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Seasonal workers at B.C. farm join UFCW


August 14, 2008
By CCNMatthew

Aug. 15, 2008, Surrey, B.C. –
Seasonal workers at Greenway Farms Ltd. in Surrey, B.C. have unionized after a
majority of ballots cast said “yes” to representation by UFCW Canada.

Aug. 15, 2008, Surrey, B.C. –
Seasonal workers at Greenway Farms Ltd. in Surrey, B.C. have unionized after a
majority of ballots cast said “yes” to representation by UFCW Canada.
The vote was conducted by the BC Labour Relations Board following a
successful UFCW Canada Local 1518 signup campaign of workers at the
Surrey-area fruit and vegetable growing and packing operation.


The victory makes Greenway the first-ever B.C. agriculture bargaining unit made up of seasonal agricultural workers who travel to Canada to work each season under the federal Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). The approximately 40 workers at Greenway Farms harvest crops, as well as package produce for wholesale and export.
The victory at Greenway adds momentum to a nation-wide UFCW Canada campaign for agriculture workers’ rights, under the Agricultural Workers Alliance banner. In July, seasonal workers at Mayfair Farms in Portage la Prairie ratified a first-contract as members of UFCW Canada Local 832. Currently there are four other farm applications pending in Quebec, as well as one in Saskatchewan.
“We understand that farms have fiscal realities and this is not a campaign to put farmers out of business,"
says Wayne Hanley, the national president of UFCW Canada. "Certainly hard work deserves fair pay, but for many of these workers what’s as important is being recalled each season based on seniority, and a grievance procedure that protects them from being arbitrarily repatriated if they raise any workplace issues.”
UFCW Canada is one of Canada’s largest private sector unions with over 240,000 members from coast-to-coast.

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