Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Protection of Migrant Agricultural Workers' Rights

Document type Thesis
Author Gutierrez, Gonzalez Israel
Degree M.A., Social Work
Publisher McMaster University; Hamilton, Ont.
Date 2006
Pages vi, 119 pages


This thesis investigates several issues related to the provisions afforded by aspects of the Canadian welfare state to protect the rights of migrant labour participating in the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program. In the introduction and literature review, I provide the background of the program and present the nature of the issues that surround it. I also outline the problems that migrant agricultural workers face while participating in the program. These are mainly due to the few provisions that are extended to this secondary sector labour group, a group of workers that is barely visible to Canadian society. In the main part of the thesis, I analyze the two instruments that allow the entry of these workers into Canada and the different pieces of Canadian legislation that are relevant to protecting legitimate rights of any person who works in this country. More importantly, I also present findings derived from interviews with migrant agricultural workers and key informants from advocacy groups and the labour movement regarding those provisions. Based on their in Sights and on the dual market theory, I scrutinize the position of the Canadian welfare state concerning the legitimate provisions migrant workers should be entitled to and how the globalization context influences that position. I conclude with a series of ideas that, in my opinion, could positively affect this labour group's welfare status.