We're Here, Negotiate
Periodical profile published 1981
Publisher: Research, Action & Education Centre and One Sky Cross-Cultural Centre, Saskatoon, Canada
Year Published: 1981
Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number: CX2217
Abstract: This newsletter is published to raise public awareness of the issue of the lack of legal rights of farm workers in Canada, to mobilize public action to include farm workers in the Trade Union Act of Saskatchewan, and to provide publicity and support for the Canadian Farmworkers Union.
The newsletter contains a series of articles which describe and analyze the position of farmworkers in Canada, their attempts to organize in British Columbia and the parallels between working conditions in Canada and those of the Third World.
Canada Manpower has two classifications for farmworkers: first, "Low Skilled" labours in the fruit and vegetable, tobacco and sugar beet sectors of agriculture. More and more Canadians are refusing to work at hard labor for poor wages and seasonal employment. Therefore farmers and operators are "importing" foreign workers with seasonal permits. Every year approximately 5,000 workers come from Mexico and the Caribbean to work alongside the 35,000 Canadians and residents immigrants awaiting citizenship. The largest concentrations of these workers are in Ontario (15,000). The reminder are spread over Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.
The second category, "Unskilled Workers", involves more of the grain and livestock industry on the Prairies. There is more wage variation and greater mobility amongst the workers. They are predominantly the youth of rural areas who work on the farm for the summer months while attending school in the winter or in preparation for taking over the family farm operation.
Included in this newsletter is an article written by a Plains Cree woman from the Sturgeon Lake Reserve in Saskatchewan. She tells of her experiences as a migrant sugar beet labor in southern Alberta. Also included in the newsletter is a summary of a brief submitted by the Canadian Farmworkers Union to the British Columbia government in 1980.