November 27, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Workers’ conditions: Demers says he suffers, but respects the rules

Workers' conditions: Demers says he suffers, but respects the rules

He declined the first interview before the broadcast Report on the living conditions of foreign workers in his job, Jacques Demers spoke on the subject Monday. He believes there have been improvements in housing since Radio-Canada passed last April, with regular visits to the facilities.

We did some remodeling of the bathrooms. The roof was also repaired. We set up a communication link with our workers because we thought there was probably a communication problem., He stressed.

He believes they have re-established bridges with the union, thereby improving communication, and ventilating dormitories to allow more space for employees.

I am not telling you that this is impossible. I can tell you that we have already done the cleaning and painting and I am committed to go and see it in person [les installations] In the next few days.

A quote from:Jacques Demers, CEO of Demers Horticultural Productions

Jacques Demers, CEO of Demers Horticultural Productions

Photo: Radio-Canada

Although he acknowledges that work is still pending, Jacques Demers confirms that Ottawa’s support for these facilities and that all standards have been met.

We have business responsibilities, and those responsibilities are dictated to us by the standards set by the federal government, ”he explained. These rooms are authorized, these housing ratios are allowed and are appropriate by the standards to be respected.

In addition, he noted that the same workers are there every year. I see, of all our workers, we have a retention rate of more than 95%. People, especially in Drummondville, come back year after year.

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He emphasized that the report was not a signal of a formal antitrust inquiry into the allegations. According to him, the pandemic also led to a number of logistical problems, which may explain particularly the difficulties experienced last year. Umption ha, we cannot stay under these disrespectful bases and we will take action.

We fix things and we make changes very quickly.

A quote from:Jacques Demers, CEO of Demers Horticultural Productions

Surprise and disappointment of elected officials

Several elected officials said they were shocked by the allegations made by Guatemalan workers.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Mary-Claude Bibue explains the situation, and the judge Not acceptable.

Thanks to them our farms can function well and our food security depends on their existence. We welcome approximately 60,000 foreign workers each year. We consider our employers ideal.

She believes most employers are irreversible, but That there are offenses as in any activity.

Since the outbreak began, the government has increased resources for logistics, frontline assistance and conducted more inspections. However, she acknowledged that the measures needed to be taken.

With COVID, it brought up some horror stories […] We want to review the housing standards of foreign workers. A lot is happening, but cases are dropping with cracks.

A quote from:Mary-Claude Bibue, Minister of Agriculture and Agricultural Food

For his part, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Andre Lamontagne said Very anxious and very frustrated, because of the temporary foreign workers […] Is required.

Like Mary-Claude Beau, the Minister believes that the case of Productions Horticulture Demers is an extraordinary case because the speech he hears from farmers is essential to the well-being of the workers. He reminded that companies should provide better living conditions.

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The company needs to take action in the light of proven facts. As we speak, the organization must take action, He says.

Companies have a responsibility and interest to see that their employees behave well and that they are treated with dignity and respect.

A quote from:Andre Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Quebec Food

New Democrat MP Alexander Bouleris In 2021, we did not understand that we could treat workers this way. He said his party was pressuring them to abide by the standards.

If we are a really progressive and workers-respecting society, we are not going to exploit such people. We give them good working conditions, good housing conditions […] The basic things we consider, He castigates.

I have the impression that I am reading something by Emile Zola who talked about labor in the 19th century.

A quote from:Alexander Bouleris, NDP MP for Rosmont – La Petit-Patry

He also believes it An isolated case, Marcel Groley, president of Union des Producers Agricoles (UPA), said he was shocked and shocked by the photos he saw.

These are not the conditions we expect to keep workers when they come to Quebec.

Marcel Groley believes the province has a secret mechanism that allows workers to complain in their own language if faced with a similar situation. We set up this policy to make sure they can let us know. It would surprise me if there was so much more [situations similaires].

For us, this information is a good thing coming out. Keep this information public so that things can be corrected.

A quote from:Marcel Groliu, UPA President
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