GFM Network News


New Brunswick ag groups rip province’s ban on foreign workers

Risk during pandemic 'simply too great,' premier says

New Brunswick farmers who employ temporary foreign workers (TFWs) are calling for the provincial government to reverse its new COVID-19-related ban on entry of TFWs who haven’t yet arrived. The provincial government on Tuesday updated a mandatory order under its pandemic state of emergency to restrict TFWs from entering the province. The new restriction doesn’t […] Read more

COVID-19 surges at reopened JBS Colorado beef plant, union says

A sixth worker has died, UFCW local chief says

Chicago | Reuters — COVID-19 cases at a JBS meatpacking plant in Colorado have more than doubled “in a number of days” and a sixth employee died of the virus, a union official said on Thursday, underscoring the risks of U.S. meat plants reopening. The beef plant at Greeley, about 65 km north of Denver, […] Read more


Smithfield to close Illinois pork facility

Workers test positive for COVID-19

Reuters — World’s largest pork processor Smithfield Foods said Friday it will suspend operations at its Monmouth, Illinois pork processing facility next week after some employees tested positive for COVID-19, adding to already strained U.S. meat supplies. The news of some of the company’s 1,700 employees at the plant testing positive comes a day after […] Read more

Farmers to know soon whether new wage supports work for them

Top-up also en route for low-wage essential workers; CERB also tweaked

Ottawa — Agricultural employers may soon find out whether changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program, and other new federal supports on the way, will result in more workers for the sector. Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau on Wednesday said officials are reviewing requests from employers to see which ones will qualify to have 100 […] Read more


Farming deemed essential in new federal pandemic guidance

Food production and supporting industries amid 'critical infrastructure'

Workers in agriculture and supporting industries are on a new federal guidance list of employees considered “essential to maintain the health, safety, security and economic well-being of Canadians” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on Thursday released a new guidance document, “Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the […] Read more

CN starts calling back laid-off employees

"Network recovery... will take several weeks"

Montreal | Reuters — Canadian National Railway has started calling back many of the 450 workers it laid off earlier this month in Eastern Canada, when blockades crippled operations on strategic rail lines, according to a company email sent to customers Friday. Earlier this week, police made 10 arrests and cleared a blockade in eastern […] Read more


Workplace hotline now available for Alberta producers

Alberta producers can now get immediate support if there’s a workplace safety incident on their farm or ranch. AgSafe Alberta, an industry-led collaboration of farm groups, has set up and will operate a hotline that farmers can call at any time. The number is 1-833-9AG-SAFE (1-833-924-7233). “This hotline is available 24-7, year round and all […] Read more



Sharp differences over labour surface at NAFTA trade talks

Mexico City | Reuters — Tensions over sharp differences in pay between Mexican workers and their Canadian and U.S. counterparts surfaced on Sunday as negotiators discussed labour market rules in talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada’s biggest private-sector union said NAFTA should be scrapped if Mexico cannot agree to better labour […] Read more

Mark Chambers new co-chair of labour task force

Alberta’s Mark Chambers has been elected the new co-chair of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Task Force. The task force is developing an action plan to tackle industry labour shortages, an initiative of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council with support from more than 60 partner organizations. “The agriculture industry needs more workers,” said Chambers, […] Read more