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Report/Press release

Agriculture Workers Alliance Bits and Bites 2(29)

Date

2009

Authors

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Abstract

- Coroner’s Inquest set for December 8 – 18, 2009

- KAIROS funding gets cut by CIDA

- UFCW Canada and AWA participate in National Day of Action Rally

- AWA hits the airwaves in Toronto!

Series title

AWA E-News

Responsible institution

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Full text

Coroner’s Inquest set for December 8 – 18, 2009

A coroner’s inquest into the deaths of three B.C. farm workers has been scheduled for Dec. 7 to 18, 2009. The accident, which injured 11 workers in addition to the three fatalities, took place in the spring of 2007 just outside Abbotsford on Highway 1.

“This case is very relevant to the AWA centres in B.C. due to the fact that the conditions that led to this accident continue to happen every day in the Fraser Valley and the rest of Canada,” said Lucy Luna, coordinator of the AWA Abbotsford Centre.

“People think this problem has been addressed, but migrant workers are still telling us that many farm vehicles are in poor maintenance, lack seatbelts, and are driven by people who don’t have the right qualifications,” Luna added.

The driver was fined $2,000 and was prohibited from driving for one year. Given the continuous lack of enforcement and legislation for the protection of these workers, UFCW Canada and the B.C. Federation of Labour are calling for numerous recommendations to improve the health and safety of agriculture workers in the province.

KAIROS funding gets cut by CIDA

On November 30, KAIROS received notice from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) that their project proposal for 2009-2013 had been declined. They were not given an explanation for this decision, other than that their program did not fit CIDA priorities.

This decision terminates a 35-year history of cooperation between CIDA and KAIROS and its predecessor organizations, and compromises the work of human rights and ecological integrity in the developing world.

KAIROS is asking everyone to contact their MPs to discuss this urgent matter. Please, respectfully and politely:

- Speak about your own positive involvement with KAIROS;
- Express grave concern about this decision;
- Ask that CIDA restore its long-standing relationship with KAIROS;
- Emphasize the impacts of this decision on global partners and our work in Canada;
- Ask them to call on CIDA to reverse this decision.

KAIROS is a Canadian ecumenical justice initiative and is a web of people and partnerships dedicated to a faithful and decisive response to God’s call for respect for the earth and justice for its people. A faith-based ecumenical organization, inspired by a vision of God’s compassionate justice, KAIROS effects social change through advocacy, education and research programs in: ecological justice, economic justice, energy and extraction, human rights, just and sustainable livelihoods, and Indigenous Peoples.

UFCW Canada and AWA participate in National Day of Action Rally

UFCW Canada, along with members of Local 175/633, Local 1000A, Local 421 and the AWA, joined community and social justice groups on December 2 in a National Day of Action for Migrant Workers that saw activists gather in cities across the country to blow the whistle on the Conservative Stephen Harper government’s failure to provide real protections for the most vulnerable people in Canada’s workforce.

The protest focused on the federal government’s proposed changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program that will increase instability and unfairness for the already exploited migrant workforce by limiting their ability to stay in Canada beyond a four-year period and barring them from returning to the country for six years.

For more pictures of the event please visit
UFCW Canada Facebook page.
AWA hits the airwaves in Toronto!

The AWA has been working closely with “Radio Voces Latinas” over the past few months to talk about the issues surrounding our Latino brothers and sisters coming to work in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) and the Seasonal Agriculture Workers (SAW) programs.

The first broadcast took the airwaves on October 31, 2009, with a follow up on November 28. The AWA’s next broadcast is programmed for Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. on the 1610 AM dial in Toronto.

The one hour show is dedicated to talking about the problems and issues faced by many migrant workers coming to work to Canada, but more importantly about the ways the Latino community can help reduce or even eliminate these issues and problems by engaging with these workers and exerting their political influence in their own communities.

If you missed the first two broadcasts, please feel free to listen to them on our website:
www.awa-ata.ca/es/multimedia/

Links

Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers

Content types

Statistics on work and life conditions

Target groups

Public awareness

Geographical focuses

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

Languages

French, English, and Spanish