COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire among migrant farm workers with temporary immigration status, who are housed by their employers in unsanitary, overcrowded conditions and work without access to any paid sick days or protective equipment.
As of June 4, over two hundred and eighty migrant farm workers have tested positive, several are hospitalized, and one worker from Mexico -- 31 year old Bonifacio Eugenio Romero -- has died.
We need immediate action to prevent more people from getting infected. Call your Member of Provincial Parliament!
Click to find out your MPP's number:
Step 1: Type in your postal code. Step 2: Click on the name of your MPP to see their number.
Migrant workers are essential workers, not expendable bodies!
Together with the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, we are calling for 3 simple demands from Ontario to contain and mitigate the crisis.
- Suspend work at COVID-19 farms.
- Ensure income for all.
- Ensure proper health & safety.
Take 2 minutes to make your call now. You can make use of the speaking points below to explain these demands.
Suspend Work at COVID-19 Farms:
- If working and living conditions on farms where there is COVID-19 cannot be immediately adapted to protect the safety of workers, all work must be stopped. Facilities must be fully disinfected and only reopen when worker safety can be guaranteed.
- Release the names of farms where there have been COVID-19 outbreaks.
- Work with the federal government to ensure that workers who want to change jobs receive expedited open work permits and permanent resident status.
- Ensure income for all:
- Provide immediate income support to all workers at workplaces impacted by COVID-19 outbreaks. Language, phone and internet access barriers make it nearly impossible for individual migrant farm workers to access the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
- Legislate paid sick days for all workers.
- Mandate a wage top-up for all agri-food workers who continue to work.
- Ensure income support for workers who have been unable to travel to Canada because of travel restrictions and border closures.
- Ensure health & safety:
- Ensure social distancing and provision of Personal Protective Equipment for all migrant workers, both in housing and at work.
- Conduct random, unannounced proactive inspections of workplaces, including housing.
- Ensure health information and care is provided in workers’ languages, including during hospitalization. Ensure hospitals have the appropriate resources required to provide language-specific care.