Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Solidarity Forever, Canadians Never: SAWP Workers in Canada

Document type Thesis
Author Russo, Robert Marc
Degree Ph.D., Law
Publisher University of British Columbia; Vancouver, B.C.
Date 2012
Pages 347


This doctoral thesis focuses on collective bargaining and temporary migrant workers within Canada participating in the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). The intent is to analyze the range and efficacy of legal responses to the problems encountered by this community within Canada, focusing on the unionization of SAWP participants. The dissertation addresses the fundamentally legal relationship between unionization and SAWP workers in Canada. It takes an approach that considers both historical and legal considerations leading to the use of SAWP workers in Canada, and the eventual attempts at unionization. Recent legal developments in several Canadian provinces involving SAWP workers and efforts collective bargaining are analyzed. There is a comparison with similar efforts to unionize migrant workers in the United States, and of efforts to address violations of collective bargaining rights through international complaints as well as within the broader framework of international law. The conclusion reached is that within the current framework of provincial labour legislation and the current structure of the SAWP, collective bargaining alone represents an inadequate response to violations of SAWP workers’ workplace rights in Canada.