Promises......Promises

Publisher:  Canadian Farmworkers Union, Burnaby, Canada
Year Published:  1981  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX2218

Abstract:  This media release outlines the Canadian Farmworkers Union (CFU) Local No. 1's response to the BC Socred government's introduction of regulations to Bill 36, the New Employment Standards Act.

Sarwan Boak, CFU Secretary-Treasure, describes the legislation as "another Socred double-cross - on one hand we were promised 'outstanding' legislation to protect farmworkers but the reality is farmworkers are still treated as second-class workers."

The regulations exclude farmworkers from the minimum wage, general holidays, hours of work and overtime provisions. For example, minimum wage provisions for farmworkers or horticultural workers who are paid wages other than on an hourly or piece work basis will be $29.20 for each day or part of a day worked. But this is taken away by the next set of regulations: "Subsection 1 does not apply to farmworkers historically employed on a piece work basis to hand-harvest fruit, vegetables or berry crops." The farmworkers involved under that exclusion represent a substantial majority of farmworkers in British Columbia.

CFU presented a brief to the government in February, 1980 but very few of their recommendations were implemented. Boal states that the government is not concerned with the exploitation of workers and that "we demand that the government repeal the new discriminatory regulations and that there be no exclusion for farmworkers."

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