CASE COMMENT: Temporarily Unchained: The Drive to Unionize Foreign Seasonal Agricultural Workers in Canada -- A Comment on Greenway Farms and UFCW
Keywords:foreign workers, agriculture, Case commentary, Greenway Farms, trade unions
This case comment addresses the recent phenomenon of the unionization of temporary foreign agricultural labour in British Columbia.It focuses on a decision addressing unionization of a subset of temporary foreign workers, seasonal agricultural workers, who come to Canada through the federally administered Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP).
This commentary focuses on the Greenway/UFCW decision and its ramifications for guest workers in the SAWP working on BC farms. To that end, it will first include a brief explanation of the SAWP and of law relating to unionization of agricultural workers in Canada. I will then comment on the Board’s decision with a focus on the arguments both for and against extending rights to this group of temporary foreign workers. Finally, I will conclude with a comment on unionization as a means of extending post-national rights to temporary foreign workers.