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Mexico, Canadian union sign migrant worker agreement


February 25, 2009
By United Food and Commercial Workers Canada

Topics

February 25, 2009, Michoacán, Mexico – Migrant workers from the Mexico
state of Michoacán will have enhanced services when they arrive in
Canada this season under a new agreement.

February 25, 2009, Michoacán, Mexico – Migrant workers from the Mexico state of Michoacán will have enhanced services when they arrive in Canada this season under a new agreement.

On February 24, Wayne Hanley, the national president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada, and Governor Leonel Godoy Rangel, from the State of Michoacán, signed an agreement to provide assistance and support to agricultural workers from Michoacán, Mexico while they work in Canadian fields and greenhouses.

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It is a first-of-its kind North American agreement, where a state institution has partnered with a civil society organization to extend services and assistance to its citizens working outside of Mexico. The pact was developed after work and consultation between Mexico executive and parliamentary authorities, as well as state authorities and UFCW Canada.

Under the pact, workers from Michoacán will be assisted in Canada by UFCW Canada (United Food Commercial Workers Canada) in association with the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA).

As part of the agreement, the AWA network of centres, staffed by Spanish-speaking staff, will offer counseling and advocacy services regarding labour rights, housing conditions, medical claims and other work-related issues.

In addition to an advocacy role, the AWA centres will also offer the Michoacán workers workshops and information on health and safety, workers’ compensation (WSIB) claims, English and French as second languages, translation services, and free long distance telephone access.