MEXICO CITY, MEXICO--(Marketwired - Feb. 20, 2014) - Canada's leading union, UFCW Canada, has joined an international network of civil society organizations - including Colectivo PND-Migración, Foro Migraciones and the RTDT network - to call on the "Three Amigos" to integrate human and labour rights into the NAFTA agenda.
In an open letter, UFCW Canada and the international network ask Presidents Barack Obama and Enrique Peña and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to engage in a real migratory agenda that includes incorporating the call for rights, justice and equality in the region; assessing the impact of the current economic model; rethinking it in a way to respond to the needs of the people and generate consensus to ensure the wellbeing of people, including opening the debate re freedom of human movement and mobility.
Recognizing the importance of the Summit, the coalition of organizations and migrant networks indicate that violence, poverty, insecurity, deportations, inequality and the constant violations of human and labour rights of migrants have grown in the last twenty years. In addition to this, they point to serious violations of labour rights, and ask for a response to complaints made under the Agreement on Labor Cooperation of North America. They also mention recent violations of Mexican migrant workers' freedom of association in Canada, with the complicity of the Mexican government.
UFCW Canada is Canada's leading and most progressive union, representing more than 250,000 union members across Canada, who primarily work in retail and food production industries - including migrant and domestic agriculture workers at various locations in Quebec and British Columbia.
For more than two decades UFCW Canada has been a leading advocate for farm workers' rights, and in association with the AWA (Agriculture Workers Alliance) operates 10 agriculture worker support centers across Canada. Recently, UFCW Canada joined the Collective PND-Migration, consisting of civic nonprofit organizations and networks that share the work of creating conditions for the enjoyment of human rights of men and women in an immigration context.
All organizations and networks who signed the open letter have a strong track record of defending migrant worker rights through legal challenges, research, training, development, advocacy and providing other services to migrant populations in the Americas.