Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico - UFCW Canada and the Mexican state of Guerrero recently strengthened their cooperative ties to improve conditions for Guerrero migrants who work in Canadian agriculture through an intensive workshop that was recently held in the state capital, Chilpancingo. The workshop was convened by Netzahualcoyotl Bustamante Santín, the Guerrero Secretary of Migrants and International Affairs, who invited UFCW Canada to deliver a training workshop for Guerrero public officials responsible for migrant worker issues.
The training and information session was presented by Andrea Galvez, liason for UFCW in Mexico. The workshop focused on temporary worker programs, labour rights, and human rights within the Canadian context. After a review of the deficiencies of Canada's temporary worker programs, the participants were briefed on strategies to improve the working and living conditions of Mexican farm workers who travel to Canada year after year.
The participants also brainstormed about more effective methods to reach out to migrant workers to insure they leave Mexico with adequate information about their rights — and the knowledge that the workers and their families can always rely on the Agriculture Workers Alliance services network.
In January, UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley, and Angel Aguirre Rivero, governor of the state of Guerrero, signed a mutual cooperation and letter of intent to protect the human and labour rights of temporary agricultural workers in Canada who come from Guerrero. The recent workshop in Chilpancingo is just the latest extension of the cooperation pact to provide, assistance, training and outreach to improve the living and working conditions of migrant workers from Guerrero before, during and after their stay in Canada.
UFCW Canada is also a signatory to similar agreements with the Mexican states of Michoacán, Tlaxcala and Oaxaca, as well as the Federal District of Mexico — which includes assisting their citizens while they are working in Canada through UFCW Canada's network of eight Agricultural Workers Alliance (AWA) centers — with issues such as labour rights, housing conditions, health and safety, workers’ compensation and other work-related matters.