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Farmworker Day a day to reflect

Posted on August 21, 2013 by Taber Times

August 20 was the ninth annual Farmworker Day, a day to salute the men, women and children who toil on our farms, ranches and feedlots to provide us all with such bounty.

August 20 was proclaimed by the Alberta Federation of Labour in 2005 because of Alberta Farmworker’s complete exclusion from health & safety, WCB, child labour and workplace legislation.

This past nine years, the Farmworkers Union of Alberta has lobbied government, and has been educating the public to this extreme exclusion from any labour standards in this dangerous industry.

The Conservative government of Alberta has not made even one change in legislation in all these years to improve the safety and health of these workers.

Sadly, that isn’t all that has not changed. Here are but a few examples of how 2013 is shaping up.

Stettler — two farm related deaths in two months.

Taber — five-year-old loses arm in farming accident.

St. Michael — man suffers critical burns in farm explosion.

The one thing that has changed is the child farm fatality rate, an increase on average of 5.8 per cent each of these nine years (source ACICR). That is a whopping increase of 52.2 per cent.

We care about the treatment of our farm animals, now it’s time to care about farmworkers.

Darlene Dunlop

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