"A bitter harvest for B.C. berry pickers
In a lengthy and stinging ruling, judge details near-feudal conditions endured by immigrant workers harvesting produce
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
April 19, 2008 at 1:02 PM EDT
VANCOUVER — In a stinging 801-page ruling on an employment insurance scam, a federal Tax Court judge says widespread exploitation of Indo-Canadian berry pickers in fields outside Vancouver is reminiscent of scenes from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
"When a 65-year-old grandmother leaves her village in India, travels nearly two days to Vancouver and is hired within a week by a labour contractor who transports her - at dawn and back at night - in a crowded van for up to eight hours a day so she can earn eight hours pay at minimum wage - or less if paid on piece rate - something is radically wrong with certain aspects of the federal family reunification program and also the berry and vegetable industry in British Columbia," Dwayne Rowe, a Tax Court of Canada judge, stated in a ruling issue this week." (Read more ....)
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Near-feudal conditions endured by immigrant workers
What an international embarassment we've become in this country. If this is indicative of Gordon Campbell's, Ed Stelmach's, and Brad Wall's "New West" (supported and encouraged by Stephen Harper) - I want no part of it.