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Report/Press release

Sidhu certification stands

Date

2011

Authors

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Abstract

Sidhu certification stands:
The British Columbia Labour Relations Board (BCLRB) has upheld its March 2010 decision to certify a UFCW Canada Local 1518 bargaining unit of more than 70 seasonal migrant agriculture workers at Sidhu & Sons Nurseries in the Lower Mainland.

AWA grows again:
The Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) grows stronger this season with the addition of another new centre — and an expanded outreach agenda to agriculture workers across the country

Series title

AWA E-News

Responsible institution

Agriculture Workers Alliance

Full text

The British Columbia Labour Relations Board (BCLRB) has upheld its March 2010 decision to certify a UFCW Canada Local 1518 bargaining unit of more than 70 seasonal migrant agriculture workers at Sidhu & Sons Nurseries in the Lower Mainland.

Sidhu had appealed the certification, but on April 26 the BCLRB dismissed the action. In its written decision the BCLRB reconfirmed that the Sidhu unit, comprised of workers who come to Canada under Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), was appropriate and fulfilled "the Code’s key objectives in this area: access to collective bargaining and industrial stability."

In addition to the unit at Sidhu, UFCW Canada Local 1518 also represents seasonal migrant agriculture workers at Floralia Growers near Abbotsford, where a first-collective agreement was ratified last September.

First contract negotiations are expected to begin later this month.

AWA grows again
The Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) grows stronger this season with the addition of another new centre — and an expanded outreach agenda to agriculture workers across the country. With the opening a new centre in Saint-Eustache, Quebec this year the AWA will operate ten agriculture worker support centres across Canada: centres in Surrey, Kelowna and Abbotsford, B.C.; Portage la Prairie, Manitoba; Simcoe, Virgil, Bradford and Leamington, Ontario; and in Saint-Remi and the newest centre in
St-Eustache, Quebec.

Recently, new and veteran AWA staff from across the country met in Toronto for a week-long training and planning session to make Canada’s most comprehensive support network for agriculture workers even better. “The plan is to build on our strength,” says Stan Raper, the national co-ordinator of the AWA (seen in photo at the Toronto session). “After two decades of fighting for the rights of agriculture workers, and a decade of operating support centres, we have built up a lot of trust with the brothers and sisters. They know that the AWA and UFCW Canada are there for them. And the recent decisions in Quebec and B.C. that uphold the rights of these workers to organize with us are also very encouraging. The strategy now is to move that agenda forward.”

That agenda includes expanded outreach to workers too far way to come to the centres says Raper. “The plan is to get out to those communities with staff and volunteers and let workers know about their rights, and about the services we can provide to them as members of the AWA.” (Activists interested in volunteering can call their closest AWA centre —see www.awa-ata.ca).

Expanded access to education is also key this season. AWA members and their families now have free access to webCampus. Migrant workers can also apply for the recently launched UFCW Canada scholarship program for migrant and temporary workers. Free workshops on Health and Safety, Know Your Rights, CPP and Workers Compensation are also planned throughout the season; as well as English as a Second Language (ESL), and French as a Second Language (FSL) programs.

“Across this country, UFCW Canada and the AWA are committed to the rights, safety and empowerment of all agriculture workers,” says National President Wayne Hanley. “The gains we have made across the country demonstrate that agriculture workers want support and representation, and they want it from us. We welcome them.”

Links

Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers

Content types

Policy analysis

Target groups

(Im)migrants workers, Policymakers, Public awareness, and Employers, agencies and their representatives

Geographical focuses

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

Languages

French, English, and Spanish