Message from an anonymous migrant worker at Greenhill Produce

Justicia for Migrant Workers received this important message that we believe needs to be shared widely in light of recent reports about the outbreak COVID-19 at Greenhill Produce in Chatham-Kent, Ontario:

We the farm workers of Greenhill produce feel a bit outcast like we are the least  we feel a bit disrespect..guys test result positive and guys test result negative from Sunday April 22 and up to this date April 24 we the positive and the negative are living in the same house using the same utensils, same bathroom,doing everything like nothing is wrong only told they are following the health procedures..we ask for sanitizers to help kill the spreading of the virus in such a crowded place until now none. Thanks to God some guys always buy bleach that’s what we have to be using…we gave them food list we get what is the Canadian norm of shopping.

We want a voice we are so afraid to talk, we are afraid we get sent back home. This is our JOB this is how we survive this is how we take care of our family back home. Without this God help so we are grateful for the job we are happy for it but we need to be treated as equal as everyone. Liaison officers who should be our advocate we haven’t seen nor hear from them. We have to speak out for us we want to feel comfortable working that if we get injured we are treated equal. This could have been avoided this is a part of negligence. When workers took sick, they took too long before medical attention and still going to work then it spread…please please hear our cry.

66 thoughts on “Message from an anonymous migrant worker at Greenhill Produce

  1. Well I am on your side as a Canadian that has work same as you I called that they would treat yous guys people humans like this cause at the end of the day it was about there crops n not safety they did not did not follow protocol here at all so get a lawyer fight for your rights I will n would stand up for any greenhouse packers etc cause I know how it is

  2. I have worked in these conditions at a pepper produce company before and as a Canadian worker I have seen the abuse first hand before covid 19 I am a big guy not fat muscular 6″ 1 ,245lbs and one day I had enough and stood up for one of the Mexican workers when I felt he was being miss treated I put my arm around him when the supervisor was giving him a hard time and told him not to worry and go home the supervisor new I was not one to mess with so stop what he was doing to him and let him be on his way the next day I received a phone call from the owner of the plant and was told I’m not a fit for this job I was fired I was planning on quitting anyway! I am not the type to sit back and watch anyone from are country or any other country to be miss treated! Even if it cost me my job!!!

  3. I have emailed the MLA for this area as well as the Premier of the province. Hang in there. Help will come.

  4. Wow! Thank you for your honesty! This is unacceptable no matter who or where you originate from.. I will be sharing to get more attention for this atrocity

  5. This is negligence at the highest level, why are these workers not being isolated separate.No wonder the covid19 virus spread so fast ,if they are living in the same place.This must be rectified immediately or the Dept of Health should shut this place down.

    • That’s why green hill was negligent without a doubt and clearly did not follow health protocol in the wake of this epidemic with their workers.
      Especially not distancing and packing the vast majority of their migrate workers like sardines in one big communal living quarters let’s be honest they haven’t done anything or provided anything to protect their workers and or the outside community others from covid 19
      This is negligence on the owner/farmer of this greenhouse because it’s about the all mighty dollar …in Not spending a dollar , to protect his workers meaning where was he going to house them in small groups providing no mask, sanitiziers gloves etc by the sounds of it.. no preventive measures were taken to prevent this period clearly .
      It appears a lot of people were negligent in passing the buck in not protecting these workers and simply choose to ignore and overlooked what wasn’t being done Especially by ignoring the health protocol of covid 19
      This green house operation should be held accountable with a hefty fine for (endangering) these workers and the spread of this virus beyond those green houses with not only a hefty fine from the government but also providing appropriate accomodations and the appropriate estentials needed at this time durring this pandemic and isolation .
      This Greenhouse operation was only worried about quota and their financial gains .
      Due to the seriousness and their ignoring their wellbeing They should also be shut down entirely for the next few weeks as a penality untill their workers recover, and I doubt any locals will want to work their temporarily knowing the unsafe health risk now it’s peppers and some financial losses now
      Over the loss of someone’s life .
      A slap on the wrist and nothing being done to penalize this greenhouse operation by law or our by our Ontario health system would be them also neglecting

  6. I’m so sorry you’re not being treated with respect and dignity here in Canada. I hope by speaking out some action can take place immediately. This is not what I or most of the people I know think is respectful.

  7. Chatham Kent Public Health
    Call them with your concerns. Thank you for being honest and I wish you all good health!

  8. I am so sorry this is happening to you. Of course you should be separated and have access to all the cleaning supplies and ppe,s neccessary.How can we help? Thank you for all the hard work you all do and please know we are thinking of you all.Hopefully the brave person that releaesed that honest message will see that Canada does respect the people that come here to work . Take good care of yourselves

  9. This is unacceptable, we treat our animals better than these people are being treated. These are human beings. The same God that made you and me is the same God that made them. They are here trying to provide for their families. They are the ones helping to put food on our tables. Some farmers take advantage of their workers, they get charged for everything, right down to renting their knives and forks whether they use them or not. Each person pays an outrageous price per person to come into town just to get their groceries. I don’t know about this particular greenhouse but many of them. Come on people put yourself in their place. I pray someone with authority can step up and speak for these people’s rights in Jesus Name.

    • Migrants are being abandoned, they are the invisible people, no ones cares about them as long everybody get their EI and CERB, much mgrants are dealing with no help from the Goverment

  10. I am with u brother ! All our health is important. Every farmer is worried that there will not be enough skilled workers then this message comes out… NO ONE has to work in unsafe conditions.!!!

  11. You need a spokesman sure . I will step up and speak for you all. I kno workers that work there and still coming… my name is lisa smith. My email is fordlady2005@

  12. Same old bull crap, the wealthy get richer and the poor remain poor. There will never be fair justice in a society where the rich keep paying off the politicians. It doesn’t matter what country your in , money can keep a lot of secrets from being brought forward. This to shall pass as long as we have politicians that secretly kèep accepting the corporate hush…. money…. lives mean nothing as long as the wealthy keep rolling in the money…

    • I totally agree
      And if this greenhouse operation doesn’t get penalized knowing the measures and protocol in the wake of this pandemic especially with migrate workers being brought here durring this time for these farmers,
      greenhouses (essentials ) and neglected safety protocol and the head of the health department does nothing to come down on then heavily and penalize them then it’s a case of someone buying someone it’s political absolutely .
      Just like the head of public health did nothing when a couple tested positive in
      Chatham was told to Quarentine for 2 weeks ignored it went out into to the public regardless and some one reported them, instead of fining them set an example the head of health didn’t do that ..
      Let’s enable people to not follow protocol by example instead of setting a solid example you don’t follow rules you pay a price for stupidity and ignorance and mostly for putting others life’s at risk

  13. Nothing but respect for you guys .. give me the owner’s name I will call myself and get you guys some help. .

    • Justin Geertsema is the vice president and general manager of Greenhill Produce. He can be reached at 519-692-3488 or by email

  14. Why, in this perfect containment situation are they not pulling out all of the stops for the welfare of all. Disgraceful and disappointing reaction from the overseer. Do the right thing immediately.

  15. I am so sorry that you and your coworkers have been treated so badly. Please know that you are a valuable asset to our food production. Without your hard work we would be lost. You should be treated equally and given the proper equipment to keep each other safe. God Bless all of you ❤️

  16. Definitely someone from there call the health unit and tell them everything! Some of these greenhouse owners are fkn heartless I swear and yes I know this from 8 years greenhouse experience smh.. Don’t stand for your health being at risk!

  17. yes contact Chatham Kent Public Health So sorry you are going though this. I hope all get well quick . God Bless

  18. This is absolutely terrible!!! I forwarded this to the Mayor of Chatham Kent and asked him to do something and if it is not in his power to do anything to please forward it to whoever it is that can. I hope that it is taken care of quickly!

  19. God will always prevail…..
    PLEASE stay healthy. Most applause the farmer but really its the workers. Without you all we would STARVE
    I will continue to share this post. Its not just the pandemic, its much much more. Eventually everyone will see
    XOXOX please take care over there. Sending My Love

  20. Where is The health board ,Dr Coby…making sure the uninfected have a chance of staying that way.
    Even The mayors family had to live on separate floors.
    Arrangements should be made to help self isolate the uninfected!
    Without repercussions .
    It is what it is regardless , it is here and spreading .

    • Dr Colby lol he is a joke he isn’t going to do anything I have absolutely no respect for him , he dosnt and won’t enforce shit .
      You watch this greenhouse operation will face no concequences at all for their negligence in putting health and safety protocol in place especially regarding Covid 19
      Distancing no more then 5 people in one group no sanitizers,mask gloves etc was put in place at all to protect these people his workers or the general population .
      It’s a clear case of carry-on in a normal way without the public knowing or seeing what was going on in the inside ..
      43 workers positive and sick and others will follow .
      Mr Coby won’t do a damn thing but present his title and name his for his 15 minutes of
      fame in the news but the greenhouse owner employer will not suffer any financial penality or shut down for his negligents
      Mark my words watch and see

  21. Thank you for speaking out. Me and my family support you all. Call the local health unit. Prayers go out to you all. God Bless You All & try to stay safe.

  22. I am so sorry you are going through this. I live in the states or I would drive there and bring you supplys and a train of legal people with me that could do something about your living conditions. May god bless you, your in my prayers
    Kimberly Johns

  23. I’m a long term care provider for over 25 years. The home I work in has Covid 19. We are being denied N95 masks to do care on residents that are infected. This is what big Corporations do. They don’t care for the safely of the workers or the residents that live in the homes. It’s all about profit. We keep being told that public health says that’s all we need. If that’s the case. “You come and care for these people. And do it with out N95 masks. “. Tell me how your feel about that. If it’s good for me that it’s good for you all who hold nursing degrees.

  24. If they call them on this issue they will be sent back. They need to get hold of health Canada or Dept of Health here. Do not give names. The news will investigate too. Good luck. May God bless and look out for you.

  25. That is terrible they should be treated much better then that . I take it no Canadians work there because they think it is beneath them. That is plane rubbish. The board of Health should be called immediately, I do hope things will get better for you and the workers.

  26. OH MY! Someone please help them, If the government can help their own Canadians who don’t want to work, then they shouldn’t have a problem helping migrant workers that come to our country and help us. The government is throwing $$$ at us like they’re billionaires so I’m sure this company can spare some hand sanitizer. If it wasn’t for migrant workers we would never have the produce we have. we can’t even get our own people to do these jobs because they are too flipping lazy. This makes Canada look bad. Thank you for all that you do for our country..May you all be in Gods hands through all this and I wish that all of you remain safe and healthy. Hang in there someone is coming!!!

  27. Rae
    We are sharing this all over,hope you get better help soon,Canadian are better than that,we are not USA so hope they get their ass in gear!
    We are praying for all of you!!🙏🙏

  28. And Greenhill Produce call themselves Christians and even boast about taking their offshore workers to Church??? How ironic. Disgusting!

  29. If only half of this story is true (I don’t doubt if it’s all true), it is a bloody shame. This story is the complete opposite of what’s in the newspaper )Chatham daily news)
    I have said it before: these migrant workers aren’t treated the way it should be in a lot of cases. No surprise ordinary Canadians don’t want to do that type of work. These migrants have no choice. When they object to their employer, they will be send home and never be allowed to come to Canada again to work. It’s modern slavery.

  30. For many reasons this is why Canadians will not do this work. I applaud all the migrate workers for what they do and atm they should be paid danger pay but no they continue to be treated like slaves which they are not. I personally have seen these bunk houses and there is basically no room to swing a cat. Sorry yous have to go through this every year for your families back home just because the dollar is worth more but the way yous are treated and living conditions are uncalled for.

  31. This is absolutely disgusting and ita absolutely true. Imagine being threatened to be without the job that makes sure your kids go to school and your parents can get their medication they need. These farmers and yes I realize this is a blanket statement (few farmers in Chatham Kent have a good reputation with how they treat their migrant staff) should be ashamed of themselves and anyone who is well aware of the mistreatment and turn a blind eye. This is the regular.. and then to add to it the Government is giving the same people $1500 for each migrant worker to make sure they follow procedures? That is pure profit for some of these farmers. In this situation imagine knowing it’s almost a certain death? Either you get Covid-19 or you get Covid-19! Being denied proper nutritious food is the bare basics that every person at this site deserves. Canadian cuisine is not what is going to heal a body. This makes me ashamed to be a Canadian.

  32. I personally forwarded this to the health unit…they replied to me that they are going to pass this on…(Lisa, thank you so much for informing us of this letter. I have forwarded it, with high importance, to our leadership. Again, thank you.)..that was their reply …

  33. I am appalled how they sugar coat horrible situations. You all deserve the same treatment we get. You come to Canada every year and work long hours. I am sorry you all are being treated like this. Whoever can help should be there to make sure you all stay safe and healthy. Without all of you we wouldn’t have the workers to do what other Canadians don’t want to do. I thank all of you for all your hard work and I hope you all get the supplies you need to get through this pandemic. I hope you all stay safe and get well soon to those who are sick.

  34. This is unacceptable. And heartbreaking. They should all be treated equal and supplied what is needed. Who can we contact to help with supplies??? I don’t mind helping out with some grocery runs ! These workers have families too. Praying for safe recovery for all !!!

  35. You guys are all appreciated, sorry to hear you guys are sick and going through this… It’s good to see you speak up because you aren’t any different than anyone else, and don’t deserve to be treated badly… Stay strong, feel better soon 😊

  36. They need to be assigned an Advocate, that ONLY represents them, and their wellbeing. There was a reason they felt they needed to be anonymous. Don’t you understand that our community will accept nothing, but the best for their health and safety.

  37. Yous are appreciated more then you know❤and deserve to be taken care of just like anyone else, stay strong everyone and get well soon!!

  38. Pingback: Migrant worker rights overlooked: advocate - The Chatham VoiceThe Chatham Voice | Your Chatham-Kent Community Newspaper

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