Canadian Farmworkers Union (CFU)
Organization profile published 1983

Year Published:  1983  
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX2771

Abstract:  The CANADIAN FARMWORKERS UNION (CFU) was founded in the spring of 1980. In the three years since its founding, the CFU has won several victories, including changes in labour legislation, several collective agreements, and has raised consciousness among both farmwokers and the public. Since the inability of immigrant workers to speak English is one basis of their exploitation, the CFU has recently started a program in English as a Second Language.

An example of the improvement in federal and provincial codes that the CFU has helped win for Canada's more than 200,000 farmworkers came in January of this year when the federal government dropped Section 16 of the Unemployment Insurance Act. This regulation helped create the labour contract system in British Columbia - a system under which contractors took anywhere from 25-40 per cent of workers' wages in return for "continuity" of employment - by requiring farmworkers to work more thatn 25 days for the same employer to be eligible for UIC (while other workers had to work only 15 hours).

The CANADIAN FARMWOKERS UNION points out that organizing the organized is a long, diffcult process. It has won some contracts and the organizing efforts have planted the seeds of future contracts by raising the consciousness of farmworkers and beginning to overcome intimidation by growers. To harvest the crop-growing from these seeds, the CFU needs addtional support.

[Abstract written in 1983]

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