Sunday, August 10, 2008

As Molly reported earlier on this blog the UFCW Union recently won the first recognition of a farm workers' union in Canada, and it happened here in Manitoba. The migrant workers, located in Portage La Prairie, still have many difficulties, however, as the following item from the Manitoba Federation of Labour website makes clear. If you live here in Manitoba help out if you can.
Bikes for Farm Workers:
UFCW Local 832 recently ratified a first collective agreement with the migrant agricultural workers at Mayfair Farms in Portage La Prairie. They are a group of approximately 50 seasonal farm workers from Mexico who come to Manitoba each year to work in the vegetable fields sending money home to improve the lives of their families.

Local 832 is trying to assist these people in more ways than just protecting their new rights in the workplace. They are also trying to assist them with their transition into the community.

Most of these Mexican workers came to Canada with little or no basic amenities. They live and work several kilometres outside of Portage la Prairie. Their transportation options are extremely limited and many walk into town each week for shopping, banking, etc.

These people would benefit from having access to bicycles. Union members who have a bike that is simply taking up space in the garage or shed are asked to consider donating it to this cause. It would be greatly appreciated and put to very good communal use on the farm.

The hope is that through this drive migrant agricultural workers can be provided with much needed transportation and a compassionate example of what being a member of the labour movement in Manitoba is about. If you can donate a bicycle, please contact Jeff Traeger at UFCW Local 832, phone 786-5055 in Winnipeg or 1-888-UFCW-832 from elsewhere in Manitoba. Or email Jeff.

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