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Project to be expanded in the states of Mexico and Puebla in 2010

Partner Organizations:

RED Legal
Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador, Mexico
Dignidad Obrera Agricola Migrante
IAVGO, Toronto
NO One is Illegal-Toronto
Workers' Action Centre, Toronto

Last Updated: October 2010, Brampton, ON

Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) is a volunteer driven collective committed to organizing with and for migrant farm workers (irrespective of status), their families and social movements in respective countries of origin.

As an autonomous grass-roots community group, we see ourselves as part of the radicalization of the existing labour movement and fully support workers, principally racialized and excluded migrant workers, in taking leadership in their own struggle as Canada shifts toward controlled labour migration to subsidize its economy.

Justicia/Justice for Migrant Workers” is the recipient of the following awards:

ACLCO's (Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario) Community Champion Award (2011)


the JS Woodworth Award, March 21, 2011: "For Justicia for Migrant Workers' outstanding commitment to advancing the rights of visible minorities and immigrants, and eliminating racial discrimination"



New Documentary on Migrant Workers:

Matices: Migración “Temporal” en Canadá

Perspectives “Temporary” Migration in Canada



Matices es el resultado de un profundo trabajo sobre el complejo fenómeno de la migración laboral. Canadá,  entre otros países,  ha encontrado en la migración una veta de mano de obra que le permite competir en diferentes actividades, entre las más importantes se encuentra la agroindustria. Mientras que para algunos canadienses los trabajadores temporales son  maquinas generadoras de ganancias, para otros representan una oportunidad de descubrir miradas y matices que enriquecen la sensibilidad humana.  Este documental se adentra en esta mirada y es una invitación a reflexionar sobre la manera en que recibimos a aquellos que llegan de lejos buscando mejores condiciones de vida.

Perspectives is the result of a profound piece of work on the complex phenomenon of labour migration. Canada, among other countries, has found in migration a vein of the labour force that permits it to compete in different activities, among the most important being agricultural production. While for some Canadians the temporary workers are but machines generating profits, for others they represent an opportunity to discover points of view and nuances that enrich the human sensibility. This documentary enters into this view and is an invitation for reflection on the way we receive those who come from far away looking for a better quality of life.

Dirección, producción y fotografía: Aaraón Díaz Mendiburo
Asistente de producción: Janet McLaughlin
Edición: Jorge Alberto Hurtado y Aaraón Díaz Mendiburo
Música: Janet McLaughlin, Antonio Moreno y José Luis Córdova.
México 2011
Duración: 54 minutos
Direction, Production and Photography: Aaraón Díaz Mendiburo
Production Assistant: Janet McLaughlin
Editor: Jorge Alberto Hurtado and Aaraón Díaz Mendiburo
Music: Janet McLaughlin, Antonio Moreno and José Luis Córdova 
Mexico 2011
Length: 54 minutes


Dear friends and allies,

Announcing the 2010 LabourStart Photo of the Year winner: Farmworkers early in the morning, waiting to start the Pilgrimage for Freedom, a 50 km march for migrant workers rights, from Leamington to Windsor Ontario on Thanksgiving 2010 (photo: Gerardo Correa).

Click here for more info on the Pilgrimage to Freedom

Click here to go to the LabourStart contest website

Worker March

More than 100 workers deported following wildcat strike

Interview with Chris Ramsaroop of Justicia for Migrant Workers:

Click here...



Migrant farm workers stage wildcat strike to demand thousands of dollars in unpaid wages: Employer responds with deportation

November 23, 2010

(Simcoe, Ontario) Over a 100 migrant farm workers employed at Ghesquiere Plants Ltd. are facing imminent repatriation (deportation) after staging a wildcat strike to demanding thousands of dollars in unpaid wages. 

The migrant workers from Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados came together across racial, linguistic and ethnic lines to organize this wild cat strike and strengthen their collective power. The workers employed by this farm described numerous rights violations and complaints about their living conditions including the following:

- Workers are each owed from $1000 to $6000 in unpaid wages
- Workers are to be evicted and will be homeless as of Thursday, November 25th, 2010
- Most of the Mexican and Trinidadian workers will be repatriated by this Thursday. All Jamaican workers have been repatriated
- Electricity and heat has been cut off in one bunk 
- Deplorable and very crowed living conditions

Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW), a grassroots advocacy migrant rights organization, calls for the immediate payment of all wages owing to workers. Migrant workers employed at Ghesquiere Plant Ltd. are being forced to return home and cannot provide for their families. Repatriation denies them access to pursue legal avenues under federal and provincial laws, basic protections accorded to permanent residents in Canada thus J4MW calls on both levels of government to intervene to protect migrants and prosecute employers who denied these workers basic rights. J4MW stresses that Temporary Foreign Worker Programs such as the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program denies migrant workers the ability to exert their rights and are in need of an urgent and complete overhaul. 

J4MW Contacts

Chris Ramsaroop 1-647-834-4932 or
Carolina Alvarado Zuniga 1-647-296-6753

Justicia for Migrant Workers
c/o Workers' Action Centre
720 Spadina Avenue, Suite 223
Toronto ON M5S 2T9



UN Finds Canada and Ontario Violate Human Rights

An Agency of the United Nations Has Ruled a Ban on Farm Unions Violates the Human Rights of Ontario's 100,000 Migrant and Domestic Farm Workers

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND -- (Marketwire - Nov. 19, 2010)

The UN's International Labour Organization (ILO) has ruled that Canada and Ontario, through Ontario's ban on farm unions, violate the human rights of the more than 100,000 migrant and domestic agriculture workers in that province.



Temporary Visas, Permanent Precariousness?

Examining the Policies, Practices and Realities of Temporary Migration to Canada's 'Low-Skilled' Jobs

Wednesday, November 24th, 6:00pm-7:30pm
Room 209 West Block

This workshop provides a forum for participants to:

· Get key findings of recent research on temporary visa migrants employed in Canada's farm and food industries

· Pose questions to academics researching Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and other interested parties

· Engage in a discussion on the growing employment of temporary visa workers.

Co-hosted by Senator Mobina Jaffer and Joy Smith M.P. in partnership with Rural Women Making Change researchers, Dr. Kerry Preibisch (University of Guelph) and Evelyn Encalada (University of Toronto, Justicia for Migrant Workers).

Please RSVP to Nadia Charania by e-mail or by telephone (613) 992-0189  Friday November 19th.


Visas de résident temporaire, précarités permanentes?

Examiner les politiques, pratiques et réalités de la migration temporaire à l'emploi "peu qualifiés" au Canada

Mercredi, le 24 Novembre, de 18h à19h
Edifice de l'Ouest, Salle 209

Cet atelier permet aux participants de:

• Obtenir les principales conclusions des dernières recherches sur les immigrants avec visas temporaires employés dans les fermes du Canada et dans l'industrie alimentaire

• Poser des questions aux chercheurs universitaires au sujet du Programme canadiens des travailleurs étrangers temporaires (PTET) et d'autres parties intéressantes

• S'engager dans une discussion sur la croissance de l'emploi des travailleurs détenteurs d'un visa temporaire

Co-organisé par la sénatrice Mobina Jaffer et Joy Smith, députée, en partenariat avec Rural Women Making Change researchers, le Dr. Kerry Preibisch (Université de Guelph) et Evelyn Encalada (Université de Toronto, Justicia for Migrant Workers).

Veuillez s'il vous plait confirmer votre présence auprès de Nadia Charania en envoyant un email à ou en appelant le (613) 992-0189 le plus tard vendredi, le 19 Novembre.



Community-Labour discussion hosted by No One Is Illegal – Toronto

November 4, 2010
6:00pm – 8:00pm
OPSEU Union Hall, 31 Wellesley Street (across from Wellesley Subway Station)

Supported by: Justicia for Migrant Workers, Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario, OPSEU Workers of Color, Caregiver Action Centre, Labor Education Centre, Workers Action Centre, Health for All


FRANCA IACOVETTA is Professor of History and author of “Such Hardworking People: Italian Immigrants in Postwar Toronto” that focused on the Hoggs Hollow disaster.

TZAZNA MIRANDA is an organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers
MOHAN MISHRA is an organizer with No One Is Illegal – Toronto

Also remarks by Cosmo Mannella (Director of The Labourers International Union of  North America (LIUNA) Canadian Tri-Fund); Elizabeth Ha (OPSEU Workers of Colour & OFL VP Workers of Colour); Jessica Ponting (Community legal worker with Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario); Pura Velasco (Caregiver Action Centre); Jojo Geronimo (Executive Director, Labor Education Centre) and members of the Workers Action Centre

Click here for more information

Thanks to our allies No One Is Illegal-Toronto for this video documentation!

Pilgrimage to Freedom:
Breaking the Chains of Indentureship
Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend - October 10, 2010

Click here for more


Message of Solidarity from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Florida

Solidarity from El Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador, Puebla

No Thankgiving for Migrant Workers
Justicia Opinion Piece in the Toronto Star

Click here to see a photo slide of this action

Monday September 13, 2010.

Agricultural Deaths Preventable: Migrant Advocacy group calls on Provincial Government to Protect Workers: Snap inspections, Coroner’s Inquest, and Criminal Investigation needed to show Zero Tolerance for Migrant Fatalities

(Toronto) Justicia For Migrant Workers (J4MW), a migrant worker advocacy group is saddened to learn of the latest tragedy facing the migrant worker community. On Friday September 10, 2010 J4MW learnt that two Jamaican migrant agricultural workers died as a result of workplaces injuries suffered at Filsinger Farms near Owen Sound, Ontario. “We are aggrieved by this tragedy,” states Tzazna Miranda Leal an organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers, “We mourn this loss, and we send our condolences to the families of these workers” continues Miranda Leal. 

While details of the fatalities are pending due to an ongoing investigation by the Ministry of Labour, the Jamaican government is reporting that Ralston White and Paul Roach may have died from the inhalation of toxic fumes. Health and safety violations are an everyday occurrence for migrant workers. From chemical and pesticides exposure, to faulty equipment, to workplace bullying and harassment, migrant workers from across the province have described countless examples of dangers while working.

It is critical to examine whether or not these men received safety equipment, what education and training they received or if they were provided information relating to their rights under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. J4MW further argues that the structure of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which employ approximately 30,000 migrant farm workers in Canada, denies migrant agricultural workers labour mobility and the ability to exert rights. Fear of reprimand--firings, repatriations/deportations and permanent disbarment from working in Canada--is a constant concern for many workers, whose employment and ability to work in Canada depends largely on their employers' approval.

 J4MW is urging the Minister of the Labour to consider the following options in addressing this tragedy: Snap inspections for all workplaces and accommodations where migrant workers live and work; a coroner’s inquest into the details relating to these workplace deaths; an appeals mechanism built into the SAWP and TFW so that migrant workers cannot be arbitrarily and unilaterally repatriated to their homeland (anti-reprisal protection); increased labour rights and protections for all migrant workers;  and a criminal investigation into this workplace fatality as mandated by section 217.1 of the criminal code of Canada. The code states that:

Everyone who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task.

Every year over 300 workers die in occupational related fatalities across Ontario.  Countless others are maimed or injured. Agriculture remains one of the most dangerous occupations across Canada. Since 1999 there have been 33 reported deaths of migrant workers employed under the auspices of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program in Ontario and 1,129 medical repatriations of SAWP migrants (workers who left Canada because of illness or injuries sustained while in Ontario). The numbers of migrant workplace injuries and deaths are underreported because of premature repatriations and workers dying in their home countries as a result of injuries sustained while working in Canada.

For more information please contact Chris Ramsaroop (647) 834 4932- ramsaroopchris "at" gmail "dot" com or Shane Martinez (416) 971-8832 martines "at" lao "dot" on "dot" ca


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