Migrant Workers Look To “Harvest Freedom”

Migrant workers rallying in downtown Windsor for the government to change their status, September 6, 2016. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

Agricultural migrant workers in southwestern Ontario want permanent immigration status.

Gabriel Allahdua from St. Lucia says he and his fellow workers are forced into terrible conditions and given no rights because they are each tied to a farm.

“This is what I mean by the nature of the immigration policy [as it stands today]. It places us into a group that is vulnerable. We’re being exploited. The moment you speak up, they send you back home,” he explains. “How can the public get to know about this situation?”

Allahdua is joining the group Justice For Migrant Workers as it travels in a caravan from Windsor to Ottawa over the course of the next month.

The campaign, called “Harvesting Freedom,” will be stopping in more than 15 cities to spread the word about challenges migrant workers face, and the change they’re looking for.

The group says it’s the federal government’s responsibility to grant the workers status, but it’s on the province to change its labour laws and create better working conditions.