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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 09:09 PM
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Mexican farm workers file suit against Canada
Source: CBC

Three Mexican migrant farm workers have filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government and their Ontario-based former employer for terminating their contract and sending them home without reason or explanation.

Michael Fenrick, a Toronto lawyer who is part of the team handling the case, says this is the first suit of its kind by migrant workers invoking their charter rights. The three men are seeking $25,000 each in damages for breach of contract, Fenrick said.

"We are talking about vulnerable workers here, who have a very difficult time enforcing their rights these people were owed the opportunity of being presented with the allegations and an opportunity to respond before they were repatriated," Fenrick told CBC News.

Manuel Ruiz Espinoza, Salvador Reta Ruiz and Jose Ruiz Sosa, each had a contract with Tigchelaar Berry Farms in Vineland, Ont., in 2010 as seasonal agricultural workers, according to the statement of claim. The men, all Mexican citizens, were legally employed through the federal government's Seasonal Agriculture Workers Program. Espinoza and Ruiz had also worked for Tigchelaar during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

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pennylane100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 09:24 PM
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1. If the story is true, I hope they win their suits.
They are seeking $25,000 which would give them all a nice little nest egg. Companies that mistreat their most vulnerable workers deserve to be fined a lot more.
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Crowman1979 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 10:59 PM
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2. That's the Tory government for you, eh!
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 08:21 AM
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3. Very, VERY important lawsuit--as the lawyer says, "a first of its kind."
Corporations cannot be permitted to do this to workers--to play "migrant" games on them, denying rights to legal migrant workers and deporting them! It's bad enough that they play off one workforce against another, aiming for the lowest wages, the least safe working conditions and the most slave-like status for workers. U.S. corporations, for instance, pull up stakes in the U.S.--destroying local communities--to avoid paying decent wages, to avoid labor and environmental laws and taxes; they move to Mexico and then, when Mexican workers get "uppity" and demand $3/hr as opposed to $1/hr in wages, the corporation pulls up stakes again and moves to Cambodia, where they can get away with 25 cents a day in what is truly slavery.

We should be severely punishing corporations that do this. We should ban their products. We should seize their assets and dismantle them.

This further cruel game of stripping legal migrant workers of their rights needs to be stopped as well, and I am very glad that these workers and their lawyers are trying to do so. This lawsuit is about MUCH MORE than the individual injustice to these three workers and their requested $25,000 in compensation. It is about an entire class of workers being stripped of their rights. And we should never forget that poor people who assert their rights are risking a great deal including their lives. Believe me, they are not doing this for $25,000; they are doing it because it is right. Lawsuits on basic principles like this, generally against batteries of corporate lawyers, are difficult, exhausting, expensive, time-consuming and, in many cases, all-consuming. No aspect of the plaintiffs' lives will be unaffected. And whether they win or lose, they are often targeted--with harassment, bullying, loss of employment and worse. It is a dangerous thing to do. They are doing it for everybody, not just for themselves.
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