Fact finding team to investigate claims made by farm workers in Canada

The Labour Ministry has appointed a fact finding team to carry out checks into claims by farm workers in Canada about alleged mistreatment.

In a post to social media, portfolio minister Karl Samuda stated that the team will investigate the working conditions of Jamaican farm workers under the Canadian seasonal agricultural workers programme.

The 6 member team is expected to travel to Canada to observe operations and speak with workers on the farms, then provide a report to the minister.

The minister did not indicate when the team will go the Canada.

The announcement of the fact finding team came after a meeting on Thursday between Mr Samuda and Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Emina TudaKovic, to discuss the minister’s recent visit to Canada.

In response to the ministry’s post, lobby group, migrant workers alliance for change, said the workers are ready to hold discussions over the concerns raised in their recent letter to the minister.

The group added that the workers are also willing to have discussions with the Canadian government, as efforts continue to get permanent status for the workers.

Meantime, the People’s National Party is calling on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to replace minister of Labour and Social Security Karl Samuda over the issue of alleged mistreatment of farm workers in Canada.

Opposition spokesperson on Labour and Social Security, Dr. Angela Brown Burke has also called for more to be done by the government to aid the workers.

In a release on Thursday, the opposition said the minister should be replaced and an immediate investigation launched into the claims made by the workers.

It said discussions should also begin with the Canadian authorities to guarantee the minimum acceptable working conditions and rights for the farm workers.


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