Death of migrant workers warrants inquest: union
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union is calling on the Ontario coroner to hold an inquest into the death of two Jamaican migrant workers earlier this month.
The workers died Sept. 10 at Filsinger's Organic Foods apple orchard and processing facility in Ayton, about 70 kilometres south of Owen Sound, Ont.
The men died after inhaling fumes while working in a vat at the farm.
The UFCW union wants an inquest to see if new regulations can be established to deal with enclosed spaces. Most of these cases involve multiple deaths.
Provincial police and the Ontario Ministry of Labour are probing the deaths. The names of the men, who were 36 and 44, have not been released.
"The deaths of the two workers in Ayton is a tragic reminder of the dangers and risks involved in the agriculture sector,'' said Wayne Hanley, the national president for the union.
More than 6,000 Jamaican migrants are employed on over 300 Canadian farms, according to the UFCW.
Ontario was forced to allow agricultural workers freedom to associate after a Supreme Court ruling in 2001, however legislation stopped short of allowing them collective bargaining rights. The UFCW is appealing that decision to the Supreme Court.
With files from The Canadian Press