UFCW Canada’s outstanding commitment to empowering workers through training and education recently went global with its participation in the first-ever Global Workers Defenders Network Forum, held in Tapachula, Mexico from January 24 to 28.
Hosted by the Global Workers Justice Alliance, the Defenders Network Forum drew activists from Mexico and Guatemala, who fully participated in a number of workshops – including one facilitated by UFCW Canada that focused on temporary foreign workers programs.
The UFCW Canada-led training session discussed the structure of temporary foreign worker programs in Canada, provincial labour standards, rights for agricultural workers, and the basic procedures that deal with unjustified dismissals, work-related accidents and health and safety issues.
The partnership between UFCW Canada and the Global Workers Justice Alliance is dedicated to providing migrant workers with basic information about their rights before they leave for Canada and to assist them in resolving complains when they return home.
Although the partnership between UFCW Canada-GWJA is still very new, it has already assisted a number of migrant workers by expanding UFCW Canada’s outreach capacity in Mexico, Guatemala and other Central American countries. That key part of the agriculture workers campaign is also gathering strength and momentum through a new UFCW Canada support centre and community outreach office that recently opened in Mexico City.
Last September, UFCW Canada, the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA), Global Workers Justice Alliance and other Guatemalan and international organizations participated in the first migrant workers protest at the Canada’s Embassy in Guatemala.
Vol. XI No. 07 • February 14, 2011