Logo en Global Donate now

Online Database: Working for the abolition of legalized migrant enslavement through information sharing

GlobalChange

Document Details

 

Print and save

Report/Press release

Season of justice must be now for Ontario farm workers: “Every day the government delays is another day of discrimination,” says president of UFCW Canada

Date

2009-01-13

Authors

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Abstract

As the deadline approaches for the McGuinty government to answer to a recent landmark Ontario court decision, “Ontario agriculture workers expect the Premier will honour the decision and do the right thing without further delay,” says Wayne Hanley, the president of UFCW Canada.

Series title

AWA E-News

Responsible institution

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Full text

As the deadline approaches for the McGuinty government to answer to a recent landmark Ontario court decision, “Ontario agriculture workers expect the Premier will honour the decision and do the right thing without further delay,” says Wayne Hanley, the president of UFCW Canada.

Almost two months ago, on November 17, 2008, the Court of Appeal for Ontario delivered a decision that ordered the McGuinty government, by November 2009 latest, to provide farm workers with sufficient legislative protections to enable them to bargain collectively like other workers in the province.

The ruling struck down Ontario’s Agricultural Employees Protection Act (AEPA), which currently denies Ontario farm workers the right to unionize. The court ruled the AEPA violated the Freedom of Association rights of Ontario agriculture workers guaranteed under the Charter.

The government has until January 17 to appeal the November 2008 ruling, but “every day the government delays is another day of discrimination,” says Hanley.

“The November ruling was very clear, and any attempt to drag this out further would only condone the injustice these workers continue to face.”

If the province were to fight the November ruling, it would have to seek Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, “which is the same court that told Ontario in 2001 that its ban on farm workers’ rights to organize was unconstitutional,” explained Hanley.

“The only thing Premier McGuinty should appeal to is common sense and get on with the mandated legislation to provide these workers the same rights as every other worker in Ontario as the court ordered in November.”

UFCW Canada in association with the Agriculture Workers Alliance operates eight support centres across Canada for agriculture workers. UFCW Canada is also Canada’s largest private-sector union with over 250,000 members across the country working in every sector of the food industry from field to table.

Links

Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers

Content types

Policy analysis

Target groups

Policymakers and Public awareness

Regulation domains

Right to unionize and Labour standards

Geographical focuses

Ontario

Languages

French, English, and Spanish