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October 2005, Volume 11, Number 4

Canada, Europe

The United Food and Commercial Workers Canada persuaded Ontario to extend the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act to also cover agricultural workers. However, the December 2001 ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada that found excluding farm workers from the right to associate, including the right to organize a union, was unconstitutional, has not yet resulted in collective bargaining rights for Ontario farm workers.

Mexico has consulates in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa, and opened its fifth in Leamington, a city of 16,000 that is the self-proclaimed "tomato capital" of the country. Some 12,000 Mexicans work seasonally on Canadian farms, including 3,000 in the Leamington area.

Hall Hunter Partnership, a farmer of strawberries and raspberries in Berkshire, was fined L80,000 in July 2005 for the deaths of two Polish migrants in October 2002. The judge levying the fine said that Hall Hunter should have done more to prevent accidents among the 300 mostly Eastern European migrants.