Standing policy: Labour
The OFVGA strongly supports the “Canadians First” policy in employment practices with a supplementary workforce (under the Foreign Agricultural Seasonal Workers’ Program) from the Caribbean Islands and Mexico.
The OFVGA believes that educating producers on labour protocols and issues is paramount to the sector. It supports the Farm Safety Association initiatives, employment standards, occupational healthy and safety standards, and the education of employers regarding labour relations between employees and employers.
The OFVGA participants actively in minimum wage consultations and human resources course development.
Airfare Deduction Increases - Mexico (03-07)
AIRFARE DEDUCTION INCREASES – MEXICO (03-07)
WHEREAS the Caribbean and Mexican offshore farm workers programs have experienced large increases in costs especially with airfare, and
WHEREAS presently the Caribbean worker is sharing in a larger percentage of the transportation cost.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA meet with representatives of Mexico to facilitate an increase in the daily deduction of up to 50% of the airfare.
Apprenticeship program (02-05)
WHEREAS Niagara College, Niagara Training & Adjustment Board, Farm Labour Pool, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, in partnership have instituted an Apprenticeship Program for fruit growers; and
WHEREAS apprenticeship is hands-on training for people who want to work in a skilled trade and who enjoy learning by doing; and
WHEREAS participation in the program by high school graduates has been below expectations; and
WHEREAS an apprenticeship program is a fruitful investment for our farms, our industry and our future;
THEREFORE be it resolved that the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association request that the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities reduce eligibility criteria for the apprenticeship program for fruit growers from a high school graduate to a grade 10 graduate.
Farm worker safety (05-06)
WHEREAS the safety of all farm workers is of paramount importance to the agricultural employers in Ontario and
WHEREAS the Farm Safety Association is instrumental in the development and education of safety programs within Ontario and
WHEREAS the content of some of the farm safety programs are not available in other languages (especially Spanish for Mexican offshore workers) and
WHEREAS the content of some of the farm safety programs are derived from other countries,
THEREFORE be it resolved that the OFVGA, FARMS and the Farm Safety Association work together in developing a complete farm safety program specifically for the Canadian offshore worker and employer that consists of Canadian content wherever possible and that;
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that this farm safety program be produced in English and Spanish so that it would be available for the majority of the workers and employers that utilize the Offshore Worker Program
Funding for farm labour accommodations (06-03)
WHEREAS there has not been any funding available for several years; and
WHEREAS there will be new standardized regulations for all of Ontario;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA look into the possibility of acquiring fund for new building or upgrading of existing bunkhouses
- Health cards - offshore workers (02-10)
Ontario Employment Standards Act (2016-12)
ONTARIO EMPLOYMENT STANDARS ACT (2016-12)
WHEREAS the Ontario government has indicated possible changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA); and
WHEREAS the Ontario fruit and vegetable sector has unique labour issues and requirements; and
WHEREAS changes to the ESA that do not take into account these unique requirements could have serious negative consequences on the competitiveness and economic viability of the Ontario fruit and vegetable sector; and
WHEREAS the global nature of the fruit and vegetable market demands legislation that permits Ontario businesses to remain competitive;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OFVGA lobby the Ontario Government to recognize the unique labour challenges faced by the fruit and vegetable sector and ensure any changes to the Employment Standards Act do not negatively impact the sector’s international competitiveness and economic viability.
Processing Time For SAWP Workers (2018-09)
PROCESSING TIME FOR SAWP TRANSFERS (2018-09)
WHEREAS the processing time for transfer workers in the Seasonal Agriculture Workers Program has gotten longer; and
WHEREAS the production factors in our industry have been hindered by this delay;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that all government agencies shorten their processing time to transfer workers already working in Canada.
Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (2017-15)
SEASONAL AGRICULTURE WORKERS PROGRAM (2017-15)
WHEREAS the paper work concerning the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program is more and more complex; and
WHEREAS growers are now subjected to a new, stressful experience through the complex on-farm audits from the Integrity Office of Service Canada;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that FARMS generate a check list and information for growers to support them with Service Canada’s requirements regarding on-farm labour audits.
Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (RL2010-04)
SEASONAL AGRICULTURAL WORKERS PROGRAM (RLR2010-04)
WHEREAS the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) has met the needs of employers and employees involved with the program for over 40 years and
WHEREAS the program has been held up as a standard by 30 different countries as a program that they would like to emulate and
WHEREAS the Horticultural Industry in Canada relies on the SAWP program to supply labour to insure a supply of horticultural products to consumers and processors
WHEREAS the HRDC is currently reviewing the Canadian Law Skills Program and looking for ways to bring this program and SAWP closer together
THEREFORE be it resolved that the SAWP program remain undiminished and in place to continue to meet the needs of employers, employees, processors and consumers who benefit from the program and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the benefits of the SAWP be further highlighted to the federal and provincial MLA’s.