Migrant Labour – Undocumented Labour

Picking Lettuce

Research Teams: Don Wells (McMaster University), André Lyn (United Way of Peel Region), Janet McLaughlin (Laurier University), Philip Kelly (York University); Greg Rousell (Halton Catholic District School Board); Jack Nigro (Halton Catholic District School Board); Carmen Condo (Halton Catholic District School Board); Stan Raper (United Food and Commercial Workers Union), Luin Goldring (York University)

Student Researcher: Aaraon Diaz (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico)

Project Description: We are working on two related research projects centering on the impact of precarity on the families of migrant workers who come to work in southern Ontario. One project focuses on workers employed in Canada under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), a federal program that brings workers to Canada from Mexico and several Caribbean countries, during which time they are away from their families for much of each year, generally for several years, sometimes over twenty years. We are focusing on workers from Mexico and Jamaica, the two main sending countries, to understand the impact of the program on the cohesion of their families. We are analysing data from interviews with workers and their family members from Mexico and Jamaica. One peer reviewed article has been published and other articles are being written.

The second project focuses on students who are children of Filipino immigrants, many of whom immigrated to southern Ontario under the live-in caregiver program. The study focuses on reducing barriers to these students’ educational success.

In each of these projects, our analysis will be a basis for policy recommendations to enhance the integration of these workers and their families and to improve family cohesion, migrant family support, and working conditions. In addition to academic and policy related dissemination of our research results, our analysis will also be used to help with local popular education about migrant worker issues in areas of southern Ontario where migrant workers are employed.

Publications and Presentations:

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Centennial Conference Paper Presentation 2012

PEPSO Research Steering-Community Advisory Committee 18 June 2012 Presentation

UN Special Rapporteur Food Security Submission 2012

Sustaining Precarious Transnational Families: The Significant of Remittances from Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (Just Labour — Vol. 22, Autumn 2014)