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The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program in Ontario from the perspective of Jamaican migrants




Kimberly Knowles


The phenomenon of offshore migrant labour in Canada poses an interesting challenge to the literature dealing with unfree labour relations in capitalist societies. This
thesis uses in-depth interviews with Jamaican migrant labourers in Ontario. dong with supporting statistical data to further our understanding of the subjective domain of labour relations in agriculture- According to the literature The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program constitutes a system of unfree labour, and many employers in the Ontario agricultural sector benefit from this system. Jamaican migrant workers do not necessarily
share this view of unfreedom. While recognizing the definite restrictions as defined in the contract, these migrants accept the conditions of employment as a trade off for the opportunity of material advancement not available to them in Jamaica. This discrepancy over the definition of unfree labour reflects the disparities between the North and the South and needs to be addressed.


National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada,

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Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers

Content types

Policy analysis and Statistics on work and life conditions

Target groups

Researchers and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses

Ontario and Jamaica

Spheres of activity

Anthropology, Political science, and Sociology