UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

August 26, 2005 09:30 ET

FARM WORKERS CAMPAIGN GROWS

Alberta Farmworkers Union signs organizing protocol with UFCW Canada Attention: Agriculture Editor, City Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 26, 2005) - Justice for Alberta agricultural workers has moved one step closer with the signing of a new organizing protocol between the Farmworkers Union of Alberta (FUA) and UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers Canada).

UFCW Canada is one of Canada's largest private sector unions. For more than a decade it has led the campaign to extend basic workplace rights and health and safety protection to both domestic and migrant agricultural workers in Canada.

The union's campaign recently led to changes in Ontario legislation to extend the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act to also cover agricultural workers. In December 2001, the Supreme Court of Canada also ruled in a challenge by UFCW (Dunmore v. Ontario (Attorney General)) that excluding farm workers from the right to associate, which includes the right to organize a union, was unconstitutional.

In spite of that ruling, both Ontario and Alberta continue to prevent agricultural workers from unionizing, so a new UFCW Canada charter challenge has been filed and could be heard early next year.

Under the new FUA / UFCW Canada protocol, both parties recognize UFCW Canada as the union with the primary jurisdiction for organizing workers employed in Canadian farming and related agricultural processing industries. The FUA will also support UFCW Canada's continuing efforts to achieve representation rights and other worker rights for agricultural workers, and when Alberta grants the right to organize, the UFCW Canada will have primary jurisdiction.

According to UFCW Canada national director Michael J. Fraser, "we will continue to support the struggle of all Canadian farm workers denied the basic workplace rights and protections that most other Canadian workers take for granted. In Alberta we look forward to working in solidarity with the FUA to ensure Alberta farm workers gain the justice and protections they deserve."

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For further information:

Stan Raper, Agricultural Workers National Coordinator
UFCW Canada (416) 675-1104 x 232; (416) 333-2225 cell
www.ufcw.ca

[Disponible aussi en français]
/For further information: The UFCW Canada 2004 National Report on the Status of Migrant Farm Workers in Canada is available in PDF format. Go to ufcw.ca/publications_main.cgi and you can find the report under the "Organizing Agricultural Workers Publications" menu, along with other articles about the challenges faced by agricultural workers in Canada./ IN: AGRICULTURE, FOOD, JUSTICE, LABOUR, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Stan Raper, UFCW CANADA
    Primary Phone: 416-675-1104 ext. 232
    Secondary Phone: 416-333-2225
    E-mail: sraper@ufcw.ca