UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

April 28, 2011 14:50 ET

Media Advisory: Supreme Court Rules Friday on Farm Workers' Union

Landmark Supreme Court decision to be handed down Friday, April 29 could open the gate to unionize for Ontario farm workers. Media conference to follow at Ontario Legislature, Queen's Park, Toronto.

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 28, 2011) - On Friday, April 29, the Supreme Court of Canada will hand down a ruling that could return to the right to unionize to more than 80,000 Ontario farm workers. A victory for the workers would come in the wake of decades-long campaign led by UFCW Canada to overturn an Ontario provincial ban on farm unions. UFCW Canada is Canada's largest private-sector union and a leading advocate for farm worker's right for over two decades.

FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF THE DECISION, A MEDIA CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD AT 11:30 A.M. IN TORONTO AT THE ONTARIO LEGISLATURE, MEDIA STUDIO, ROOM 148, QUEEN'S PARK, TORONTO (FOR ACCREDITED JOURNALISTS ONLY).

BACKGROUND:

In November 2008, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a UFCW Canada charter challenge that the Ontario farm union ban was unconstitutional. The Ontario court decision pointed to the Section 2(d) Freedom of Association Rights which under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms upholds the right to organize for the purposes of collective bargaining.

The McGuinty Ontario Liberal government appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada which heard arguments in December 2009. If the Supreme Court of Canada strikes down Ontario's appeal and upholds the lower court ruling, the way would be open for Ontario agriculture workers to join unions and bargain collectively.

The Supreme Court of Canada's landmark decision on the appeal of the Attorney General of Ontario v. Michael J. Fraser on his own behalf and on behalf of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Canada et al. (Ont.) (32968) will handed down on Friday, April 29, 2011.

FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF THE DECISION, A MEDIA CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD AT 11:30 A.M. IN TORONTO AT THE ONTARIO LEGISLATURE, MEDIA STUDIO, ROOM 148, QUEEN'S PARK, TORONTO (FOR ACCREDITED JOURNALISTS ONLY):

WHAT:
Media conference regarding the Supreme Court of Canada ruling on the right of Ontario farm workers to unionize.
WHEN:
Friday, April 29, 2011 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
WHERE:
Ontario Legislature, Media Studio, Room 148
Queen's Park, Toronto
WHO:
Wayne Hanley, National President, UFCW Canada
Paul Cavalluzzo, Lawyer
Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish
Mindy Leng, former Rol-Land Farms worker
(a union organizing drive at Rol-Land Farms in 2003 is central to the legal case)
TELECONFERENCING:
Teleconferencing is available to accredited media. Please contact mforman@ufcw.ca for participant dial-in access information.

For a background on the case, including a historical timeline and previous stories and resource materials go to: www.ufcw.ca/supremecourt.

For more than two decades UFCW Canada has led the campaign to protect and promote the rights of Canada's agricultural workers, in the courts, and in the communities where farm workers work. UFCW Canada, in association with the Agriculture Workers Alliance, also operates ten agriculture worker support centres across Canada that every year handles thousands of files assisting farm workers across Canada with their health, safety, housing and workplace rights concerns. UFCW Canada also represents migrant and domestic farm workers at a number of unionized agricultural operations in British Columbia and Quebec.

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