quebecois and New Democratic Party committee members.‎

The committee started the study just over a year ago and visited a dozen cities and ‎received over 100 written submissions. ‎

However, the Canadian Labour Congress, the AWA and UFCW Canada are deeply ‎concerned that the Conservative members of this committee have chosen to dissent from ‎nearly a third (10 out 36) of the much needed recommendations for change as stated in ‎their minority report.‎

The Conservative members’ minority report says:‎

No to establishing an advisory board of stakeholders to oversee a flawed program
No to provinces and the federal government working more closely to ensure newcomers ‎can become permanent residents

No to keeping families together
No to encouraging stakeholder input
No to making the Temporary Foreign Workers program more transparent
No to improving processes to ensure fair wages for migrant workers
No to levying fees on employers whose conduct can lead to crises for migrant workers
No to community orientation sessions for migrant workers to know their workplace rights

Wayne Hanley, National President of UFCW Canada and the AWA, remarked, “What ‎are they saying yes to? The continuation of programs that don’t build a country based on ‎fairness and justice for all?”‎

We urge allies to rally behind these three important demands:‎

• Migration must support nation building ‎
• Social and political inclusion is a must
• Employers & labour brokers must be held accountable

AWA Leamington Office opens its doors with a bang! ‎
The AWA Leamington office opened its doors to migrant farm workers once more on ‎Sunday May 17, 2008. Some of their honoured guests were: UFCW Canada and AWA ‎National President Wayne Hanley, Minister of Migration for the State of Michoacán in ‎Mexico Alma Griselda Valencia Medina, and Father Joel Montano from the local ‎Leamington Catholic Church.‎

The Leamington AWA office has a lot of history behind it since it was the first of nine ‎centres now operating across Canada to open its doors to migrant farm workers back in ‎the summer of 2002. ‎

The AWA Abbotsford centre in B.C. will hold their opening on Sunday June 7, 2009 ‎while the AWA Simcoe centre in Ontario will have its festivities on Friday June 12, ‎‎2009. For more information regarding these events please visit the AWA Facebook ‎group’s calendar of events at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=50399557486‎

California’s Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein proposes legalization of migrant farm ‎workers
On Thursday May 14, 2009 Senator Dianne Feinstein presented a proposal to legalize ‎undocumented agriculture workers in the USA along with reforms to the system of H-2A ‎visas.‎

Project “Law of Opportunities of Agriculture Workers, Benefits and Security” or AgJobs, ‎‎“will reform the program of temporary workers with H-2A visas and will provide to the ‎agriculture industry a ‘legal and stable’ labour force that they deserve,” said Feinstein in ‎a news release.

Agriculture profits up 63% — what is the farm workers share?‎
This week Statistics Canada reported that farm sector total net revenues increased for the ‎second consecutive year to $3.3 billion — up $1.3 billion or more than 63% from 2007. ‎Meanwhile wages for most agriculture workers remain the lowest in Canada “because the ‎system is set up to keep these workers powerless,” says Wayne Hanley, the national ‎president of UFCW Canada and the AWA.‎

‎“The blatant discrimination against agriculture workers has to end,” said Hanley. “It ‎means billion in profits for the agriculture industry at the cost of the workers’ health, ‎safety and workplace rights."‎

Links

Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers

Content types

Policy analysis

Target groups

Public awareness

Geographical focuses

Canada, United States, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, Other provinces, Federal, Nova Scotia, and National relevance

Languages

French, English, and Spanish