Migrant workers rally for better conditions
Published Wednesday, September 7, 2016 11:26AM EDT
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Canada's seasonal agricultural workers program.
Those who support the program have started a campaign, asking the federal government to grant immigration status to workers when they land in Canada.
The group Justice for Migrant Workers is heading to Ottawa to make that demand, and it started its caravan in Windsor on Monday.
Gabriel Allahdua has travelled from St. Lucia to Canada over the past four years to be a migrant worker.
This year, he is volunteering his time with the group to improve conditions for migrant workers.
Allahdua says “it's really disheartening to see the very important sector of our society, the people who harvest our fruits and vegetables, are denied those rights in a country that preaches human rights to all."
Organizers say more than 30,000 farm workers come to Canada each year, through the program.
The group claims the working conditions would be considered unsuitable for Canadian workers.
Windsor labour activist Melisa Larue says the migrant workers harvest food for long hours and are not given health and safety equipment.
Allahdua adds many temporary migrant workers are afraid of raising any concerns because of fears they will be sent home.
He tells CTV News "our only goal is equality for everyone."