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Guild member wins social justice award

Maureen Brosnahan, centre, with Stan Raper of the Agriculture Workers Alliance (right) and previous award winner Jean Lashley (left)

Maureen Brosnahan, a national correspondent with CBC Radio and a member of the CMG’s CBC Toronto executive, has won an award for raising awareness about the plight of agricultural workers in Canada.

Maureen’s award, sponsored by the Agricultural Workers Alliance and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) of Canada, was one of four handed out at a dinner in Toronto on November 21. The other recipients are Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario NDP, Ivan Lampright, president of UFCW local 1518 in BC, and the ecumenical social justice organization KAIROS.

“It has been UFCW Canada and the AWA’s main goal to take this invisible work force and make them visible to the public, our allies and the media and to ultimately represent these workers though our union and provide them with a decent collective agreement,” said UFCW Canada president Wayne Hanley.

As she accepted the award, Maureen noted that it took the tragic deaths of 11 farm workers in a November 2011 traffic accident in Southwestern Ontario to help bring public attention to the conditions that the workers face in Canada. A volunteer visitor to Simcoe County farms herself, Maureen thanked the UFCW and the Agricultural Workers Alliance for supporting farm workers even though they are not allowed in Ontario to join a union and therefore pay no dues.

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