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Union files complaint with United Nations agency

March 24, 2009  By United Food and Commercial Workers Canada


fieldworkersMarch 24, 2009, Toronto, Ont. – The United Food and Commercial Workers
(UFCW) Union of Canada has filed a formal complaint with the
International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

March 24, 2009, Toronto, Ont. – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union of Canada has filed a formal complaint with the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

fieldworkersThe ILO is a United Nations agency responsible for formulating international labour standards, including basic labour rights such as the right to unionize for the purposes of collective bargaining.

The UFCW is arguing that right is denied to Ontario farm workers under the province’s Agricultural Employees Protection Act (AEPA).

In a letter to ILO director-general Juan Somavia, UFCW Canada national president Wayne Hanley asked the agency to find the province and its AEPA in violation of ILO obligations that Canada pledged in 1972 on behalf of all citizens and levels of government to uphold.

The ILO complaint follows a November 2008 decision by the Court of Appeal for Ontario that ruled that Ontario legislation preventing farm workers from unionizing is unconstitutional, and ordered the Ontario government to change the legislation within 12 months.

The Ontario government has applied for Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada to review the decision.


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