MEDIA ADVISORY: "Caravan for Justice" heads to St. Catharines to demand immediate protections and permanent resident status for migrant workers, as COVID-19 cases spike on farms

TORONTO, June 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fight for $15 & Fairness campaign will lead a caravan on Saturday, June 13, to demand urgent action from the Trudeau government to grant full immigration status to migrant workers amidst a worsening COVID-19 outbreak in Ontario's farms. The caravan will leave from Toronto's Christie Pits Park at 9:30 am, and culminate in a socially-distanced rally at 1:30 pm outside the office of St. Catharines Liberal MP Chris Bittle on Saturday June 13th. Media briefings will take place at both locations. The caravan will also deliver messages of solidarity to migrant farmworkers, including at COVID-19 affected farms in coordination with Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.

The action is being organized after a second migrant farmworker, 24-year old Rogelio Muñoz Santos, died due to COVID-19, following 31-year old Bonifacio Eugenio Romero. Nearly 500 have been infected to date, with more cases being reported every day. At least 5 workers are hospitalized, and two in Intensive Care.

A recent report by the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change has exposed worker inability to speak up and protect themselves in dangerous housing and working conditions due to their lack of permanent resident status, which has led to this grave crisis, see the full report here.

"Migrant farm workers are essential members of our communities, but right now their lives are being treated as expendable," said Pam Frache, coordinator of the Fight for $15 & Fairness Campaign. "Without permanent immigration status, it is nearly impossible for these workers to speak up against their employers who can have them deported with the blink of an eye."

When: Saturday, June 13, 2020.

  • Caravan departure from Christie Pits Park Toronto at 9:30 AM
  • Socially-distanced rally outside MP Chris Bittle's office, 61 Geneva St, St. Catharines at 1:30 PM

What: Car caravan decorated in colorful messages of solidarity for essential farm workers, socially-distanced outdoor rally in St. Catharines, interview opportunity with participants at both locations.

Media availability: Pam Frache, Coordinator of Fight for $15 & Fairness; Syed Hussan, Executive Director of Migrant Workers Alliance for Change; Janice Folk Dawson, Executive Vice President of Ontario Federation of Labour; Kit Andres, Organizer from Migrant Workers Alliance - Niagara; Sonia Aviles, Organizer from Migrant Workers Alliance - Niagara.

For more information or to arrange interviews:
Nil Sendil
Communications Coordinator, Fight for $15 & Fairness l 647-710-5795