Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Tortillas and Tomatoes: Transmigrant Mexican Harvesters in Canada

Document type Book
Author Basok, Tanya
Publisher McGill-Queen's University Press; Montreal
Date 2002
ISBN 0-7735-2338-3
Pages xx, 168 p.


An exploration of the vital role played by Mexican seasonal workers in Canadian agriculture and how they have become a structural necessity in some sectors. Based on interviews with Leamington greenhouse growers and migrant Mexican workers, Tanya Basok offers a timely analysis of why the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program is needed. She argues that while Mexican workers do not necessarily constitute cheap labour for Canadian growers, they are vital for the survival of some agricultural sectors because they are always available for work, even on holidays and weekends, or when exhausted, sick, or injured. Basok exposes the mechanisms that make Mexican seasonal workers unfree and shows that the workers' virtual inability to refuse the employer's demand for their labour is related not only to economic need but to the rigid control exercised by the Mexican Ministry of Labour and Social Planning and Canadian growers over workers' participation in the Canadian guest worker program, as well as the paternalistic relationship between the Mexican harvesters and their Canadian employers. --Publisher's description


Access: External Resources: Cite This Item Search for versions with same title and author | Advanced options ... Contents: Migrant Labour: A Structural Necessity? -- The Farmers' Affliction -- Labour Problems: The Leamington Story -- Vulnerable Labour in a Vulnerable Sector -- The Greenhouse Industry in Leamington / with Carolyn Lewandowski -- From Mexico with Two Hands -- Captive Labour -- The Migrant Syndrome -- Summary and Conclusion. Access: Materials specified: Table of contents Geographic: Ontario. Note(s): iNcludes index./ Includes bibliographical references (pages 155-164). General Info: National bibliography no: GBA2Y6282 Class Descriptors: LC: HD8108.5.M6; Dewey: 331.6/2720713; NLC: HD1530 O5 B38 2002; HD1530 O5 Responsibility: Tanya Basok. Vendor Info: YBP Library Services (YANK) Material Type: Internet resource (url) Date of Entry: 20010917 Update: 20141230 Provider: OCLC