Agriculture workers grow strong with UFCW Canada
UFCW Canada has been an ally, advocate and champion for agriculture workers in Canada since 1980 —successfully leading the campaign for justice, enhanced rights, safety, and a voice in the workplace for some of Canada’s most exploited workers.
Today, UFCW Canada is also the union for both domestic and migrant agriculture workers with collective agreements in place at locations in British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec. They are strong contracts that protect the right of both temporary and domestic workers to return to work the next year based on years of service.
In association with the Agriculture Workers Alliance, UFCW Canada also operatesCanada’s largest association for agriculture workers, with a network of 10 help centres across Canada where the rights of all farm workers come first — no matter where they come from.
Since opening the first centre in 1992, UFCW Canada and the AWA have assisted literally tens of thousands of farm workers regarding abusive employers, unsafe workplace and housing conditions, medical treatment and Workers Compensation claims, parental leave benefits, health and safety training, as well as supporting the rights of agriculture workers to form a union.
UFCW Canada and AWA actions have also led to:
- Health and Safety coverage and training for farm workers in Ontario
- The right for farm workers in Ontario to unionize (the McGuinty Ontario government has appealed)
- Rent reduction to migrant farm workers in Quebec due to AWA Human Rights complaint
- Compensation to some migrant workers unjustly repatriated
- Official partnerships with Mexican states to advocate for the fair treatment and rights of workers
- Millions of dollars in Parental Leave Benefits for seasonal and temporary migrant workers Concerted pressure on the Alberta government to end its deadly discrimination of excluding farm workers from Health and Safety coverage
- Charges filed with the International Labour Organization (ILO) that Ontario’s ban on farm unions is a violation of human and labour rights under United Nations conventions
“Agriculture workers have the same rights as every other worker in Canada, “says Wayne Hanley, the National President of UFCW Canada. “We have stood with these workers from the beginning, and we will continue to fight for them until their rights are upheld, their workplace is safe, and the hard and dangerous work they do is respected and rewarded fairly.”