Labour control in the tobacco agro-spaces: Migrant agricultural workers in south-western ontario

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15 Citations (Scopus)


International labour migration programs provide a vulnerable workforce that services various sectors in developed economies. The agriculture sector is one arena in which the employment of migrant workers has become more pervasive. Annually, approximately 30,000 workers are employed in the Canadian agriculture sector through the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). In this paper, I focus on the SAWP workers in tobacco farming, and investigate the ways that labour control is achieved on two small-scale farms. I draw upon original empirical evidence from interviews with three Mexican and nine Jamaican workers, two union representatives, and two farm owners in South-Western Ontario, Canada. My findings show that various factors at multiple scales shape the labour control regime and significantly advantage farm owners over workers. Based on my findings, I argue that the labour control regime is conditioned exogenously by multi-scalar factors and generated endogenously at the point of production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1070-1089
Number of pages20
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Agriculture
  • Labour control
  • Migrant workers
  • Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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