International scholars join with Agriculture Workers Alliance in Virgil


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Virgil, Ont. – ­­June 6, 2014 – The Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) Virgil Support Centre recently hosted a multicultural barbeque with activists and academics from around the world, who are part of the Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities and the Canadian Association for Studies in International Development.

During the successful event, the visitors learned firsthand from AWA members about the working conditions that agricultural workers endure in Ontario and the ongoing struggle to secure the rights of migrant workers.

AWA members shared their stories about why they migrated to Canada and the barriers that they face here, including a lack of access to government services, language barriers, the failure of governments to enforce health and safety laws, and migrant workers' inability to join a union in Ontario.

Together with UFCW Canada, representatives from the Niagara Public Interest Research Group presented on the work that they have done in support of migrant agricultural workers, such as ESL classes, legal clinics, sexual education, health and safety training, and other services and projects.

UFCW Canada, Canada's leading and most progressive union, and the AWA have been working hand-in-hand with migrant farm workers during the last twelve years and together operate ten agriculture worker support centres across Canada.