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Canada – A human rights violator?

November 19, 2010

Coming to America? UFCW Uses United Nations to Appeal Canadian Ruling | LaborUnionReport.com.

According to the United Nations, Canada is a violator of the basic human rights of its citizens.  Wow, that’s a pretty strong assertion.  What is Canada doing?  Torturing people?  Hanging gay people?  Stoning people for blasphemy?  No, the evil Canadian’s violations make those wimpy acts seem pale in comparison.  Canada is not allowing farmers to unionize.

The UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) has ruled that Canada and Ontario, through Ontario’s ban on farm unions, violate the human rights of the more than 100,000 migrant and domestic agriculture workers in that province.

Thank god the UN is going after such blatant violations of human rights.  Why go after Afghanistan, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia, those countries are a pain in the ass to deal with, go after Canada, they are a bunch of wannabe French wussies.

In a statement about the ILO ruling, Wayne Hanley, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers of Canada union said:

The ILO has sent a clear message to the Canadian and Ontario governments that Ontario must end its blatant abuse of the rights of the workers who grow and harvest our food…These are farm workers, not farm animals, and people have human rights including the right to collective bargaining.

Whodathunk, collective bargaining is a basic human right.  Our founding fathers were a bunch of freaking morons, the Declaration of Independence means so much more when written as “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, oh and Collective Bargaining too King George, you bastard”.

According to the UN’s Convention 98 (the UN Migrant Worker Convention), Article 26:

1. States Parties recognize the right of migrant workers and members of their families:

(a) To take part in meetings and activities of trade unions and of any other associations established in accordance with law, with a view to protecting their economic, social, cultural and other interests, subject only to the rules of the organization concerned;

(b) To join freely any trade union and any such association as aforesaid, subject only to the rules of the organization concerned;

(c) To seek the aid and assistance of any trade union and of any such association as aforesaid.

This convention is big on conferring “rights” to people – it also confers to migrant workers the right to hold opinions without interference (uhh, okay), the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law, and my personal favorite, each child of a migrant worker shall have the right to a name, to registration of birth and to a nationality. (this must be an issue somewhere, obviously not in North America)

I am by no means suggesting these are unimportant issues, but when the government confers rights to people, the government can also take them away.  The concept of human rights suggests these are rights “everyone” possesses irrespective of their country of origin or their status, having to lay out these “rights” in such a manner infers these rights are granted by the UN, as opposed to reaffirmed by the UN.

Back to evil Canada.  UFCW President Hanley continues:

“The feds can say it’s a provincial matter but the reality is that both the Harper and McGuinty governments are partners with the farm lobby in plowing under the human rights of people doing some of the hardest and most dangerous work there is.”

He is right about it being dangerous work.  According to Risk Factors Associated with Farm Injuries in Canada, a research paper by Canada’s Agricultural Division, farming is the fourth most dangerous job in the country.

Agricultural production thus ranks as the fourth most dangerous sector, behind mining, forestry and construction (which averaged, during the same period, fatal injury rates of respectively 71.0, 62.0 and 31.0 per 100,000 workers)

Agricultural productions fatal injury rate per 100,000 workers varied between 14.9 and 25.6.  But, I would like to point out that mining, forestry and construction are all highly unionized sectors.  Is there evidence that unionizing lessens the danger of am inherently hazardous job?  None that I could find.  So Mr. Hanley is exercising a bit of hyperbole here.

He isn’t done yet:

“While Ontario continues to stall by using the courts, the lives of the workers continue to be at risk,” says Hanley. “Without labour rights, Ontario farm workers remain powerless when faced with abusive employers and dangerous working conditions. The Ontario courts have said it. The Supreme Court has said it, and now the United Nations has said it. Labour rights are human rights, and that must include Ontario farm workers.”

Labor rights are human rights.  I take solace in knowing that our government isn’t the only one being run by unions and their cronies.  Not even the pristine augustness of the UN is immune to special interests.

The bad part about all this is Canada never ratified nor signed this Convention, yet they are expected to abide by it.  Guess who else didn’t sign it, The United States.  Interestingly, almost every country in South and Central America did.  I can’t for the life of me think of a reason why.  Its almost like these countries know something we don’t.

I’ll let South Park take us out of this one:

Well, blame Canada
Blame Canada
It seems that everything’s gone wrong
Since Canada came along
Blame Canada
Blame Canada
They’re not even a real country anyway

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