Farmworkers: Check your wages for updates!

Did you know that wages for migrant farmworkers were updated recently? Keep reading to make sure you’re being paid correctly!

How to find your rights on wages

As a migrant farmworker, you have certain rights according to your contract – including wages. Do you know where to look in your contract for information about your wages?

If you’re a seasonal farmworker (8 months contract or less), look at page 4 of your contract under “PAYMENT OF WAGES“. What does it say?

[If you don’t have a copy of your contract with you, tap this link for an online version.]

It says that your boss must pay you weekly wages at a rate that is equal to or above the following rates, whichever rate is highest:

  • The provincial wage for farmworkers according to where you work;
  • The prevailing (or median) wage rate for the type of work you do in the area where you’re employed, as decided by Employment and Social Development Canada (the government department that administers the seasonal farmwork program); OR
  • The wages that your boss is paying other seasonal workers who are doing the same type of work you do.

Often the second option (prevailing or median wage) is the highest, and this rate is updated every year so be sure to check back each season. The most recent update was November 29, 2023. Are you being paid properly? Keep reading to find out!

How to find your wage rate

First, look at your work permit under “ADDITIONAL INFORMATION” and find where it says “OCCUPATION/PROFESSION“. What does it say?

Next, tap this link:

You should see this:

In the white box, type the occupation that’s listed on your work permit. Press the blue “Search” button.

Then, scroll down to where it says “Hourly wages by community/area“. You will see 3 columns: Low ($/hour), Median ($/hour), and High ($/hour).

Finally, find the region where you’re employed and look under the Median ($/hour) column in the middle. Whatever rate is stated there is your rate of pay according to your contract.

How to report contract violations

Is your boss not paying you correctly? Not sure if your wages are right?

You’re not alone! Message Kit on WhatsApp at 905-324-2840 for support.

United we are stronger! MWAC members party

Are you a member of MWAC? Join us in Toronto on December 10 from 2-5pm to connect with fellow members, share food & laughs, and take action together as we demand permanent status for all!

Treat Farmworkers Fair: TAKE ACTION

[Tap here to sign the petition]

The Minister of Labour in Jamaica, Pearnel Charles Jr., recently promised to open the overseas farmwork program to people with disabilities and create an even larger pool of workers to abuse and exploit. Does that sound fair to you?

Keep reading for 2 simple actions you can take!

1.Watch this video to learn 3 reasons why this promise is not the progressive measure the Ministry claims it to be:

2. Sign the petition below to send a message to Minister Charles – tell him to treat farmworkers fair! We want an end to the unfair practice of blacklisting, which bans farmworkers who get injured or speak up about our rights as humans and workers. Scroll down to sign or tap here to read the full petition.

Because migrants are denied permanent status in Canada, seasonal migrant farmworkers are forced to depend on our bosses to get requested back to the country each year. We are threatened with being banned (blacklisted) from the farmwork program if we speak up about abuse and unsafe conditions.

This unfair practice of blacklisting will end – but only if we take action together today!

We are uniting as migrant farmworkers to call on the Minister of Labour Pearnel Charles Jr. to:

  • Meet with Migrant Workers Alliance for Change farmworker members and listen to workers’ concerns;
  • End the discriminatory practice of blacklisting, as directed by migrant farmworkers;
  • Create an ombuds office at the Ministry of Labour to support farmworkers who have not been requested back by their employer, and to facilitate placement on another farm;
  • Call on the Canadian government to grant permanent resident status to all migrants on arrival, including seasonal farmworkers.

Your personal information will be kept private and confidential, we will never share your name or contact information and will only use it to keep you updated.

Do you work in Ontario for less than $16.55/hr? Your wages are going up!

Over 1 million workers in Ontario will see a wage boost on October 1, 2023.

Here are 3 things you need to know:

1. Wages are going up because workers fought and won!

In 2014, Ontario workers pushed for a law that ties wages to rising prices (inflation). Higher wages do not cause inflation. But because workers took action to tie minimum wage to cost of living increases, wages are going up. When we fight, we win!

What else can we win together?

2. Even if you make more than minimum wage, your wage will go up.

Every worker in Ontario making less than $16.55/hr before October 1 will get a wage raise, because workers like you pushed for changes and won! Check your paystub for your hourly rate, and make sure that you get paid $16.55/hr for all hours worked on and after October 1, 2023.

If your boss is stealing your wages, contact us for support!

Migrant Care Workers: 416-897-4388
Migrant Healthcare Workers (refugee & undocumented): 647-782-6633
Migrant Student Workers:  647-858-2854
Migrant Fishery Workers: 506-251-7467
Migrant Farm Workers (ENG):  905-324-2840
Trabajador@s Agrícolas (ESP):  647-807-4722

3. $16.55/hr is not enough!

We know minimum wage is not enough to live on – we need better wages to pay for rent, groceries, medical costs, school, and other essentials. Some workers are even excluded from the right to minimum wage. You and your co-workers deserve more!

Join us to fight for better wages and labour rights for yourself and others. To learn more, message an organizer from Migrant Workers Alliance for Change today:

Migrant Care Workers: 416-897-4388
Migrant Healthcare Workers (refugee & undocumented): 647-782-6633
Migrant Student Workers:  647-858-2854
Migrant Fishery Workers: 506-251-7467
Migrant Farm Workers (ENG):  905-324-2840
Trabajador@s Agrícolas (ESP):  647-807-4722

Celebrate grape and wine season by thanking a migrant vineyard worker!

Before a bottle of wine reaches you at the store or a glass of wine is set on your table at a restaurant, the grapes are grown, harvested, and processed by migrant vineyards workers from Mexico, Vietnam, and Caribbean countries.

We are separated from our families for over half a year and miss out on family birthdays, graduations, and funerals. It’s heartbreaking to be away for so long and the days can seem never ending. Your support during the season encourages us to keep pushing through. We want to hear from you!

Get the Facts: Family Open Work Permits for Farmworkers

You deserve to be together with your family – all migrants do! Sadly, the Canadian government keeps us separated by denying us permanent resident status. One way the government promises to unite migrant families is through measures like open work permits for family members.

What is the Family Open Work Permit?

For years, migrant workers like you have been speaking up and taking action together about family unity. In 2022 the Canadian government was pressured to allow more spouses and adult children dependents of some migrant workers to get open work permits in the country. (Read the government announcement here.)

This expanded government measure has 3 phases:

  1. Phase 1 started January 30, 2023 which is for family members of workers in the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program. Farm workers are excluded.
  2. Phase 2 will expand to family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, after consultations with bosses. This phase will still exclude farm workers.
  3. Phase 3 is consultations with bosses in the agricultural industry to see if including family members of farm workers will benefit them and their business. It is not guaranteed that farm workers will be included after the consultations.

You can see how farm workers are shut out at every phase, this isn’t fair! That’s why we’re uniting together to take action and win change to the unfair system. Join us: Send a WhatsApp message to 905-324-2840 for more information about how you can make a change with us.

Who can apply?

  • Family members of workers in high-wage streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program

Not sure if your job qualifies as high-wage? You must be earning what’s called the “median hourly wage” or higher, which depends on what province in Canada you work.

Current wages for farmworkers in Canada are as low as $13/hour and we deserve so much more! That’s why we’re also fighting for higher wages, so our families will have more opportunities.

Do you agree that your family deserves more? Send a WhatsApp message to us at 905-324-2840 to learn how you can join our fight to win a better life!

Who cannot apply?

  • Farm workers in the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program and the Agricultural Stream (Ag-Stream) of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program
  • Fishery workers who are not in the high-wage stream
  • Any migrant worker in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program who is paid low wages
  • Migrants with Open Work Permits for Vulnerable Workers who are paid low wages
  • Migrants with work permits who are also refugee claimants or H&C applicants
  • Migrants without papers/immigration status

To read the full requirements, tap this link:

So many people are shut out of this measure, it’s not fair.

That’s why migrant workers are uniting together to take action and win change, including permanent resident status for all, so that we can all be together with our families!

Migrant farmworkers: You have a voice, let’s get loud for status for all!

Take action using this form and let Prime Minister Justin Trudeau know that the world is watching! Let’s unite together and make sure Canada does the right thing and grants permanent status for all – including people without papers and those who arrive in the future.

Your message will only be sent once you hit the red “ADD YOUR NAME” button at the end.

Note: Your name and contact information will be kept confidential. This form is created by Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, a migrant-led worker rights organization whose leaders and members are migrant farmworkers, care workers, international student workers, and undocumented workers. Learn more about us by tapping the link here:

Migrant food and farm workers support Metro workers on strike!

Last year alone, Canada’s 3 largest grocery stores took $3.6 billion in profit. That money belongs to workers, including migrants like you – people who grow, harvest, transport, and sell food. Right now nearly 4,000 workers at Metro (which also owns Food Basics) are striking for better wages & work hours and job security – things that all of us deserve! Sign below to show your support for workers taking action to win a better life for all of us.