Labour urges Minister to extend full rights to farmworkers in Alberta



    Incidents like BC tragedy can be prevented

    EDMONTON, March 9 /CNW/ - 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 further information:

For further information: Gil McGowan, AFL President, Cell: (780)
218-9888

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Alberta Federation of Labour

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