Saturday, March 24, 2007

Labour Double-Standards Blamed for Farmworkers' Deaths

Relatives, unions decry declining standards. By Tom Sandborn. March 16, 2007.

Did Amarjit Kaur Bal, Sarabjit Kaur Sidhu and Sukhwinder Kaur Punia die in vain? The results from a meeting held March 15 in downtown Vancouver may determine the answer to that question.

Family members of farmworkers killed in the roll-over accident of an overloaded labour contractor's van last week and leaders of the B.C. labour movement met on the morning of March 15 with Minister of Labour Olga Ilich and Minister of Agriculture Pat Bell in Vancouver. They presented a comprehensive list of 30 proposals to remedy safety and employment standards abuses in B.C. fields and greenhouses. The submission to the ministers also calls on the government to strike down a controversial memorandum signed by the BC Liberals and the province's large agricultural organizations, which critics say has paved the way for lax enforcement of safety and employment standards protections in the industry.

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