Protecting piece work rates for farm workers in BC
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We do understand that you are trying to improve the workers conditions in agriculture by eliminating piecework to guarantee a minimum wage. Nevertheless, here is the voice of both farmers and farm workers.
Eliminating piece work would have a very negative impact for both farmers and farmworkers. Why eliminate a system that has been proven to improve both productivity and salaries of workers?
Instead we would suggest improving the system. Working for a piece rate should not mean that employers are exempt from paying minimum wage or overtime fees.
In the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that all employees, including piece work employees, earn at least the minimum wage.
Under UK law, piece workers must be paid in either at least the minimum wage for every hour worked or on the basis of a ‘fair rate’ for each task or piece of work they do.
As well as Australia where piecework only kicks in after earning 15% above minimum wage.
FARMERS, require a productive work force. Qualified labour is hard to find. People who specialize in piecework are the most motivated individuals in the industry. The loss of these workers would be catastrophic.
FARMWORKERS, need piecerate incentive in order to be motivated to fulfill the hard physical work standards required. Minimum salary is not enough. Minimum wage promotes minimum quality and productivity.
Even TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKERS are guaranteed the minimum wage. Why not give it to the Canadian citizens also, and keep the piece rate system which stimulates the ones who want to do more?
Please sign this petition if you agree to keep the piece rate system and improve it by ensuring that all citizens are also paid the minimum wage in 2018, in BC, CANADA!
Davin Tannahill & Maxime Leblond, BC Farmworkers Association
*Paid by the piece – the number of things they make or tasks they complete (known as ‘output work’)
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