UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

May 16, 2008 11:21 ET

UFCW Canada takes ban on Ontario farm unions back to court

Landmark case at Ontario Court of Appeal argues exclusion of Ontario agricultural workers from unionizing is unconstitutional

Attention: Agriculture Editor, Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO - MEDIA ALERT --(Marketwire - May 16, 2008) - ATTENTION ASSIGNMENT AND NEWS EDITORS FOR TUESDAY, MAY 21/08 AND WEDNESDAY, MAY 22/08

The rights of Ontario's more than 100,000 agriculture workers will be front and centre when a landmark appeal is heard May 20 and 21, 2008 in Toronto by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

The application, brought by UFCW Canada and three Ontario agriculture workers, argues Ontario's Agricultural Employees Protection Act (AEPA), which denies Ontario agriculture workers the right to unionize and bargain collectively, is a breach of those workers' constitutional rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2(d).

The argument is reinforced by a June 2007 decision by Supreme Court of Canada (B.C. Health Services) which ruled, "that the s. 2(d) guarantee of Freedom of Association protects the capacity of members of labour unions to engage in collective bargaining on workplace issues."

The Ontario appeal will be argued by Paul Cavalluzzo and Fay Faraday of Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish. Responding is the Attorney General of Ontario. The Ontario Federation of Agricultural is also an intervenor.

Ontario and Alberta remain the only two provinces in Canada that continue to deny agriculture workers the right to join a union and bargain collectively.

"Agriculture workers are not second class citizens," says Wayne Hanley, the national president of UFCW Canada.

"To the 100,000 agriculture workers in Ontario, the vast majority of whom work on factory farms, we say to you we will not stop until your rights to join a union and bargain collectively are secured at last," declared Hanley.

A copy of the arguments contained within the Factum of the Appellants can be found at www.ufcw.ca/factum. Also see www.ufcw.ca .

UFCW Canada is one of Canada's largest private sector unions with more than 240,000 members working primarily in the food production, processing, distribution, and retail industries. It also funds eight support and service centers across Canada for domestic, as well as migrant and temporary agriculture workers from offshore.


For more information or for interviews contact:

Stan Raper
UFCW Canada
416-675-1104 x232 office
416-523-0937 cell

Paul Cavalluzzo
Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish LLP
416-964-5500 office
416-931-2978 cell
/For further information: www.ufcw.ca

Michael Forman
UFCW Canada National Communications
416-675-1104 x249 office

Contact Information

  • Stan Raper, National Coordinator, Agriculture Workers, UFCW CANADA
    Primary Phone: 416-675-1104 ext. 232
    Secondary Phone: 416-523-0937
    E-mail: stan.raper@ufcw.ca