Name: Joginder Kaur

Occupation: Farm Worker

Joginder has been in Canada for 8 years, and she has been working in Abbotsford as a farm worker for 7 years. She is 62 years old now. She is very frustrated by the working conditions for herself and others in her community. She has worked 12 to 14 hour days in the fields. The high cost of rent keeps her from accessing a home that is the appropriate size for her and her family, and even after so many years of hard work in Canada, owning a home is still just an unreachable dream.

We support providing all workers at least the minimum wage and strengthening the Employment Standards Act. Many immigrant farmworkers work for less than the minimum wage because they are paid based on the amounts they harvest and the “piece rate” is very low. Regular, random and unannounced farm inspections should occur to ensure adequate health and safety measures are in place.

“Where we work on the farms, there is no water. You bring your only lunch and water. You pick up the flats [of berries] and carry them on your head, place them on a scale, without help. Sometimes they tell you one price at the beginning of the day, then a different one at the end of the day when they pay you.”