Agriculture canada’s first agricultural revolution, the American Agriculture Act of 1917, has been hailed as a boon to the Canadian agriculture industry.
The legislation, which was passed in an election year, created a series of farm worker protections, including paid holidays, paid vacations, paid sick leave, and paid leave for the elderly.
The act also established a new set of labour laws that extended the working week to nine hours per day, raised the minimum wage to $1.25 per hour, and set a minimum wage of $1 per hour for new hires.
But in the wake of the bill’s passage, the Canadian dairy industry has suffered the worst labour strife in Canadian history.
In addition to its impact on the dairy industry, the farm workers’ protections have led to a number of problems.
As a result of the reforms, dairy farmers have lost their jobs and their livelihoods, as well as their access to paid holidays.
In some cases, workers have also been denied access to basic care such as vaccines.
Many of these issues are exacerbated by the high level of absenteeism and low productivity that occurred as a result.
In response to these issues, some farmers have begun to look beyond the legislation and to address the underlying issues of low productivity, absenteeism, and a lack of pay.
According to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Canadian farmers employed around 10.5 million workers in 2016, a rate that rose to over 11.2 million in 2021.
These numbers do not include workers employed on other agricultural and non-agricultural contracts, and the data does not include farm labour costs, such as transportation costs and farm workers who are also employees of a union.
This report outlines the farm labour issues that affect dairy farmers in Canada, including the impact of the farm worker protection legislation.
Agricultural Workers in Canada According to Statistics Canada, about 30 per cent of Canadian workers are farmers.
The vast majority of farmers are farmers, but some are not.
Some farmers also work in the service sector, such in hospitality and retail.
Many other farmers are also involved in the food processing industry, and many are employed in the farming and processing industries.
Agricultural workers are also employed in other sectors of Canadian society, such for example in the construction industry.
They are also the primary breadwinners for families in rural areas, who depend on them for bread.
Some farm workers also work as domestic helpers, which is a highly-skilled and highly-paid occupation.
The labour force participation rate for agricultural workers is approximately 60 per cent.
According the National Farmers Union, approximately 80 per cent or nearly one-third of Canadian farm workers (approximately 30.7 million) are in the labour force.
However, according to Statistics France, one in five farm workers have a disability.
This figure is much higher than the Canadian labour force, and one in four farm workers report that they have an injury.
According TOA, the majority of farm workers in Canada have a college degree or higher, and over 90 per cent are employed full-time.
However in the United States, the unemployment rate for farm workers is higher than that for the general population, at around 13 per cent, and for women it is higher at nearly 24 per cent (see Table 2).
The National Farmworkers Alliance has identified three main factors that contribute to low labour productivity for farmworkers: (1) high levels of absentee and low work-life balance, (2) low levels of job satisfaction, and (3) the lack of paid sick or vacation leave.
In particular, the number of workers who have been out of the labour market has increased in recent years.
As an example, the National Farm Workers Alliance reported that in 2017, the average number of days a worker would have been required to work outside of the home had the farmworker rights and protections passed, had the number worked by the previous year been 10 per cent lower (see Figure 1).
The number of farmworkers who were not working or who had been out on sick leave rose from one in six in 2013 to one in seven in 2016.
According a 2016 report by the University of Regina, more than one-fifth of farmworker workers reported that they were on paid leave at the end of the previous 12 months, compared to one-quarter in 2009 (see Tables 1 and 2).
While many farmworkers are employed part-time, many are still in the field.
In 2016, the employment rate for farmers who worked part- time was 40 per cent compared to 24 per one-half in 2016 (see Figures 1 and 3).
As a consequence, the overall number of agricultural workers has decreased.
As of March 2019, there were 1.3 million farmworkers in Canada.
The farmworker protection legislation and the Canadian Dairy Councils (CC) have been responsible for the loss of jobs for the dairy sector in Canada over the past several years.
In a recent study by the Canadian Centre for Policy