Labour Ministry yet to respond to letter from migrant farm workers in Canada
The Canadian lobby group representing some Jamaican migrant farm workers, who recently sent a letter to the labour minister outlining claims of mistreatment, is yet to get an official response.
Migrant Workers Alliance for Change had assisted the affected workers in writing the letter as the workers reportedly feared being targeted if they were identified.
Following publication of the letter, labour minster Karl Samuda made comments in the media that he observed no evidence of mistreatment during a recent visit to some Canadian farms.
These comments were deemed to be dismissive of the workers plight and the alliance said the workers felt betrayed by Mr. Samuda’s response.
Executive Director of the alliance, Syed Hussan told Irie F M News that the workers have also noted recent media reports that the labour ministry has appointed a fact finding mission to probe the workers claims of mistreatment.
He said the workers are ready to hold discussions on the concerns raised in their letter.
He said the labour ministry has not contacted the workers, neither has the letter sent to Mr. Samuda been responded to.
On a related matter, Mr. Hussan said he is unable to provide, at this time, an update on the medical status of some workers who were recently injured.
It’s reported that at least 3 Jamaican migrant workers were injured while carrying out their duties at a cherry farm in British Columbia.
One of the men reportedly fell from a ladder; videos of the injured man being attended to by medical personnel, after several hours of waiting, have been circulating on social media.
Mr. Hussan told Irie F M News that, apart from those workers who sustained physical injuries, other workers have been traumatised by the industrial accident.
He noted that the injured workers were on ladders, without any safety equipment.
He said those workers knew that they were in an unsafe situation, but were unable to assert their rights because of their temporary immigration status.
This issue is why the alliance continues to demand that the Canadian government grant permanent resident status to all migrants.