MEXICO CITY, Feb. 21, 2014 /CNW/ - The NAFTA Summit held in Toluca,
Mexico on February 19 should have marked the beginning of a new
dialogue between Mexico and Canada: a dialogue that fosters
unconditional respect for the labour rights of all migrant workers.
After 70 years of bilateral relations, 40 years after the signing of the
Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, and 20 years after the signing
of NAFTA, trade and investment between Mexico and Canada have grown
Unfortunately, the issue of the fundamental rights of Mexicans in
Canada, particularly those of migrant and immigrant workers, was
deliberately left aside during the meeting.
Mexico has described Canada's unilateral imposition of a visa on Mexican
visitors to Canada as an "irritant", but the truth is the impact of
this measure is minimal compared to the constant violations of the
fundamental rights of less fortunate Mexicans who travel to Canada as
low skilled temporary workers or undocumented workers.
Ironically, it is the very Mexican government that has violated the
rights of Mexicans abroad by failing to protect them, penalizing those
who raise their voices to fight for their rights by forming a union.
Since 2009, Mexico faces charges of anti-union activity for conspiring
with Canadian farmers to exclude people from the Seasonal Agricultural
Workers Program who tried to join the union, UFCW Canada Local 1518.
Last February 14, Mexico filed an appeal before the British Columbia
Supreme Court to erase documented evidence and sworn testimonies that
confirm its blatant disrespect for its own citizens' freedom of
Mexico and Canada can keep pretending they are business partners, or may
finally assume that the profile of Mexican migration to Canada has
changed. Both countries are responsible for the dignified and
respectful treatment of all workers, regardless of their origin or
UFCW Canada is Canada's leading and most progressive union, representing more than
250,000 union members across Canada, who primarily work in retail and
food production industries — including migrant and domestic agriculture
workers at various locations in Quebec and British Columbia. For more
than two decades UFCW Canada has been a leading advocate for farm workers' rights, and in
association with the AWA (Agriculture Workers Alliance) operates 10
agriculture worker support centers across Canada.
SOURCE: United Food and Commercial Workers Canada
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