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Migrant-Voices-Release-1

Migrant-Voices-Release-3The Migrant Worker Solidarity Network released our report, Migrant Voices: Stories of Seasonal Agricultural Workers in Manitoba, in May of 2013. This report, done in conjunction with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, was successful almost before it was even launched – at the official release, provincial Immigration Minister Christine Melnick announced that the government was going to extend provincial health care benefits to all workers coming to Canada as part of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP).

Migrant-Voices-Release-5Migrant-Voices-Release-2Needless to say, the Migrant Worker Solidarity Network is very pleased at this development, and applauds the governments support for migrant workers in this province.

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The Migrant Worker Solidarity Network and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Manitoba are proud to release Migrant Voices: Stories of Seasonal Agricultural Workers in Manitoba. The report was released today, May 15th, at an event at the Manitoba Legislative building.

Migrant Voices is based on interviews conducted with migrant farm workers in Manitoba during the summer of 2011. About 400 workers come to Manitoba every year, mostly from Mexico, to plant and harvest much of the produce grown in Manitoba.

You can download a copy of the report here.

Public launch of Migrant VoicesThe MWSN, in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba, will be launching a report on May 15th, 2013.

Come to this event to hear about the experience of migrant farm workers in their own words. Learn about our recommendations on how to improve the conditions of these workers, including a call on the Manitoba government to provide public health care for seasonal agricultural workers during the period they are working in Manitoba.

“Migrant Voices” is based on interviews conducted with migrant farm workers in Manitoba during the summer of 2011. About 400 workers come to Manitoba every year, mostly from Mexico, to plant and harvest much of the produce grown in Manitoba.

You can download a PDF of the event poster by clicking on the image to the left – please distribute the poster within your networks as you see fit.

For more information, please contact us at mw.solidarity@gmail.com.

mexican_migrant_farm_workers_event_march_5_2013

Mexican Migrant Farm Workers – Their Role in the Manitoba Economy

A presentation by:

Lynne Fernandez
Errol Black Chair in Labour Issues

Jodi Read
Migrant Worker Solidarity Network

Tuesday March 5
1PM – 2.15PM Tier 307

Organized by:
The Dept. of French, Spanish & Italian
Labour Studies Program

For more information:
204-474-9313 or
enrique_fernandez@umanitoba.ca

Jodi from the MWSN was quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press in this article:

Migrant workers ‘invisible’

WCB doesn’t track injuries by nationality

Saying goodbye to two young children and leaving to work in a foreign country for six months isn’t something most Canadians have to do.

Explaining to your spouse and children that as much as you’d love for them to join you, strict immigration laws ensure they probably never will, is also something most Canadians avoid.

This is the reality migrant farm worker 44-year-old Luis Galvain faces each year.

Jody Read, a member of the Migrant Worker Solidarity Network, said some workers are paid for the amount of vegetables they pick, instead of an hourly wage.

Last summer, she said one migrant farm worker had his hours cut and was suspended for two days after he told the farm’s management workers could not meet the quota of vegetables and were making less than minimum wage.

“Migrant farm workers are invisible and get treated as such,” Read said.

You can read the full article here.

"Migrant Farm Workers Need Public Health Care." - Front of campaign postcard

The MWSN is currently running a campaign to have workers in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) included in the provincial health care plan. As taxpaying residents of Manitoba, they deserve to have the same access to critical health care services as everyone else, and by keeping them outside of the existing public health plan, we expose the people who grow our food to the risk and uncertainty of uninsured medical bills.

We want to convince the provincial government of Manitoba to include SAWP workers in the provincial health care plan, something they have already done with international students in this province. If you support the right of migrant farmworkers  to health care, please contact us at mw.solidarity@gmail.com to request post cards, or print and sign one yourself (remember that mail to the Premier does require postage).

El Contrato, the documentary that follows a group of Mexican migrant farm workers as they travel to Canada to work in the  Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) in Ontario,  is available online courtesy of the National Film Board (NFB). You can watch it for free here – anyone interested in migrant farmworker issues should definitely give this one a look, as it opens the lid on the lives and working conditions of some of the workers who pick the food we eat.

Mud and Water Radio, a local radio show, recently ran two interviews on migrant worker issues. You can find both interviews online at their website, or click on the links below.

 

Gustavo Mejicanos of the Agricultural Workers Alliance on labour issues for Manitoba farm workers. Download

Thomas Novak of St. Ignatius church on Canada’s temporary foreign worker programs. Download

Thanks very much to Mud and Water Radio for airing these important interviews! Mud and Water Radio runs weekly and broadcasts about current affairs and the arts. You can listen in on Mondays at 5:30 pm CST on CKUW 95.9 FM, or download their interviews off their website – there’s lots of other interesting interviews to listen to. The radio program is run by folks behind the Mud and Water online magazine.

The Migrant Trail is a annual journey in solidarity with undocumented migrants from Central and South America. Jodi Read, a supporter of the MWSN, will be on the Migrant Trail this year and wanted to share some of her reflections on the march. The Migrant Worker Solidarity Network is a supporter of the Migrant Trail march, which occurs annually in the United States.

I’m preparing for another Migrant Trail. Yearly since 2006, I have embarked on this 75 mile, seven day journey through the desert borderlands of Sonora and Arizona called “Migrant Trail: We Walk for Life.” We are a diverse group of walkers, more than 60 people from around the U.S., Canada and Mexico who come together to remember people who have died in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands and those who continue to come.  In our walking we feel a little of the inhumanity of the crossing and recognize the tragedy of death occurring on the land.

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Si usted es trabajador migrante en Manitoba y quiere información sobre los servicios disponibles o si tiene alguna pregunta sobre sus derechos en Canadá, llame a la Alianza de Solidaridad con los Trabajadores Migrantes. Su llamada es confidencial. Llame al número: 204-299-1470
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