Below are a collection of public statements and articles of or about the group related to migrant worker solidarity in Manitoba.

News Articles

Several articles regarding the success of our campaign to have the provincial government extend healthcare benefits to migrant farm workers are available here.

Improve foreign farm workers’ lives: network by Ed White of The Western Producer, May 2013.

From the article:

Migrant farm workers are being exploited by a system that makes them scared to complain, says an organization campaigning for changes.

The Migrant Worker Solidarity Network wants foreign workers in Manitoba to have provincial health-care coverage and be able to immigrate permanently to Canada with their families.

“We are not suggesting for a moment that these men shouldn’t come to Canada, but what we’re advocating for is for them to immigrate here, to bring their families here and to be offered the same rights as other Canadians have when they are here,” said Lynne Fernandez, a member of the network and a professor of labour issues at the University of Manitoba.

Op-Eds

Steeling the NDP’s resolve: Migrant farm workers need access to public healthcare by Lynne Fernandez, May 2010. Part of the CCPA’s Fast Facts series.

From the article:

Unlike Manitoban workers, the taxes and EI deductions the migrant workers pay do not entitle them to EI benefits or public healthcare. In spite of contributing to the Canadian economy and paying taxes for 4 to 5 months for up to 25 years, these workers are marginalized from the healthcare coverage their taxes should entitle them to while they are here. They have to pay for their own private healthcare insurance because they do not qualify for provincial coverage.

How clean are you carrots? by Jennifer deGroot, August 2009. An op-ed in the Winnipeg Free Press.

From the article:

Imagine a job that requires you to leave your family for up to eight months at a time. Picture yourself speaking a different language than your boss. Consider living where you work and never being able to leave or receive visitors without your boss’s permission. Imagine knowing that should you raise any concerns you could lose your job and be sent home. This is Diego’s story.

Letters to the Editor

The vulnerable among us by Jennifer deGroot, May 2011. Letter of the Day in the Winnipeg Free Press.

From the letter:

Carol Sanders’ May 18 article, Vegetable pickers might not have to go home, highlights the precarious position of seasonal migrant farm workers in Manitoba, particularly those in the flood zone.

Many Manitobans are unaware that 400-500 workers come from Mexico to Manitoba each growing season to perform demanding physical labour that provides us with vegetables for our tables. Some of these workers have been returning to Manitoba for more than 20 years. Despite their contribution to society, they do not have the option of becoming permanent residents or citizens.

st Facts: Steeling the NDP’s resolve

Migrant farm workers need access to public healthcare