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Report/Press release

Agriculture Workers Alliance Bits and Bites!!! 3(2)

Date

2010

Authors

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Abstract

NUPGE Pledges $15,000 to the AWA!

Vigil held for temporary foreign workers killed on the job

UFCW Canada takes part at the symposium: "Rights Watch 2010: Tracking Canada’s Civil Liberties and Human Rights Landscape"

Series title

AWA E-News

Responsible institution

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Notes

On December 17, James Clancy, the National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), pledged his union’s support to the UFCW Canada, by presenting Wayne Hanley, National President of UFCW Canada with a $15,000 donation from NUPGE’s Social Justice Solidarity Fund to the Agricultural Workers Alliance (AWA). The contribution supports the valuable work the AWA does, in association with UFCW Canada, on behalf of agricultural workers.

In accepting NUPGE’s Social Justice Solidarity Fund donation on behalf of AWA, Wayne Hanley, and National President of UFCW Canada stated, “This has always been a question about justice and equality. We very much appreciate that NUPGE has been there over the years with UFCW Canada in support of our struggle."

Vigil held for temporary foreign workers killed on the job

On January 7, UFCW Canada and AWA activists joined more than two hundred other labour and community allies for a candlelight vigil held at the base of a Toronto apartment building where a Christmas Eve construction accident had killed four migrant workers, and left a fifth migrant with critical injuries. The vigil was organized by Justice for Migrant Workers and No One Is Illegal -Toronto.

Alexander Bondorev, Aleksey Blumberg, Fayzulla Fazilov and Vladimir Korostin fell more than 13 stories to their death on December 24, after the suspended scaffold they were standing on collapsed. Dilshod Mamurov, who also fell from the scaffold, remains in a Toronto hospital with a broken spine and two fractured legs.

All five victims were working in Canada under the Federal government’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program.

"It doesn’t have to be this way, and it shouldn’t be this way," says Wayne Hanley, the National President of UFCW Canada. There are thousands of UFCW Canada members across this country who are migrant workers and who don’t face such risks because this union would never allow it."

"A worker is a worker – regardless of where they come from. Migrant workers need greater protections given the vulnerable nature of their status in Canada.”

A photo gallery of the vigil available on the UFCW Canada Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/ufcwcanada.

UFCW Canada takes part at the symposium: "Rights Watch 2010: Tracking Canada’s Civil Liberties and Human Rights Landscape"

On January 9, 2010, the UFCW Canada was invited to take part in an important event presented by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) in Toronto. With an impressive record as one of the most active organizations in Canada on constitutional litigation, the CCLA was also an intervener on the side of UFCW Canada in Fraser vs. A.G. (Ont.) at the Supreme Court of Court of Canada in December 2009 (see Quest).

The symposium, entitled "Rights Watch 2010: Tracking Canada’s Civil Liberties and Human Rights Landscape" was a 2 day forum bringing together legal academics, law students and lawyers from across Canada was an opportunity to meet, discuss and present on the current state of constitutional litigation and human rights in Canada.

Naveen Mehta, UFCW Canada’s director of human rights, presented a workshop on "Freedom of association and protection for marginalized workers" with Joshua Phillips, counsel to the CCLA at the Fraser case.

After reviewing the current state of migrant workers in Canada, Naveen noted that "their is a fundamental and practical requirement to re-inject organized labour into the present discourse that is occurring in the halls of academia and immigration advocacy given the strides UFCW Canada and its local unions have made in decreasing the level of suffering for many thousands of migrant and immigrant workers in Canada. It is in a unionized environment that is trained to address the particular concerns of migrant and immigrant workers that we are able to achieve the goal of residency for migrant workers for example. "

Links

Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers and Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations - general

Content types

Policy analysis and Documented cases of abuse

Target groups

(Im)migrants workers and Public awareness

Regulation domains

Right to unionize, Labour standards, Health and safety at work, Health care & social services, Access to permanent status, Legal aid, Employment insurance, Housing standards, and Determination fair wages and labour shortage

Geographical focuses

Canada, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, Other provinces, and Federal

Languages

French, English, and Spanish