Two separate demonstrations took to the streets of Leamington, Ont., Saturday to convey consideration to the state of affairs of migrant employees within the space as massive numbers of them take a look at optimistic for COVID-19.
The Windsor-Essex County Well being Unit reported 98 new instances of novel coronavirus within the space Sunday with 96 of them amongst farm employees. Three migrant employees have died in Ontario as a result of virus and two of them have been working within the Windsor-Essex County area.
Within the morning, a caravan of automobiles drove previous completely different farming services within the area, honking to indicate assist to the employees and convey consideration to the problems they’re dealing with. The drive-by rally was organized by Justice for Migrant Employees.
“We wish them to know we acknowledge them as important employees and so they’re vital to us and our neighborhood,” stated organizer Elizabeth Ha.
“We see their working situations [and] how they’re dwelling and we hope that with the variety of folks that got here out that the federal government will do one thing to guard the employees as a substitute of getting them shipped again in physique luggage.”
March for Migrant Employees’ Rights
A second march that started in downtown Leamington made its approach to the entrance of the Lakeside Produce facility the place it was met by safety.
The group was asking for necessary testing.
A March in Leamington at this time went to the doorstep of Lakeside produce to convey consideration to dwelling situations and security of migrant employees within the space. 96 of 98 optimistic instances of COVID-19 reported at this time have been detected amongst farm employees in keeping with the Well being Unit <a href=”https://twitter.com/CBCWindsor?ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>@CBCWindsor</a> <a href=”https://t.co/zkR8NzsCjr”>pic.twitter.com/zkR8NzsCjr</a>
“They’re saying no [to testing] as a result of they know that in the event that they take a look at optimistic, they will be despatched again to Mexico,” organizer Mary-Catherine Croshaw stated.
“They should have job safety and they should have CERB, that you just and me are entitled to.”
The group additionally referred to as for higher dwelling situations for employees.
“There’s a number of, like 10 to 12 individuals, dwelling in a single home and, like, six males dwelling in a single room and so they’re all sharing a washroom,” Vanessa Gaspar stated. “How are we speculated to cease the unfold of that if they cannot have correct housing?”
The gang additionally chanted “Standing now,” a requirement that the federal authorities give employees a path to everlasting residency. Additionally they need higher wages and advantages for the employees.
“What began off as being about COVID and the mistreatment of the migrant employees pertaining to that, it bubbled into the entire state of affairs of their rights,” Crowshaw stated. “It is a human rights violation, actually.”
“We want the federal government to boost the requirements and to implement higher laws and moreover we additionally want the federal government to make them assure extra time pay [and] sick pay,” she added.
Nadeen Al-Taher took half within the march and stated migrant employees in Ontario and around the globe are sometimes oppressed and brought benefit of.
“Capitalist buildings and racist buildings are at all times interdependent with each other,” Al-Taher stated.
“This is the reason individuals of color, Black and brown, Indigenous individuals, are sometimes subjected to such exploitation — racism, threats, deportation — to maintain them docile. The Canadian authorities could be very conscious that with out giving them everlasting resident standing, they’re able to fully be exploited.”
On-farm testing ramping up
In a Fb put up, Leamington Mayor Hilda MacDonald stated that enormous numbers of optimistic take a look at outcomes are to be anticipated within the coming days as on-farm testing has ramped up shortly within the area.
She additionally stated that an “isolation housing plan” is being made for employees and teams of employees who take a look at optimistic.