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Wednesday, 31 July 2013 15:34

Corporate farming needs further examination

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Dear Honourable Minister Dave Hancock,
Thank-you for your letter of July 19, 2013 and your kind and inspiring words. I would be most pleased and honoured to provide input when the Employment Standards Code is next reviewed.
I am gratified you have committed to improving protection for paid Farmworkers and that you have indicated you are aware of the concerns related to the health and safety of Farmworkers.
I trust your re-examination of workplace practices in farming operations will affirm, the farm and ranch exemption is indeed a “loop-hole” as our premier has described it, when it comes to large industrial operations that are clearly not the “Family Farm.”
Therefore, Honourable Minister, I ask you now to forthwith examine the case of a major foreign corporation — JBS — purchasing a large farm and feedlot and operating under the farm and ranch exemption.
JBS employs 70 workers at this farm and they do not have WCB coverage for these workers. This would be a good place to take action as JBS is a $30 billion world-wide corporation and it is improper for JBS to transfer some of their costs and risks onto Albertans. I would ask you to intervene in this matter at your earliest opportunity.
Eric Musekamp, President Farmworkers Union of Alberta

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