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You can help these Mexican workers fired from a West Kelowna nursery

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Erika Zavala and Jesus Molina who lost their jobs after meeting with worker rights advocates.
Image Credit: Submitted/Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture
August 19, 2020 - 7:30 PM

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to try to replace the income lost by two temporary foreign workers who say they were fired after meeting with members of a worker advocacy group.

Erika Zavala, 35, and Jesus Molina, 36 were working at Bylands Nursery in West Kelowna in June. They were not allowed to leave the farm under rules imposed by the farm because of COVID-19, they have said.

They contacted two members of Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture asking if they could bring out culturally appropriate food and some clothing, they said. They met on June 28.

“When the advocates arrived to drop off the items, another worker took a photo and sent it to their employer,” the GoFundMe page states. “Shortly after, their manager summoned them to his office. He showed them the picture, asked them to sign a letter affirming they had broken the farm’s rule, and fired them. Although they asked if they could have a second chance, he declined. On 3 July they were repatriated to Mexico.

READ MORE: Okanagan farmers defend treatment of migrant workers under COVID-19

“(They) are devastated after losing their income for the season,” the page states. “They had been counting on working in Canada until October to support their children and elderly parents. The shutdown of the Mexican economy due to COVID-19 has severely reduced opportunities for jobs back home, and there is no government support.”

The fundraising campaign was launched three days ago and had raised $1,200 of its $8,000 goal by today, Aug. 19.

The GoFundMe page is here.

For more on Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture go to its Facebook page here.

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