El Contrato Analysis

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The Unfree and Unsafe Labour Conditions: Portrayed in the Lives of Mexicans Farm Workers
Do we want to live in a nation with social closure towards migrant workers or do we want to provide autonomy towards such workers? Well, many of the times it is problematic for individuals to have a say because of the class and social inequality that exists in their workplace. Many of those with advantages and privileges may be able to adapt to changing conditions, but marginalized groups are often at a disadvantage to do so. Correspondingly, this idea is evident in the documentary El Contrato, by Min Sook Lee. The story delineates the struggles that Mexican workers migrating to Southern Ontario go through while being tomato labourers. The Mexican farmworkers
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Addition to the migrant workers having to face poor working conditions at the farms, they were not even provided with basic safety training either. The workers were given tasks to complete but did not even know how to operate the machinery or know the basic skills required for the job. Furthermore, research shows that sometimes the migrant workers were not even aware of the chemical and substances that they would be needing to use and how to use them (Lee, 2003). Under the law system, managers and employers - the upper class - are compelled to “...notify workers of the pesticide and chemical use and provide workers with … appropriate formal and informal training; and supervision where required by law” (ESDC, 2015). The use of pesticide and chemicals was a common task in the hands of the Mexican farm workers. Rather than thinking of the task as a request, it was more of a command towards the migrant workers. This further portrays the lack of equality and rights towards them as the law suggests “one has the right to be trained to deal with workplace hazards … and to say no if the task is too demanding” (“Workplace Rights”, 2017) however was absent in their lives. As seen in the documentary El Contrato, there were many migrant workers that would end up with severe cases of injuries to their hands and eyes because of the lack of training (Lee, 2003). …show more content…
Even though the Mexican farm workers did have a place to live, they were not the suitable living spaces that one would want to stay in for months of time. Similarly, as there were several migrant workers in Canada, they all required a place to live in. In terms of living conditions, they had to live in small bunkhouses with numerous other workers in a tight space (Lee, 2003). There was no other choice for them to live anywhere else as they had to manage their costs while staying in Canada. The housing itself had some problems, for example, a worker would need to share one bathroom amongst eleven others. In addition to that, there was a lack of comfort due to the absence of cooling in the summers and heating during the winters (Basok, 2002). Correspondingly, health conditions were also major concerns in the lives of the Mexican farm workers. The insufficient living and working conditions would increase the health risks for the migrant workers (Hennebry, 2010). Additionally, the lack of training and equipment would lead to infectious diseases, which could not be treated due to the dearth of healthcare benefits. Furthermore, the social closure was also present as one of the Mexican consulates encouraged a worker to head back to Mexico because he had been suffering from a kidney failure (Lee, 2003). The Mexican farm workers did

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