University of Alberta Press

Book details

Publication date: October 2016
Features: Bibliography, notes, index
Keywords: Agriculture / Labour Laws
Subject(s): LAW / Labor & Employment, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Rural, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Agriculture & Food Policy, Agriculture / Labour Laws, Employment & labour law: general, Rural communities, Agriculture & farming
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press
Shirley A. McDonald teaches at UBC Okanagan. Her research interests combine literature, Canadian history, and life writing. Bob Barnetson is a professor of labour relations at Athabasca University. His research centres on the political economy of employment regulations.

"The book’s subtitle — Injustices and Activism — captures the two main themes it explores: the horrible exploitation that many farm workers endure, and the efforts they and their supporters have made to organize for reforms. This book represents a compelling argument that those of us who depend on the life-supporting work done by Canadians and temporary foreign workers on Canadian farms ought to support their efforts to unionize and their insistence that existing safety regulations should be enforced more aggressively." [Full article at]

Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun

"Am currently reading 'Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism' and am absolutely convinced that the Farm Safety Enhancement Bill was the morally right decision to provide safety, protection and compensation for farm families and workers... In time Bill 6 may become recognized as one of [Alberta's] best, progressive pieces of legislation."

Bruce Hinkley, Wetaskiwin-Camrose MLA, Wetaskiwin Times

"The nine essays in this volume show how dynamics such as global agribusiness concentration have made meat processors and farm workers vulnerable to low-wage, unhealthy and dangerous jobs. This timely book thus underscores why legislated worker rights are crucial... Interspersed throughout the book are first-hand accounts from the pesticide applicators and carcass disassembly lines. Candid stories from Alberta farm worker Darlene Dunlop's 15 years of activism are particularly memorable.... Several chapters on migrant workers in BC, Manitoba and Alberta powerfully illuminate the barriers faced by racialized, non-citizen workers in exercising their rights... While the struggle for justice in Canadian fields and factories is unfinished, this book reminds us of workers' perseverance despite grinding indignity."

Anelyse Weiler, Alberta Views

"It will eternally be to Alberta’s shame that it took so long for the province to protect its farm workers with occupational health and safety legislation and employment standards laws. Successive Tory governments had blood on their hands, as Bob Barnetson and Shirley A. McDonald so eloquently portray in the book they’ve co-edited, Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism... The story of Alberta’s farm workers has cried out to be told for a long time. This hugely important book has done that story justice."

Naomi Lakritz

INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards (Political Science), United States
Alberta Book Publishing Awards, Scholarly and Academic, Canada
ISBNs: 9781772121384 978-1-77212-138-4 Title: farm workers in western canada ISBNs: 9781772122725 978-1-77212-272-5 Title: farm workers in western canada ISBNs: 9781772122732 978-1-77212-273-2 Title: farm workers in western canada ISBNs: 9781772122749 978-1-77212-274-9 Title: farm workers in western canada