Farmworkers' quest for human rights arrives at the Supreme Court
OTTAWA — On December 17, a decades-long quest by Ontario farm workers to regain their human rights arrived at the Supreme Court of Canada.
“Farm workers are human beings. We’re not
“This is a question about justice and equality,” says Wayne Hanley, the National President of UFCW Canada which was the respondent in the Supreme Court case. “These workers are looking to the Supreme Court to tell the McGuinty government, once and for all, that agricultural workers in Ontario have the same human rights as ever other Ontario worker — including their rights, guaranteed by the Charter, to join a union and bargain collectively."
UFCW Canada is the country’s largest private sector union. For two decades it has led the campaign to protect and promote the rights of Canada’s agricultural workers, in the courts, and in the communities where farm workers work. UFCW Canada, in association with the Agriculture Workers Alliance, also operates nine agriculture worker support centres across Canada that in 2009 handled thousands of files assisting farm workers across Canada with their health, safety, housing and workplace rights concerns.