PRESS RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 17, 2008

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Farm workers repatriated after exercising human rights

14 agriculture workers removed from jobs and sent to Mexico a day after Canadian trade union applies to represent them

The repatriation of the Floralia workers follows an incident in Portage la Prairie, Man., last month where six migrant workers were removed from their workplace before an application for union certification could be filed with the Manitoba Labour Board.

UFCW Canada Local 1518 has lodged a formal complaint with the B.C. labour board that charges Floralia with breaching the province’s labour relations code. "In light of the employer’s behaviour and disregard for the B.C. labour relations process, we have asked the Board to rectify the situation by imposing remedial certification," said Local 1518 President Ivan Limpright.

"We also expect the Board to award the repatriated men their lost wages and to issue an order that compels the employer to provide the workers with passage to Canada and to immediately reinstate them to their former positions," said Limpright.

The first day of Board hearings was last Friday and more dates have been scheduled for this week, beginning on Tuesday, September 16.

The Board has issued numerous summonses for the Floralia workers to appear before the Board, and the Board has taken special steps to help the workers understand their rights and alleviate their fears.

UFCW Canada in association with the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) operates eight agriculture workers support and advocacy centres across Canada, which have provided assistance to thousands of workers since the first centre opened its doors in 2002

 

 

 

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