By Stan Raper
This is our year to negotiate the first agreement in Manitoba for the Seasonal Agricultural Workers and secure for these precarious workers from Mexico a contract that provides Job Security, recall rights and a grievance procedure.
This is our year to secure the same rights in Quebec at the Hydro Serre Mirabel Green house operation.
This is our year to challenge a forty-year-old Labour Law in Quebec that has denied seasonal field crop harvesters the right to unionize and bargain collectively.
This is our year to challenge the archaic law in Ontario, which continues to deny agricultural workers the right to join a union and bargain collectively.
In May of this year UFCW Canada will be the first union to test the British Columbia Supreme Court decision that gave Health Workers in BC the right to Bargain Collectively as a defined right under the Charter of Rights and Freedom.
Saskatchewan organized a potato farm last year, which has temporary foreign workers along side Canadian workers although still before the Labour Board awaiting certification.
Eight revamped agricultural worker regional centers will be reconfigured to support all agricultural workers across Canada with an emphasis on ethnicity and language services and provincial representation.
The agricultural worker web page will be a modern substantial communication tool. This bi-lingual site will have all current and historical information regarding our continued struggle for justice.
A new list serve program will provide updates on our successes to any and all who are interested.
UFCW Canada cannot work in isolation in this new global economy.
We have developed an International (Global) lobby effort to educate and build alliances in other countries.
UFCW Canada has delivered presentations and the National Report on the Status of Migrant Workers in Canada to Jamaica, Barbados, Mexico and Thailand Governments and Consular officials. We have had delegations from Mexican Government Officials in Ontario and Quebec. We have spoken to the Senate Committee on Immigration in Mexico. We have presented numerous individual worker abuses to the Mexican Human Rights Commission and Legislative committees.
Letters of complaints have been forwarded to Guatemala, Thailand, Mexico and other sending countries. We have done countless written media interviews, TV documentaries and Radio shows.We have spoken at hundreds of University and Social Justice Events across North America and built solid alliances with church and faith based agencies.