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Report/Press release

JUSTICIA FOR MIGRANT WORKERS (J4MW) URGES OECS TO DEMAND RIGHTS FOR MIGRANT FARM WORKERS.

Date

2003-12-05

Authors

Justicia for Migrant Workers

Abstract

Justicia for Migrant Workers is urging the governments represented by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to examine closely the working and living conditions that migrant farm workers must endure during their employment contracts in Canada. Migrant farm workers from Mexico and Canada have been coming to work in the Canadian Agricultural Industry since 1966 under the auspices of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAW).

Series title

Justice For Migrant Workers

Full text

Justicia for Migrant Workers is urging the governments represented by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to examine closely the working and living conditions that migrant farm workers must endure during their employment contracts in Canada. Migrant farm workers from Mexico and Canada have been coming to work in the Canadian Agricultural Industry since 1966 under the auspices of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAW).

Recently at the Caribbean/Canadian Seasonal Agricultural programme meetings in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Velon John, St Lucia's labour minister, called on programme administrators to recruit more workers from the OECS.

Last year there were approximately 400 workers who took part in the
program.

Justicia wants to ensure that the action is taken to prevent the exploitation that has been faced by migrant farm workers in Canada. The organization is urging the Eastern Caribbean states to demand that migrant farm workers must be treated with the same rights enjoyed by millions of other Canadian workers.

Previously farm workers have demanded action on issues such as wage
discrimination, workplace exploitation, lack of health and safety protection, overtime work without overtime pay, and racism are some of the serious problems faced by workers while they are in Canada.

In order to prevent past injustices it is important that the OECS demands that the Canadian government ensures that migrant farm workers have rights to health and safety legislation, employment standards, the right to organize labour representation and the right to work in an environment free from discrimination. Workers demand that they be treated with respect and dignity. Collectively the OECS and Canada must take steps to guarantee that these principles are enshrined says Nicole Wall a member of the Justicia for Migrant Workers collective.

Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW), is an advocacy group for the rights of migrant farm workers in Canada.

For more information, please contact:
info@justicia4migrantworkers.org

Chris Ramsaroop:
chris.ramsaroop@utoronto.ca

Links

Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers

Content types

Policy analysis

Target groups

Policymakers, Public awareness, Unions, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Regulation domains

Right to change employer, Right to choose place of residence, Right to unionize, Labour standards, Health and safety at work, Newcomers integration programs, Health care & social services, Access to permanent status, Free employment services, Family reunification, Legal aid, Employment insurance, Social security, Remittances and co-development programs, Trips abroad and re-entries, Recrutement / placement agencies, Housing standards, Migration expenses reimbursement mechanisms, Impartial hearing before deportation, Status regularization procedures, Determination fair wages and labour shortage, (Im)migrant workers selection criteria, Right to equality (gender), Right to equality (national origin), Right to equality (social status), Right to liberty, Right to dignity, and Right to privacy

Geographical focuses

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

Languages

English and Spanish