B.C. Labour Board rules in favour of blacklisted Mexican workers

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Photo: flickr/Egan Snow

The B.C. Labour Relations Board has ruled that the Mexican government blacklisted seasonal agriculture workers who formed a union at their workplace in the lower B.C. mainland.

The Board found that the Mexican government improperly interfered by identifying workers who were a part of United Food and Commercial Workers at Sidhu & Sons Nursery, a flower growing operation in Abbotsford, B.C. and prevented them from returning to Canada to work under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SWAP).

The workers that remained at the nursery started a union decertification application. As a result of this ruling, the decertification request was quashed.

"It has been a long battle, but finally the truth has won out," said Ivan Limpright, the president of UFCW Canada Local 1518, in a written statement provided by UFCW. "Every worker in Canada has the right to join a union, including migrant workers. Mexico's blacklisting and coercion violated Canadian laws and the rights of the workers involved."

This decision was delayed because of an ongoing case brought by the Mexican Government to block voluntary testimony from former consulate employees. Mexico claimed their evidence was inadmissible under international law, which protects embassy and consular employees to testifying in foreign courts because of diplomatic immunity.

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the testimony was in fact admissible because the consulate employees no longer worked there and therefore were no longer subject to the laws governing immunity.

Mexico has appealed the B.C. Supreme Court decision. Stan Raper, the national coordinator for the UFCW's Agricultural Workers Alliance, told rabble earlier this year that the union will continue to support the workers.

"We're determined to see it right though to the end," said Raper. "Whatever that is."

Photo: flickr/Egan Snow

Further Reading

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.