UFCW renews no-cost life insurance benefit for migrant workers

UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema and Al Wall of AIL Canada sign agreement providing no-cost life insurance to members of the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA)

Toronto – January 4, 2020 – UFCW Canada, together with the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA), has renewed a benefit plan that provides no-cost, accidental death and dismemberment insurance for migrant workers who are members of the AWA. UFCW Canada signed the renewal agreement with AIL Canada, the life insurance company that has provided this important benefit for AWA members since 2011, on December 17.

The agricultural industry is one of the most dangerous sectors in the Canadian economy, and  migrant workers employed in this sector continue to be one of the most precarious and vulnerable groups of workers in the country. Since the early 2000s, UFCW Canada and the AWA have been engaged in a historic struggle to secure basic human dignity and labour rights for migrant agriculture workers.

“In an often hazardous and perilous industry that provides few protections, accidental death coverage is crucial not only for migrant workers themselves, but for their families living in countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Jamaica, and the Philippines,” says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. “The life insurance policy is available at no cost to all migrant workers who are members of the AWA, and I would like to thank AIL Canada for providing this essential coverage,” the UFCW leader adds.

For more than three decades, UFCW has led the fight for migrant workers’ rights in Canada. In collaboration with the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA), UFCW Canada operates a national, on-the-ground network of Worker Support Centres with staff and volunteers helping thousands of migrant workers navigate and enforce their current legal rights and entitlements, as well as providing health and safety and “know your rights” training. To learn more about this important work, click here.