Migrant Labour – Undocumented Labour

Picking Lettuce

Project Leads: Don Wells (McMaster University), André Lyn (United Way of Peel Region), Janet McLaughlin (Laurier University), Stan Raper (United Food and Commercial Workers Union), Josephine Eric (Migrant Worker Family Centre), 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 group of workers is 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 from Mexico and beginning interviews with workers from Jamaica. When these latter interviews have been analysed, we will decide on a second project concerning impacts of temporary foreign worker migration. In each of these projects, our analysis will be a basis for policy recommendations to enhance family cohesion. 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