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Jamaica to investigate migrant working conditions and allegations of abuse on Canadian farms

Jamaica’s labor minister appointed a fact-finding team to investigate working conditions for Canadian seasonal farm workers after first dismissing allegations of mistreatment of Jamaican workers in September.

A letter from a Jamaican farm worker sent by the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC) to Minister Karl Samuda described the appalling working conditions and lives of those employed under Canada’s seasonal farm worker program. It explains the conditions. The federal program allows an employer to hire a temporary foreign worker from Jamaica, 10 other Caribbean countries, and Mexico for her eight months at a time.

The letter highlights the dangers of being tied to employers who can fire and deport workers at any time, and called on Jamaica to lobby Canada to grant permanent residency to seasonal workers.

Samuda later issued a statement dismissing the allegations of abuse.

On September 1, Jamaica’s Ministry of Labor and Social Security announced that a six-person team would visit Canada to observe operations, talk to farm workers and report back to the Minister. The press release states, “Details will be announced at a later date.” As of September 23rd, no additional information or dates have been announced.

On September 21, MWAC received an email from the Ministry of Labor stating that the fact-finding team was interested in meeting with representatives of the Workers’ Union. The email said the team would be available for the rest of the week and next week.

The ministry has yet to respond to MWAC’s efforts to hold meetings both in person and online with farm workers this Sunday. The alliance also asked fact-finding team members and which cities and farms they were visiting, said Syed Hussan, executive director of MWAC. National Observer for Canada.

According to Hussan, migrant workers can only be seen on weekends due to work schedules.

Samuda’s press release states that the fact-finding team is “a tripartite” but does not say who the three parties are.

Natasha Bulowski / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer

Jamaica to investigate migrant working conditions and allegations of abuse on Canadian farms

Source link Jamaica to investigate migrant working conditions and allegations of abuse on Canadian farms

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