Greenhouse Growers Support Third Party Body for Workplace Complaints
Greenhouse vegetable growers are supporting a call for an independent body to receive workplace complaints.
The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) represent approximately 200 farmers, responsible for over 3,200 acres of greenhouses across the province.
Dr. Justine Taylor is the Science Manager for the group. She tells The Afternoon news it's critical that a third party remains politically neutral and approachable.
"Provides information and support in a culturally appropriate manner in a way that is easy to understand to build trust with temporary foreign workers so they feel confident and safe to approach that third body," she says.
Taylor says many workers are afraid to come forward with workplace issues.
"There may be fears and stigmas associated with directly approaching government officials, whether they be from their home country or from Canada," added Taylor.
The federal government has already committed money to growers during the pandemic, but she that needs to be taken further.
"We'd be looking to them to work with us to develop those supports in a way that would provide an independent body to review concerns and complaints," she says.
Taylor says the group also remains committed to enhancing regulatory tools, support services and other workplace protections for agri-food employees — including additional COVID-19 testing for all agri-food employees and increased on-farm inspections.
The agri-farm sector accounted for 21 of the 25 new cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex on Tuesday.
— with files from AM800's Kristylee Varley.