Toronto – March 6, 2020 – UFCW Canada has signed a new agreement with the largest labour organization in Mexico, the Confederation of Workers in Mexico (CATEM), that aims to strengthen the protections of Mexican migrant workers while in Canada.
The mutual cooperation agreement signed by UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema and CATEM President Pedro Haces Barba will result in greater support for one of Canada’s most vulnerable worker populations who are employed in one of the most dangerous sectors of the Canadian economy.
The new agreement seeks to provide coordinated communication and training approaches focused on labour, health and safety rights to better protect migrant workers while in Canada.
“UFCW Canada has a longstanding history of representing and assisting workers from other countries who come to our country and put food on our tables,” says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. “Labour rights are human rights, and this partnership is an important step forward in better protecting migrant workers in Canada, and advancing the effort to achieve fairness, equality and security for every person who works hard to make the Canadian food sector possible,” adds Brother Meinema.
One of the cornerstones of the agreement is the establishment of a new database to exchange information on the conditions facing migrant agricultural workers in Mexico and Canada. This research and analysis will be used to develop innovative programs for the betterment of migrant workers.
As strategic allies, UFCW Canada and CATEM will also be able to share their experience and political strength to give a voice to the concerns of Mexican migrant agricultural workers in Canada.
For more than three decades, UFCW has led the fight for migrant workers’ rights in Canada. In collaboration with the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA), UFCW Canada operates a national, on-the-ground network of Worker Support Centres with staff and volunteers helping thousands of migrant workers navigate and enforce their limited rights and entitlements, as well as providing health and safety and “know your rights” training. To learn more about this important work, click here.