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Migrant workers are parents, too!

Migrant workers are parents too. Each season, migrant agricultural workers leave their families for as long as three years to do hard and gruelling work to put food on the tables of Canadian families.

Now, the Harper government has attacked some of the most vulnerable workers in Canada by disqualifying migrant workers from Employment Insurance (EI) parental and compassionate care benefits — despite the fact that migrant workers must continue to pay over $25 million a year in EI premiums, and have paid hundreds of millions of dollars into the EI fund for decades.

Migrant agricultural workers and their employers have been paying into the EI fund since 1966. Migrant workers have always been excluded from the collection of regular EI benefits (benefits paid when a worker’s employment is interrupted).

The only benefit migrant workers ever received for the millions they paid in EI premiums are parental, maternity and compassionate care benefits. Those benefits have now been arbitrarily ripped away.

The MWSN is distributing postcard petitions to be sent to the Federal Government in opposition to these changes and in support of migrant agricultural workers. Please contact us at info@mwsn.ca or 204-619-3243 to obtain a postcard.

Defend right of migrant workers to public health insurance

Campaign Update – April 2014: The Manitoba government continues to be pressured to rollback their extension of provincial health care benefits to migrant farm workers. We are asking that supporters write to remind the Government of Manitoba that they need to do everything possible to ensure that migrant workers know that they are able to access Manitoba Health, which includes being able to physically access Manitoba Health cards.

Campaign Update – May 2013: At the official release of the MWSN/CCPA report Migrant Voices: Stories of Seasonal Agricultural Workers in Manitoba, the Manitoba government announced it would be extending provincial health care benefits to migrant farm workers coming in to Manitoba through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.

You can contact the provincial Minister of Health, Erin Selby, at the below address:
Honourable Erin Selby
Minister of Health
302 Legislative Building
450 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Please also send a copy to the provincial Minister of Labour and Immigration, Erna Braun, at the below address:
Honourable Erna Braun
Minister of Health
317 Legislative Building
450 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8