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Farm Workers in Western Canada

Injustices and Activism

Shirley A. McDonald & Bob Barnetson, Editors

Award Winner

Canadian Studies, Political Science

Published: December 2016
ISBN: 9781772121384
Pages: 272 Size: 6x9

Are you saying that Alberta’s farm animals are protected by laws that farm workers are denied? —From Chapter 2

Farm workers are the faceless multitudes driving agriculture production. Many workers—men, women, and children—are injured and even killed at work. In nine essays, contributors to Farm Workers in Western Canada look at the origin, work conditions, and precarious lives of farm workers in terms of larger historical forces such as colonialism, land rights, and racism. They also examine how the rights and privileges of farm workers, including seasonal and temporary foreign workers, conflict with those of their employers, and reveal the barriers many face by being excluded from most statutory employment laws, sometimes in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Scholars in the disciplines of sociology, Canadian history, law, and rural and labour studies, as well as policy makers, farmers, farm workers, and activists will benefit from reading Farm Workers in Western Canada.

Shirley McDonald teaches at University of British Columbia Okanagan. Her research interests combine literature, Canadian history, and life writing.

Bob Barnetson is a professor of labour relations at Athabasca University. His research centers on the political economy of employment regulations

Contributors Include:
Gianna Argento, Bob Barnetson, Michael J. Broadway, Jill Bucklaschuk, Delna Contractor, Darlene A. Dunlop, Zane Hamm, Paul Kennett, Jennifer Koshan, C.F. Andrew Lau, J. Graham Martinelli, Shirley A. McDonald, Robin C. McIntyre, Nelson Medeiros, Kerry Preibisch, Heidi Rolfe, Brynna M. Takasugi, Patricia Tomic, Ricardo Trumper, Kay Elizabeth Turner

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

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 Times

  • 2016 Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards - Result: Finalist for Political Science