TORONTO, June 26, 2012 /CNW/ - While the Ontario apple industry waits to hear if they will receive a financial bailout from both levels of government, Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) is asking both the federal and provincial governments what steps they are taking to protect hundreds of apple workers who have experienced a dramatic loss of income because of a devastating frost that destroyed 80% to 90% of this year's apple crop.
"Hundreds of migrant workers have lost work this year. Many were sent home after only a few weeks of work or will not be called up to work in Canada this year. The social safety net is designed to protect workers when there is an economic downturn. Seasonal migrant workers pay into EI but for the most part can't access benefits. Bailing out employers does nothing to help workers who have lost a majority of their income. We need protections in place so that all workers are supported through this situation," says Chris Ramsaroop, organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW).
While the Federal government undertakes steps to limit access to unemployment insurance, provincial labour laws do little to protect seasonal workers. J4MW wants to raise awareness of the impact this crisis will have on the farm workers who put food on our table.