Gatineau, Que. – March 20, 2014 – Capping off two weeks of workshops with thousands of students across Ontario, Students Against Migrant Exploitation (S.A.M.E.) arrived at the Metropolis Conference in Gatineau, Quebec for yet another powerful action to end migrant worker exploitation.
The annual Metropolis Conference brings together policy makers, academics and community organizations from across Canada to discuss issues related to settlement and immigration. However, a key issue missing from the agenda was the blacklisting of migrant workers who exercisee their right to join a union in Canada. Currently, evidence has been filed with the B.C. Labour Board that clearly points to Mexican government and consular officials blacklisting certain Mexican migrant agriculture workers from returning to Canada who were suspected of being UFCW Canada Local 1518 union supporters at their B.C. workplace. The Harper government has completely ignored these serious allegations.
Never missing an opportunity to raise awareness about injustice towards migrant workers, S.A.M.E. hit the convention floor to distribute Stop Blacklisting! leaflets to participants. S.A.M.E. volunteers from Carleton University in Ottawa joined community activists and UFCW Canada members to carry out the action. The campaign calls on participants to send a message to Mexican President Peña Nieto to end the crime of blacklisting.
“When people gather at a meeting to discuss immigration issues, the right of migrant workers to join a union in Canada – without reprisal – should be on the agenda. We’re here to make sure the voices of thousands of migrant workers in this country are heard loud and clear,” says Pablo Godoy, the coordinator for S.A.M.E.
The Gatineau action is one of dozens of workshops, rallies, presentations and social media campaigns on the S.A.M.E. Tour 2014 agenda during Migrant Worker Awareness Month.To follow and participate in the tour, go to facebook.com/samegroup, follow S.A.M.E. on Twitter @thesamegroup, or for more information contact S.A.M.E at firstname.lastname@example.org.