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Report/Press release

Agriculture Workers Alliance Bits and Bites! 2(18)

Date

2009

Authors

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Abstract

- AWA Quebec launches Human Rights complaint on behalf of Guatemalan workers

- Great turn ups at the openings of the Abbotsford and Surrey centres in BC, and Simcoe, Ontario

- Bradford and Quebec gear up for their centres’ official openings

- AWA staff makes presentation at Manitoba’s UFCW Canada Local 832 Stewards Conference

Series title

AWA E-News

Responsible institution

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Full text

AWA Quebec launches Human Rights complaint on behalf of Guatemalan workers
Andrea Galvez, coordinator for the Quebec chapter of the AWA, an organization devoted to the defense of agricultural workers’ rights and liberties, submitted a complaint on behalf of Guatemalan agricultural workers who come to Quebec to the Human Rights Commission of that province. Guatemalan workers are invited to come to Canada (and Quebec) through the temporary agricultural workers program. They have been suffering violations of their civil rights in Quebec.

The Guatemalan agricultural workers denounce the discrimination against their right to be called back to work and towards the dismissal period. Furthermore, they have been dismissed before their Mexican colleagues, and they have also suffered salary discrimination. Please keep checking our AWA website for more updates.

Great turn ups at the openings of the Abbotsford and Surrey centres in BC, and Simcoe, Ontario
Last Friday June 5 and Sunday June 7, the centres of Surrey and Abbotsford respectively, held their opening ceremonies for another season. Simcoe had its grand opening on Friday June 12, 2009.

Surrey’s opening was especially notable; as it marks the first time the centre opens its doors to the workers in the surrounding area. Pastor Eduardo Rodriguez; from Faith Lutheran Church blesses the centre. Glenn Toombs from UFCW Local 1518 was also in attendance and gave the opening speech. Two musicians then shared their music and entertained the workers. Volunteers and students from the University of BC and other union activists from the community joined them as well.

The Abbotsford centre, not to be outdone, had lots of workers from the area on Sunday to celebrate the opening of the centre for another season. Ravi Dhindsa and Glenn Toombs were also in attendance. Ravi coordinated the event and held raffles for the workers throughout the event, with the grand prize of a pre-paid cell phone.

Simcoe had a great event as well. Full of noise and music, the centre welcomed many workers from Mexico, Jamaica and the Caribbean. Raffles, speeches and lots of other activities were held for the workers. Overall, the workers had a great time and had a chance to unwind and forget about their fatigue after a long day’s work to enjoy the festivities.

Bradford and Quebec gear up for their centres’ official openings
As the season kicks into high gear, other AWA centres look forward to their official opening ceremonies. Although the centres have been open since the beginning of last month, coordinators at the Bradford and Quebec centres are preparing to receive workers at their official openings.

Bradford has scheduled its opening for June 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm
Quebec will hold its annual opening and their Patricia Perez Cup soccer tournament on
June 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm
For contact information or for directions to these centres, please visit our website:
http://awa-ata.ca/en/get-in-touch-join-awa/wp-contentuploadsmapsmap_insert1html/

AWA staff makes presentation at Manitoba’s UFCW Canada Local 832 Stewards Conference
On Saturday June 6, 2009, staff from the AWA made a presentation on the status of farm workers (foreign and domestic) and on the changing face of the union to the hundreds of stewards gathered together for their annual conference.

Alexes Barillas from the AWA national office presented on the issues faced by migrant farm workers across Canada, but in particular from Manitoba. He also presented on the changing face of our union and how important it is to recognize the future of our membership, as the Seasonal Agriculture Workers and the Low Skill Foreign Workers programs are expanding exponentially across Canada.

Links

Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers

Target groups

(Im)migrants workers and Public awareness

Geographical focuses

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

Languages

French, English, and Spanish