UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

June 25, 2009 14:21 ET

More workers arrested in another immigration raid in SW Ontario

Three migrant workers arrested in Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) raid of Leamington, Ontario greenhouse

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(Marketwire - June 25, 2009) -

On Wednesday, June 24, Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) agents raided the Sea Cliff Farms Limited greenhouse in Leamington, Ontario and arrested three migrant workers.

This is the third set of CBSA raids carried out in Leamington and other Ontario centres since early April, including a May 27 raid where nine female migrant workers at another Leamington greenhouse were arrested.

In the latest raid this week, at least one of the three men arrested and detained has a valid visa.

The arrested workers, who are all from Mexico, are being held at the Windsor, Ontario detention centre. Some of the men arrested still hold valid visas. One of the arrested workers had come to Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker program on a two-year work contract, only to be laid off within a few months of his arrival.

The detained workers will likely have their first detention review on Friday.

"The federal government has to stop punishing workers for the failures in the migrant worker programs," says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley.

"CBSA's campaign of hunting migrant workers down will only push workers underground - and under the thumbs of unscrupulous recruiters and employers," added Hanley. "We don't need knee-jerk reactions to the crisis of undocumented workers, but real long term solutions, such as full immigration status for all temporary foreign workers."

The men arrested and detained were active members of the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA). To date staff members of the AWA in Leamington have been denied access to visit the detainees.

As Canada's largest private-sector union, UFCW Canada has been advocating for the rights of migrant workers across Canada for almost two decades. In association with the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) (www.awa-ata.ca), UFCW Canada also operates nine agriculture worker support centres across Canada, including one in Leamington, Ontario. These centres have provided assistance to tens of thousands of workers since the first centre opened its doors in 2002.

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Media Liaison:

Sima Sahar Zerehi, National Representative
UFCW Canada
416-675-1104 x266 office
416.893.4053 cell
sima.zerehi@ufcw.ca

/For further information: www.ufcw.ca
www.awa-ata

/ IN: ECONOMY, JUSTICE, LABOUR, SOCIAL, TRADE

Contact Information

  • Sima Sahar Zerehi, National Representative, UFCW Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-675-1104 ext. 266
    Secondary Phone: 416-893-4053
    E-mail: sima.zerehi@ufcw.ca