Please read the following letter from migrant agricultural workers at Cervini in Leamington, Ontario. They have given us permission to share their letter and would greatly appreciate your support; please scroll down for ways to take action in solidarity through a phone call or tweet.
We are workers at Cervini greenhouse, writing this complaint on behalf of all migrant workers — St. Lucians, Jamaicans, Guatemalans and Mexicans. Every year we take a risk leaving our loved ones to be on the farm program, being ignorant with no knowledge about what we will sign on contract and our rights. Which makes the employer to take big advantages on us.
Last year, management started using LIME STONE in the greenhouse, which affected many workers, some of their eyes burning, throat burning, rashes on skin and even chest pain. All complaints were reported to supervisor and management which they did nothing about.
On October 24th, 2020 we strike cause we couldn’t bear the pain anymore, all guys stop working and ask the LIMESTONE to be removed which they did. As that result many guys didn’t get requested back because they stand up for their right and health.
This year, February 3rd management spread even more LIME STONE in the greenhouse which starting to affect us beside last year complain, it only shows that the employer will use anything harmful thing and don’t care how it affecting us.
We want the company to STOP using limestone as it is affecting our health. We want the company to listen and make changes in our interest. We demand that no workers are penalized for standing up for their rights. WE WANT RESPECT!
Take Action In Solidarity
J4MW is demanding that the company take immediate steps to protect the rights of workers employed at Cervini Farms. Please contact the names listed below and echo workers’ demands:
- Stop using the chemical limestone or any other hazardous chemicals in the workplace;
- Provide information to the workers regarding all chemicals and pesticides used in the workplace, including the provision of WHMIS. Listen to the demands of the workers and meet with the workers as a group so that changes are undertaken to protect their health from occupational hazards;
- Ensure no workers face reprisals for standing up for respect;
- RESPECT the people who put food on our table.
- Chris Cervini 519-322-1959 President and CEO of Cervini and Lakeside Produce
- Sudeshna Nambiar, Chief Operating Officer Lakeside Produce 519-999-4403
- Monte McNaughton, Ontario Minister of Labour 416-326-7600
You can tweet Cervini/Lakeside Produce and Minister McNaughton: @lakesidepro @montemcnaughton Farmworkers are demanding respect from bosses and ending the use of limestone now! I stand in solidarity with agricultural workers calling for fairness and #racialjustice. #nomorerottentomatoes
When you have taken action, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional ways to show solidarity.