The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) today urged Employment, Immigration and Industry Minister Iris Evans to extend basic employment rights and protections to Alberta farmworkers. In a letter to the Minister, AFL President Gil McGowan suggested that the issue needs to be dealt with now to prevent future tragedies in the industry.
"It is unconscionable that the only time attention is paid to the plight of farmworkers is in the aftermath of tragedies like the recent fatal traffic accident in BC or the death of Kevan Chandler on a farm near Black Diamond last June," says McGowan.
"I have asked Minister Evans to act now to extend basic workplace protections to Alberta farmworkers," says McGowan.
According to McGowan, Alberta farmworkers enjoy even less protection than their counterparts in BC. "Alberta farmworkers have no basic employment protections such as minimum wage, limits on hours of work, rest breaks, overtime or statuary holiday pay" says McGowan. "They enjoy no health and safety protection, nor do they qualify for WCB when they get injured."
McGowan has asked for a meeting to discuss the urgency of the issue with the Minster.
"If we begin the process to correct this social injustice now," concludes McGowan, "we can prevent future farmworker fatalities and suffering in Alberta."
For more information contact:
Gil McGowan, AFL President Cell: (780) 218-9888