Migrant workers rally for human rights on Father’s Day


Migrant workers calling out for human rights in the Canadian agriculture industry during the “I’m a Father Too” rally in Toronto on June 19. To see a photo gallery of the Father’s Day event, click on the image above.

Migrant workers from Mexico and the Caribbean gathered under the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) banner on June 19 in Toronto and Kelowna, B.C., to rally for their rights and to “celebrate” another Father’s Day apart from their families. 

“Every year thousands of migrant workers come to Canada for months at a time without their families to try to earn a better future for their children,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. “These workers are proud parents who sacrifice a tremendous amount to provide for their families, and to make Canada’s agriculture industry possible. At the very least, they deserve the same rights as everyone else,” adds Brother Hanley referencing the shameful fact that agriculture workers are denied the right to collectively bargain in Alberta and Ontario.

The “I’m a Father Too” event in Toronto drew over 150 migrant workers from Bradford, St. Catherines, Simcoe, Virgil and other agricultural areas across Ontario. The gathering also included a number of community allies including Father Hernan Astudillo, who held a special Father’s Day mass at San Lorenzo Anglican Church.

The June 19 gathering represents the second time migrant workers from across the province gathered on Father’s Day to draw attention to the human rights abuses that exist in the agriculture industry and Canada’s temporary foreign workers system. Last year over 300 migrant workers participated in the G20 People’s Summit at the groundbreaking “No Rights No Rules” Forum.

For the first time, migrant workers in B.C. also gathered on Father's Day to participate in a picnic at the AWA Centre in Kelowna. To see a full photo gallery of the event, visit the AWA's Facebook page.

UFCW Canada activists, friends and supporters are invited to find out more about this important issue by downloading a free copy of the 2010 – 2011 Status of Migrant Workers in Canada Report, now available in French, English and Spanish.