Canada: Jamaican farmworkers allegedly sent home early in "payback" after protests over living conditions
Date Reported: 22 Aug 2023
CompaniesKomienski Farms - Employer
Total individuals affected: 7Migrant & immigrant workers: ( 7 - Jamaica , Agriculture/food/beverage/tobacco/fishing: General , Gender not reported )
IssuesPrecarious/Unsuitable Living Conditions , Intimidation , Restricted mobility , Dismissal , Freedom of Expression , Access to Non-Judicial Remedy , Freedom of Assembly
Response sought: Yes, by CTV News.
Action taken: The farm did not respond to CTV News’ requests for an interview. The Canadian government has opened an investigation to review their dismissal and return. In September 2023, Radio Jamaica News reported placed on other farms when the new season begins next January. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security says after investigating the matter, it can confirm that no complaints were filed against the five workers and there were no reports of a breach of contract against them.
Source type: News outlet
"Jamaican migrant workers sent back from Ontario farm after exposing conditions,"
Jamaican migrant workers were sent back to the Caribbean from a farm in Ontario earlier this month after holding a one-day strike in protest of their workplace conditions – prompting the Canadian government to review the circumstances of their early departure...
Jamaica’s Labour Minister Pearnel Charles said he met with four of the five farmers on Friday who were sent home to understand the circumstances of their early repatriation...
The ministry is conducting an ongoing investigation and said in a news release last week there were challenges with the crop at the farm in question, which can be a common reason to terminate contracts prematurely.
Videos shared to TikTok back in June showed the conditions that the workers were living in and prompted the Jamaican government to begin its investigation, which remains ongoing.
In one of the videos obtained by CTV News Toronto a row of toilets with shower curtains acting as doors are flooded to the brim, overflowing into the kitchen area of a bunkhouse...
The farm in question has not responded to repeated interview requests from CTV News Toronto...
In a news release Friday, the Jamaican government said it has received no formal complaint from the workers and has been unable to substantiate local media reports in which a representative for the group suggested that they were sent home as “payback” for raising concerns about their living conditions...
However, in an interview on Friday, a 24-year-old Jamaican still on the farm said six workers have since been brought in from Mexico...