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Day of Mourning should include ag workers as well

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Taber Times

April 28 is the National Day of Mourning, each year we honour Canadian workers injured or killed on the job, most of them anyway.

We do not honour the farm, ranch and feed-lot workers in Alberta who are killed or seriously injured at work. Why don’t we honour these workers? Because Alberta’s Farm and Ranch lobby consider these workers to be just another input, such as manure, chemicals and fuel. Just another right-off and the Alberta government does their bidding.

Only WCB-accepted fatalities are included in the Day of Mourning numbers and most of Alberta’s Farmworkers are not covered by WCB so they are not counted, they just kind of disappear.

Alberta Farmworkers are people, they have family and friends who mourn them and miss them.

These workers are excluded from the OHS scheme, mandatory WCB, minimum pay, minimum age, rest breaks, vacation pay, holiday pay, the right to know about dangers, the right to refuse dangerous work, the right to join a union and the right to a workplace investigation when they meet with a serious injury or death.

Surely at least these Alberta workers are worthy of having their lost lives included in our National Day of Mourning. We may work in Alberta, but we are Canadians.

DARLENE DUNLOP

Farmworkers Union of Alberta

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