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Migrant Farmworkers and Resistance: Before, During and After COVID-19
Friday 3 July 2020 at 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
COVID-19 has laid bare many of the problems with the global food system. Even in ordinary times, migrant farmworkers live and work in overcrowded and dangerous conditions. COVID-19 has ravaged many farmworker communities. Even as states closed their borders to halt the spread of the virus, they found ways to allow farmworkers to migrate. In circumstances where undocumented workers were promised regularization, the measures introduced have been inadequate.
This webinar brings together farmworker advocates who have been organising and working alongside farmworkers in Canada, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States. In these countries, while farm work has been deemed ‘essential’, the lives of farmworkers have been treated as disposable; states and private companies have done very little to ensure the health and safety of these workers. In fact, there are reports that some farmworkers have been asked to waive their rights in case they contract the virus.
By sharing the experiences of farmworkers and organisers in a number of important national contexts, we hope to highlight the non-exceptional nature of what happened during the COVID-19 pandemic and to spark a conversation about the local and international strategies that could be adopted to challenge the political, legal and economic structures that result in farmworkers’ subordination.
Josei Barra Bastida, Comisiones Obreras Region de Murcia (Spain)
Bridget Henderson, UNITE (UK)
Alagie Jinkang, Ikenga and University of Palermo (Italy)
Marley Monacello and Gerardo Reyes Chavez, Coalition of Immokalee Workers (USA)
Vasanthi Venkatesh, Justicia/University of Windsor (Canada)
Brid Brennan, Transnational Institute
Manoj Dias-Abey, University of Bristol
Tomaso Ferrando, University of Antwerp