Saturday, April 10, 2010


It has been only 14 months since the workplace death of Kevan Chandler in Alberta, but in that short time there have been 13 other farm worker deaths in that province. Across the country there have been 59 such deaths. This carnage must stop. Here's a story and appeal from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) who are campaigning to have Alberta apply the simple minimum protection that other workers enjoy to farm workers in that province.

Premier Stelmach: End the Harvest of Death!
Premier Ed Stelmach: 14 months and
13 deaths later and still no action
It’s been 14 months since Justice Peter Barley told Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach that farm workers in Alberta should be granted the same health and safety rights as everyone else.

Despite asking Justice Barley for his advice, the Premier doesn’t want to hear it, and farm workers are paying the price.

After being asked by the Premier to investigate the workplace death of farm worker Kevan Chandler, Justice Barley found that farm workers must be included in Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to prevent future workplace injuries and deaths.

To date, Premier Stelmach has ignored that advice, and since then 13 more people have been killed on Alberta farms in work-related accidents.

Since Kevan Chandler died at work on Father’s Day nearly four years ago, an additional 59 people have been killed in agriculture-related accidents.

As the leader of a majority government, Premier Stelmach is the “decider”. He has the power to save lives with stroke of a pen by granting basic health and safety rights to farm workers – they’re the same rights that most of us already have.

Tell Premier Stelmach to do the right thing by ending the deadly discrimination against Alberta farm workers.

Click here to tell Premier Stelmach: End the Harvest of Death!
Please go to this link from the online labour solidarity site Labour Start to send the following message in support of Alberta farmworkers to Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach.

Dear Premier Stelmach:

I am writing to you to express my displeasure over your government’s inaction in providing farm workers in Alberta coverage under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.A. 2000 CH.0-2.

In the Public Fatality Inquiry into the death of farm worker Kevan Chandler, Judge Peter Barley recommended that farm workers be covered under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Mr. Premier the death of one farm worker is one too many, yet Alberta has averaged nineteen farm worker deaths per year since 1997. I urge you and your government to take a proactive role in preventing further industry deaths and join the national consensus by immediately implementing the recommendation of Judge Barley and give Occupational Health and Safety coverage to the farm workers of Alberta.


croghan27 said...

It is my understanding that farmers were granted special privileges in hiring and employment for economic reasons.

In this world of corporate farming it is time for this matter to be revisited - the family farm is a thing of the past, farms are operations .... 'chicken&egg operations', feed lot operations - time for an update to the 21st century.

mollymew said...

Well yes,
I agree with you here. I know that I didn't come from the richest part of Saskatchewan when I was growing up,but it has still been my impression that the average family farm hasn't had the money to hire outside help for many decades. I guess that horticulture may be a special case, but that is a small part of farming. It's also not "farming" in the sense that I grew up with.