Unheeded Warnings: COVID-19 and Migrant Workers

On Monday June 8, 2020 the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change released a report titled “Unheeded Warnings: COVID-19 & Migrant Workers in Canada.” It documents  over one thousand complaints from migrant workers and their organizations that were unheeded by federal and provincial authorities and consulates in advance of the recent COVID-19 outbreaks, which have led to one worker’s death and at least two in Intensive Care.

This report will provide a snapshot of the abuses faced by migrant farmworkers, including stolen wages during quarantine, being forced to work while awaiting COVID-19 test results, racist threats, decrepit housing and inhumane treatment. The report situates these abuses in a long history of prior warnings made by migrant workers about Canada’s temporary immigration and labour laws.

Migrant workers from farms currently experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks spoke at the report launch. Watch the launch here.

The report includes a comprehensive set of recommendations made by migrant workers, including permanent resident status for all. Read it here.