TORONTO, Feb. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) is
urging the Office of the Chief Coroner to undertake a Coroner's Inquest
into the deaths of eleven people who died tragically in a vehicle
collision in Hampstead, Ontario. Ten migrant workers employed as
chicken catchers and the driver of a transport truck died late Monday
afternoon in the town of Hampstead, Ontario.
"We would like to take this time to send our sympathies to the families
whose lives have been shattered as a result of this accident" says
Chris Ramsaroop, organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW).
"As we mourn this tragedy it is important that we take immediate steps
to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again" continues
A 2010 study funded by Worksafe B.C. found that unsafe vehicles and
careless driving continue to put farmworkers at risk and that vans and
buses used by Farm Labour Contractors to transport migrant workers
between worksites frequently lack sufficient seat belts.
While a Coroner's Inquest does not assign guilt to any of the parties
involved, inquests are beneficial in investigating and developing
recommendations to prevent accidents like this from occurring again.
While there have been several tragedies involving migrant workers,
there has never been a Coroner's Inquest in the Province of Ontario
examining the death of a migrant worker employed under the temporary
foreign workers program.
In 2010, there were over 282,000 migrant workers under Canada's
temporary foreign worker program (TFW) with over 60,000 workers
employed in Ontario. Migrant workers employed under the 'low skilled'
stream of the TFW program are tied to one employer, usually live in
housing determined by the employer, pay thousands of dollars to
recruiters to work in Canada, they cannot apply for permanent residency
and must leave Canada after working for four years.
Being tied to one employer creates barriers for migrant workers when
they try to exert rights against workplace abuses. Both the provincial
and federal government needs to enact steps to provide protection for
migrant workers. This includes: permanent residency for migrant
workers; banning placement and recruitment fees; modernizing labour
laws, ending unilateral deportations and providing equal access to
SOURCE Justicia for Migrant Workers
For further information:
Justicia for migrant workers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Ramsaroop 647-834-4932 email@example.com