VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/26/13 -- In a last ditch effort to cover up volumes of evidence indicating it blacklisted union supporters from returning to Canada as migrant workers, Mexico has asked the Supreme Court of British Columbia to quash testimony and documents delivered to the B.C. Labour Relations Board which indicated union-busting collusion between Mexico, its Vancouver consulate, and two B.C. farms where Mexican migrant workers voted to unionize with UFCW Canada Local 1518.
The hearings at the B.C. Supreme Court began Wednesday in Vancouver. Mexico has asked the court to order the B.C. Labour Relations Board (BCLRB) to ignore the evidence indicating blacklisting activity - including leaked Mexico government documents, as well as testimony from former Mexico consular employees. The evidence was delivered during hearings at the BCLRB in 2012, where former consular officials testified they were instructed to report to senior Mexican officials about Mexican migrant workers in B.C. they suspected of being union sympathizers. The former consular employees also testified they were instructed to tell workers not to contact or visit three Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) support centres in British Columbia operated in association with UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers union) - the union that a majority of Mexican migrant workers at two B.C. farms voted to join.
The case at the BCLRB was put on hold, after Mexico made its application to the B.C. Supreme Court to quash the evidence at the labour board. (Copies of the charges and other evidence are available for download at www.stoptheblacklist.com)
"We believe the evidence presented at the labour board clearly indicated that Mexico reached across borders and violated the human and labour rights of workers in Canada," says Ivan Limpright, president of UFCW Canada Local 1518. "The workers say so. People who worked at the consulate say so. The leaked blacklisting documents say so."
"Asking the Supreme Court to essentially shred all this evidence is a shameful ploy by Mexico to hide what happened, and to give Mexico a free hand to do it again."
Currently, UFCW Canada Local 1518 union contracts are in place at Sidhu and Sons, and Floralia Growers; the two B.C. agriculture operations where a majority of the migrant agriculture workers voted to unionize. UFCW Canada Local 1518 is part of UFCW Canada, the country's largest private-sector union with more than 250,000 members primarily working in the food production and retail sectors. For more than two decades UFCW Canada has been a leading advocate for the labour and workplace rights of both domestic and migrant agriculture workers. In association with Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA), UFCW Canada operates ten agriculture workers support centres across Canada, including AWA centres in Surrey, Abbotsford and Kelowna, B.C.
UFCW Canada Local 1518
Director of Communications
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