• SAWP has become a benchmark for new intergovernmental strategies and collaborations related to international labor mobility.
  • 95 more agricultural workers leave for Canada; they will have the full support of the Mexican Government to ensure that their labor rights are respected.

The Mexico-Canada Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), run in Mexico by the Labor Ministry (STPS), has sent 24,772 seasonal agricultural workers to Canada so far this year.

At a farewell ceremony for 95 workers held at Mexico City's International Airport, Labor Secretary Marath Bolaños said that the SAWP is a model of bilateral cooperation that expresses the political will of Mexico and Canada to ensure a circular, regular, orderly and safe flow of workers.

He noted that the SAWP, which has existed for 49 years, is a public policy that guarantees the mobility of Mexican agricultural workers while respecting their labor, social and human rights. It has become the model for new possibilities, strategies and collaborations for international labor mobility between governments.

The Chief Officer for North America at the Foreign Ministry, Roberto Velasco, reaffirmed the ongoing support of Mexico’s consulates in Canada for the program. He said that the consulates would be looking out for the Mexican nationals enrolled in the program, and he commended their work, which benefits the economies of both countries.

He also stressed the importance of strengthening Mexico’s bilateral work with the Canadian government to ensure that the SAWP continues to function properly, that the rights of all participants are ensured and that the program continues to expand.

Carlos Joaquín González, Mexico's ambassador to Canada, said that the Mexican embassy in Canada will be ready to assist the workers and that its mission is to provide them with a safe environment that enables them to do their work. He invited the workers to leave their mark on Canada.

Mark Richardson, Chargé d'Affaires and representative of Canada's ambassador to Mexico, Graeme C. Clark, noted the importance of SAWP and its contribution to his nation's food supply chain.

At the event, SAWP participants Juan Martín Espinoza Higuera and Cecilio Rodríguez Flores called on their colleagues to "give it their all" for the good of the program and their families.

SAWP participants have three- to eight-month work contracts and have the support of the Government of Mexico at all times. They work mainly in the cultivation and harvesting of vegetables, legumes, fruits and flowers, and in greenhouses and nurseries. They receive benefits such as housing, medical and workplace insurance covering illness, occupational and non-occupational accidents and death, and they can also receive a pension based on their time employed under the program.

Also present at the ceremony were the Undersecretary of Employment and Labor Productivity, Quiahuitl Chávez Domínguez; the STPS head of institutional strategy, Rodrigo Ramírez Quintana; Donaciano Domínguez, head of the National Employment Service (SNE); Enrique Evangelista Cortés, Director General for Labor Mobility; and Vanessa Calva Ruiz, Director General of Consular Protection and Strategic Planning at the Foreign Ministry.

Finally, the National Employment Service, the Director General of Consular Protection and Strategic Planning, and the embassy and consulates of Mexico in Canada reaffirm their commitment to Mexican workers to ensuring that the program works properly and that their human and labor rights are respected in Canada.