Workers fired at farm of former BoG member
Monday, December 8, 200823 Comments
At the time the policy was passed a voting member of the Board of Governors was Hank Vander Pol, the owner of Rol-Land Farms.
Rol-Land Farms is currently the centre of attention over a recent wave of firings.
Agricultural workers have for some time been unable to form a union under Canadian law. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union has been fighting for many years to change this, and just won the long battle 3 week aho. Much of this fight was undertaken by the UFCW and workers at the Guelph branch of Rol-Land Farms.
Yesterday, Rol-Land Farms fired 70 of the foreign workers in Canada on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This program is designed to bring in migrant workers (many from Mexico) to work for up to 2 years. The fired workers had been in Canada between 4 and 8 months each and are now being sent home. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is designed to allow employers like Rol-Land Farms to fire workers without notice, and regularly changes the work force as a means to keep them vulnerable.
The conditions the migrant workers had to ensure have been described as "dangerous" and "filthy", along with low wages.
The U of G's Code of Ethical Conduct would not permit mushrooms from Rol-Land Farms to be purchased by the university, yet the owner of the company was allowed to vote on major decisions at this university. This fact was a major point of contention then, and will likely be brought up again in light of this recent development.