Fruit pickers protest on Canyon Street for better living conditions in the orchards. (Photo credit Dion Viola)

Fruit pickers protest for better living accommodations

Approximately 25 fruit pickers participated in an organized demonstration this afternoon.

Fliers were posted on Canyon Street asking the Creston community to participate in the demonstration in solidarity with fruit pickers asking for fair wages, decent accommodations, and an end to threats, harassment and exploitation.

The Advance talked with a fruit picker who identified himself only as Gabriel, as the protestors gathered in the parking lot of the Valley Wash Inn in Creston.

“Today we are taking part in a movement. What we are looking for is improvements in working living conditions, basically, the same rights that are already written in the labour rights of B.C.” said Gabriel. “The farmers often offer limited or non-existent living accommodation. When farmers have seasonal workers as part of their staff they are supposed to provide accommodation. Hot showers are a rare thing and so are cold refrigerators or if there are refrigerators there is not enough for everyone. Restrooms are often a problem, restrooms often do not get cleaned.”

He said the pickers want the same rights and consideration as any other orchard worker. The pickers concerns are not limited to the Creston Valley.

“The living accommodation situation is pretty widespread,” said Gabriel. “It’s not all orchards, some of them are excellent. However, some of them are worse than the others and it’s not exclusive to the Creston Valley. It’s also in Sicamous and the Okanagan. Today it’s the pickers from Creston who are participating in the demonstration and want their voices heard.”

Calls to Creston Valley orchards have not yet been returned.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From the Peanuts gallery

PCSS presents What’s It All About, Charlie Brown?

Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Rob Morrison says protestors across Canada need to remove roadblocks on roads, rail lines

New ‘hub’ model takes regional approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay

Kootenay-Boundary a provincial leader in effectively attracting doctors to work here

The Musical Life of Marlene Nash

Pictured above: Marlene Nash re-enacts one of her winning numbers from the… Continue reading

Town of Creston gets grant to ‘undevelop’ reservoir site

By Lorne Eckersley A last minute grant application earlier in the winter… Continue reading

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Police ID man found dead in west Kootenays after probe leads to no arrests

Forty-seven-year-old Aaron Graham, of Vallican, has been identified as the man killed

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read