Archive for February, 2012

Migrant worker’s widow makes the trek north for his body

February 22, 2012

Patricia Aguilar, a newly widowed 44-year-old, made a long and lonely journey from Lima to Kitchener this past weekend. She had felt uniquely compelled to see the body of her husband, and the scene of his death in Canada, before he was returned to Peru for burial.

“We know you are not in this world. You are with God now. But I know you will always take care of me and the children,” she recalled saying in the hours she watched over his body at a Kitchener funeral home. “I love you,” she told him.

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Inside the working conditions of migrant workers

February 19, 2012

In light of the recent tragic incident involving the death of 10 migrant workers in Southern Ontario, I felt it was finally time to take the wraps off of a journal I kept during a two-week trip in early 2004 to investigate the conditions of undocumented Chinese migrant farm workers. I hope this can help shed light on the kinds of conditions faced every day by the people who tend, pick and process the food we eat.
This is the second in a series. See here for the first entry.
The families of the deceased and injured are very much in need of financial and logistical support. As such, a fund has been set up so that donations may be made to them. At the same time, a sustained, organized, well-informed effort is needed to prevent similar tragedies. Please consider supporting groups like Justice 4 Migrant Workers and joining migrant farm worker advocates in calling for greater accountability and compensation.
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Homegrown Ontario’s foreign backbone

February 19, 2012

Tragedy struck without warning two weeks ago in the Ontario hamlet of Hampstead, northeast of Stratford.
A horrific collision at a rural intersection, between a van carrying immigrant farm workers and a truck, killed 10 workers and the truck driver.
Three other farm workers survived the Feb. 6 crash, two of them with serious injuries.

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NYT: Labor Dept. Issues New Rules for Guest Workers

February 11, 2012

By JULIA PRESTON
Published: February 10, 2012

The Labor Department on Friday unveiled rules that reshape a program for foreign migrants in work other than agriculture, which officials said would strengthen protections for those workers and also spur recruitment of Americans for such jobs. It was the latest move in a protracted battle between employers and the Obama administration over the nation’s temporary guest workers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/11/us/rules-revised-for-h-2b-guest-worker-program.html?_r=1

Ontario: Migrant workers: protected or exploited?

February 11, 2012

By Jason Miller, The Intelligencer
Posted 15 hours ago

QUINTE – Monday’s horrific crash in southwestern Ontario that killed 10 migrant workers has revived concerns about the sometimes sub-par working conditions foreign workers have to endure while working in Canada.

http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3468401