Sun | Dec 4, 2022

Fact-finding team appointed to probe conditions on farm work programme

Published:Monday | September 26, 2022 | 6:42 PM
The team will visit all provinces where Jamaican farm workers are employed over a two-week period, following which a comprehensive report is to be provided to Labour and Social Security Minister, Karl Samuda. - File Photo

The Cabinet has approved the appointment of a seven-member fact-finding team to conduct investigations into the working conditions of Jamaican workers under the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers (farmwork) Programme.

The members of the fact finding team are:

  • Helene Davis-Whyte (Chair) – President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Union 
  • Donald (Danny) Roberts - Deputy Chairman of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal 
  • Wayne Chen – President of the Caribbean Employers Federation 
  • Raymond Eytle­ – Second Vice President of the Jamaican Employers' Federation
  • Wayne Jones – Deputy Financial Secretary of the Strategic Human Resource Management, Ministry of Finance and Public Service 
  • Sidia Madden – Chief Internal Auditor of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security 
  • Kandre Leveridge – Researcher/Community Development Specialist 

 The team will:

  • Conduct random selection of Canadian farms covering all provinces to which Jamaican farm workers are employed; 
  • Collect data on the working conditions of Jamaican workers employed under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme (SAWP); 
  • Interview workers who have been injured to assess the level of care and responsiveness to their needs by the Jamaica Liaison Service in Canada and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security;  
  • Speak to employers and other interested groups to hear concerns; 
  • Provide a report outlining the team's findings, with recommendations to improve the Jamaican Overseas Employment Programme in Canada.  

The team will visit all provinces where Jamaican farm workers are employed over a two-week period, following which a comprehensive report is to be provided to Labour and Social Security Minister, Karl Samuda. The report will be presented to Cabinet and tabled in Parliament.  

A special tripartite team was earlier appointed, following complaints from farm workers of poor, inhumane conditions they face working on overseas farms.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.