AWA members marching with UFCW Canada activists, and thousands of other workers, at the 2011 Toronto Labour Day Parade. To see a photo gallery of this event, click on the image above.
The Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) celebrated a major milestone at this year’s Labour Day Parade in Toronto. After four years of community outreach and non-stop organizing, the AWA recently surpassed the 10,000 member mark – confirming its role as the largest and most dynamic farm worker organization in Canada.
“This is a great achievement for agriculture workers, the labour movement and all social justice activists,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. “The AWA’s success confirms that farm workers are looking to improve their working conditions through collective action, and that a growing number of agriculture workers are seeing the AWA as the leading voice for justice, decency and fairness in one of Canada’s most important industries.”
Each year, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) brings over 30,000 farm workers into Canada to grow and harvest the fruit, vegetables and flowers that make the multi-billion dollar agriculture industry possible.
Agriculture workers from different regions of Ontario came out in force for this year’s Labour Day Parade in Toronto, where they gathered with over 600 UFCW Canada activists to celebrate the achievements of workers and the AWA’s milestone. Other AWA members participated in Labour Day events in Windsor and Vancouver.
In association with UFCW Canada – Canada’s largest private-sector union – the AWA operates ten agriculture worker support centres across the country.