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Essay范文:Study on the Treatment of seasonal workers 2018-06-05

下面是Fanessay提供的一篇Essay范文--Study on the Treatment of seasonal workers,这篇文章主要讨论的是加拿大。在加拿大,那里的季节性工人对加拿大有了很大的付出,直接对加拿大的农产品经济收入做出了巨大的贡献,然而他们却遭受到了不好的待遇。在现在,在这个农产品化成功的现状,我们需要让生产工人得到应有的公平对待,应该呼吁企业制定合理的措施。


In Canada, we live in a society, which prides ourselves on our diversityand treatment of workers and people. Viewing the Third Worldas the unfortunatepart of our world that needs our help is often misguided. This misinformed presumption is why many Canadians do not know that we have a whole sector of workers in Canada, which are abused and mistreated. We cannot judge a developing society unless we analyze and understand the full complexity of the workers in our own. The topic of seasonal workers and working conditions in Canada is very important in Global Development Studies and was stemmed off of my interest within my own community. When I went on a community service trip to Ecuador, I found that many people travel abroad to help what they believe are those in need. It made me wonder, how about the people in my own community? While news of underpaid jobs and abuse stream headlines globally, how about locally? Mexican workers are brought into Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and specifically the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) as seasonal workers to work on farms a long with other low skilled jobs. Often being treated as second rate by their employers, the Mexicans are stuck in a state, which they cannot escape unless they choose to leave their employment. This makes one wonder, why is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program continuing in Canada? An explanation of the need for migrant workers and how Mexican workers are treated is very important to explore. As well a focus on the needs of the workers and their employers, and how employers are getting away with the abuse. This can help explain how the TFWP needs to be adjusted and the recommendations needed to be considered in order for our societies working force to be a just and humane place for Mexican seasonal workers.


A seasonal worker is one that comes into a country for eight months of the year, usually during harvest season often working in the agriculture industry. The agriculture industry is an industry that supplies crops, poultry, and other farmed goods. The agriculture industry is extremely imperative to the success of Canadian society. Having an extremely large impact on the Canadian economy, the amount of workers from Canada wanting to work in the horticulture or agriculture industry declined by 25 percent in the 1990s (2006:3). From 1981 to 2001 the agriculture sector in Canada specifically Quebec and Ontario increased from 30% to 56% (2006: 3). By 2002 Ontario alone exported $2.6 billion worth of horticultural products to the US and Mexico(2006:3). The massive decline of workers and incline of Canadian agriculture goods created a gap and a need for workers for the agriculture sector. As this gap was formed an issue of economic crisis began to be prevalent in Canada. To fill the gap and keep increasing the output of agriculture resources, Canada had to increase the SAWP. Seasonal workers, specifically from Mexico, filled a large portion of this gap. As there was an expansion of the greenhouse industrythe need for work in Canada for the booming agriculture industry will never decrease because of the booming agriculture sector (Basok 2004: 52).


In Canada, a town called Leamington located in Essex County, Ontario is considered the Tomato capital of Canada(2011). Leamington provides 17,000 migrant workers with jobs each year (Lee 2003). In the town of Leamington the migrant workers who live there fall under the category of temporary farm worker in the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program. This means according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, there are certain protocols the employers must follow. The employer must provide a place for the worker to live but can take part of the cost out of [their] pay(2009: N/A). As well, all workers in Canada have the right to a safe and healthy workplace(2009: N/A). A worker has the right to refuse to work,if the work becomes dangerous, and must continue to be paid until conditions change (2009: N/A). The TFWP and SAWP are both beneficial to the Mexican workers and Canadian farmers but have a vast amount of issues, which violate Canadian protocols. In order for the Canadian farmers to make more money, the workers are mistreated. Even though there are human rights laws protecting workers, there are still violations to the workers. Isolated from the community, nine or ten Mexican workers are stuffed into small houses, often sharing one room with three or four people (Lee 2003). Although the workers have a right to a safe workplace, many workers are surrounded by environmental hazards including pesticides on a daily basis. The El Contracto documentary by Min Sook Lee highlights the workers on the Leamington farms. A worker on the farm was sprayed pesticide in his eye and after many days his employer brought him to a doctor (Lee 2003). If the farm worker had received medical attention sooner he would not have any severe medical damage. Instead he lost 80% of his vision (Lee 2003). These unsafe conditions for workers are very harmful. Along with unsafe conditions the workers are made to work on holidays and do not get extra pay or overtime for their work. If a worker is too sick to work, they are often sent back to Mexico (Lee 2003). This type of abuse is endured on a daily basis. On a cucumber farm in Leamington the employers would call his workers his little donkeysand kick them if they did not work fast enough (Lee 2003). Mexican immigrants should not endure this type of abuse. They feel forced to suffer this type of exploitation for fear they will be removed off the farm, which would result in not earning the money needed to survive.


Most of the workers continue to stay on the farms, even though there are large personal risks. Many of the migrant workers leave their families and harvest on tomato or cucumber farms such as in Leamington, Ontario. To work as a seasonal or temporary worker in Leamington one must have certain criteria in order to apply or to get the job. According to Citizenship and immigration Canada the workers applying from Mexico must have some experience with farming, must be 18 years old, a citizen of Mexico, fulfill the immigration laws that are stated by Canada and finally sign a contract to work in Canada. Although the process may seem minimal, it is also long and highly competitive. The Mexican employees often have to pay some of the airfare, visa fees and other tax or insurance payments. The employer will pay for some fees such as housing food and insurance for the workers but can deduct fees from the workers pay (2009). Some of these regulations have flaws, but Mexican workers have no choice, as these jobs are very important to them and their family. Many of the workers are often forced to come to Canada to get a job because of lower income in Mexico. In 2004 Mexican workers made a minimum wage of $7.20 in Canada (Lee 2003). This pay is a lot larger compared to a low skilled working job in Mexico. According to Ross McCormack who reviews Tanya Basoks book Tortillas and Tomatoes: Transmigrant Mexican Harvesters in Canada, describes Rodolfo, a Mexican worker who is a low-status, uneducated rural day-labourer who is unable to support his family on rancho work(2002: 276). Workers such as Rodolfo have no choice but to take jobs in Canada because one years work in Canada produces the same income as five or six in Mexico(McCormack 2002: 277) The need for better paying jobs will continue to increase within Mexico. The demand for Canadian seasonal work is high especially among Mexican workers, who are willing to work 7 days a week. (Basok 2004: 52). Most of the workers are uneducated and need these jobs, even though they spend a long time away from their families in harsh conditions.


The employment does not just affect the Mexican workers but also employers and the Canadian economy. Leamington, located 45 km southeast of Windsor, is the location of thousands of Mexican seasonal workers (2011). These workers have a large effect on the economy both locally and nationally. The Mexican seasonal workers constitute some 40% of the workforce in the greenhouse industry. Many Leamington greenhouse growers consider the contribution of Mexican seasonal workers vital to their industry and claim that without them the industry would collapse(Basok 2004: 52). Mexican workers coming to Canada shop locally providing income for local businesses. Foreign workers have been brought into Canada since confederation and temporary workers have been a necessity to the Canadian industry (Trumper and Wong 2010: N/A). Many of the foreign workers especially in Leamington fill jobs that locals could not fill. They provide a low cost alternative to Canadian farm owners because they do more work for less pay by working overtime and holidays without extra compensation (Lee 2003). This allows a higher production rate for employers and in turn an increase in income.


A question which one may ponder, is how can farmers and Canadians get away without reprimand? The TFWP and specifically the SAWP, has been around since 1966 (Kempf and Sawchuk 2008: N/A). Through the SAWP, employers choose workers who support large families, have low levels of education, and are landless and underemployed(Basok 2004: 54). These workers do not fall under the Canadian protocol, which wants high skilled workers with large potential. Instead the immigration process is subsequently driven by employers rather than the state(Trumper and Wong 2010: N/A). These workers are sometimes chosen because they generally do not speak English, areunable to negotiate, and a long with the fact that they do not have the right knowledge to claim their rights. With these factors in mind, when their rights are being violated, the workers are incapable of standing up for themselves. If a worker is injured it is very difficult for the worker who is injured to receive their compensation. Doctors cannot figure out what is wrong or the workers cannot fill out the forms because of the language barrier (Basok 2004: 54). The workers cannot take English-speaking classes because this would take time out of their day and support from their employers (Lee 2003). Many employers do not care for their employees but only for their companies well being (Lee 2003). This strategic planning of employers is what enables them to take advantage of the workers and escape many of the negative impacts of the illegal abuse to their employees. With lack of mobility between different employers, it makes it extremely easy for employers to take advantage of their workers because they know that these workers need the money in order to support their families (Lee 2003).


This growing threat to workers health and well-being is inhumane and should not be practiced by farm owners. Workers are primarily supported by support services (Kempf and Shawchuk 2010: 494). Not until recently has the United Nations recognized Ontario and Canadas treatment of foreign workers. Workers cannot form Unions and if attempted there is a large chance they would be fired (Brosnahan 2010). Unfortunately no farms have been overhauled for poor treatment of workers but it is a topic of debate. Finally in 2010 the Geneva based international Labour Organization an agency of the United Nations, rule[d] that Ontarios ban on farm unions violates basic human rights(Brosnahan 2010). Although they have stated that human rights are being violated; without Unions it is very hard for workers to voice their opinions. Unfortunately, some of these support services trying to help migrant workers such as the Global Justice Care Van project, which looked into what was going on in Leamington did not have a large effect in making change (Basok 2004: 58). Atan Raper, national co-coordinator of the Agricultural Workers Alliance stated, 'we have been to the Supreme Court three times on this matter, and each time we've won. But we have not been able to get the government to provide the legal protections we are working for and that agricultural workers are working for' (Brosnahan 2010). As organizations continue to try to help, the problem with these programs is that they have to work through the consulate in Canada, which benefits from the farming industries (Lee 2003). This allows the Canadian consulate to have a large bias towards the farm owners even if they are abusing the workers. The more hours Mexican workers work, and the less money needed to be spent, the more agricultural goods are produced and in turn larger revenue for the Canadian economy which relies heavily on this industry. As well language barriers will still continue to be a concern in order for Mexican workers to communicate their concerns. Even if their voices are being heard it is still very difficult for workers and humanity rights organizations to fix the problem. In the end when the complaint comes to the employer, there is nothing under the law that obligates the farmer to do anything more than read or listen to those complaints(Brosnahan 2010). Where does this leave the workers? In order for workers to have better rights, the way in which the Canadian government monitors the TFWP and specifically the SAWP, needs to be fixed. This does not mean not continuing the program but giving Mexican seasonal workers the opportunity and tools to stand up for their beliefs and rights. The issues of mistreatment of migrant workers are not primarily found in Ontario. In fact in British Colombia the amount of SAWP workers in B.C” “has ballooned from 50 in 2004 to nearly 3,000 in 2008(Thompson and Fairey and McLaren 2008). This increase is seen across Canada. With the increase of seasonal workers and a lack workers rights, the need for changes in the SAWP needs to be addressed.


In Ontario the rights for migrant workers are often violated. In order to keep this program, which is important to both Mexico and Canada, certain adjustments need to be made. For example the employment standards act should be followed. This means that agricultural workers have at least a rest period of one full day. Healthy and rested workers are important. This day should be on the weekend so that Mexican workers can engage in social activities. Often, local people criticize Mexican workers. This free time can help incorporate Mexican workers and make them feel like a resident instead of an outsider (Maxwell 2006: 9-10). A long with feeling rested and not over worked as well as apart of the community, safety is extremely important. Certain rights should given to CSAWP workers, employers and government agents regarding workersrights to refuse unsafe work under the new regulation(Maxwell 2006:10). Workers should be able to stay in a job if they get injured and not be fired. As well farm workers should be treated for injuries and be able to be covered under health insurance. Because of the lack of communication there should be translators in order for Mexican workers to be able to understand their rights and express their rights when needed. A large part of the problem is that many Mexican workers dont know how or cannot communicate their opinions. The United Nations and other organizations continue to fight for rights of workers, but this is not always enough. With the formation of a Union Mexican workers can assemble together in order to voice their opinion. Their employers should not threaten Mexican workers as safety and security should be considered very important with employees beliefs and opinions being a priority.


A vital program to Canada as a whole the TFWP and specifically the SAWP needs to be prosperous in order to see success in Canadas economy. Most importantly, the TFWP and SAWP need to see success in human rights. Currently the programs are violating the rights of seasonal workers in Canada to voice their opinions. The TFWP, which includes the SAWP, is very important to Canadas economy. These programs can be difficult to adjust as it currently produces a lot of revenue for Canada as a whole. As well it could be feared that any adjustments may damage Canadas economy. Although this decrease in Canadian revenue can be feared, violating human rights takes precedent. In the long run for success of the agriculture industry the workers producing the goods need to be treated fairly and humanly. With suggestions including being able to form Unions, the rights for workers can be restored and Mexican migrant workers can be treated the Canadianway; as equals.