Tomorrow Were All Going to the Harvest: Temporary Foreign Worker Programs and Neoliberal Political…

Paperback | December 1, 2013

byLeigh Binford

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From its inception in 1966, the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) has grown to employ approximately 20,000 workers annually, the majority from Mexico. The program has been hailed as a model that alleviates human rights concerns because, under contract, SAWP workers travel legally, receive health benefits, contribute to pensions, are represented by Canadian consular officials, and rate the program favorably. Tomorrow We're All Going to the Harvest takes us behind the ideology and examines the daily lives of SAWP workers from Tlaxcala, Mexico (one of the leading sending states), observing the great personal and family price paid in order to experience a temporary rise in a standard of living. The book also observes the disparities of a gutted Mexican countryside versus the flourishing agriculture in Canada, where farm labor demand remains high.

Drawn from extensive surveys and nearly two hundred interviews, ethnographic work in Ontario (destination of over 77 percent of migrants in the author's sample), and quantitative data, this is much more than a case study; it situates the Tlaxcala-Canada exchange within the broader issues of migration, economics, and cultural currents. Bringing to light the historical genesis of .complementary. labor markets and the contradictory positioning of Mexican government representatives, Leigh Binford also explores the language barriers and nonexistent worker networks in Canada, as well as the physical realities of the work itself, making this book a complete portrait of a provocative segment of migrant labor.

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From its inception in 1966, the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) has grown to employ approximately 20,000 workers annually, the majority from Mexico. The program has been hailed as a model that alleviates human rights concerns because, under contract, SAWP workers travel legally, receive health benefits, contribute ...

Leigh Binford is Chair of the Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work Department of the College of Staten Island, CUNY. He is the author of The El Mozote Massacre: Anthropology and Human Rights, co-edited Landscapes of Struggle: Politics, Community, and the Nation-State in Twentieth-Century El Salvador and Zapotec Struggles, and co-au...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:299 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:December 1, 2013Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292756887

ISBN - 13:9780292756885

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Table of Contents

List of Maps, Figures, and TablesList of AcronymsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Contract Labor Migration in Theory and PracticeChapter 1: Agricultural Crisis, Migration, and Contract Labor: Tlaxcala, Mexico, and Ontario, CanadaChapter 2: The Dual Process of Constructing Mexican Contract WorkersChapter 3: “Tomorrow We’re All Going to the Harvest”: Case Studies of Contract Labor MigrationChapter 4: Interrogating Racialized Global Labor Supply: Caribbean and Mexican Workers in Canada’s SAWP (by Kerry Preibisch and Leigh Binford)Chapter 5: The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and Mexican DevelopmentChapter 6: The Political Economy of Contract Labor in Neoliberal North America: Cheap Labor and Organized LaborChapter 7: Globalization and Temporary Migrants: Post-National Citizens, Realpolitik, and Disposable Labor PowerAppendix: The SAWP: Saving the Family Farm or Feeding Corporate Enterprise?NotesReferences Index

Editorial Reviews

From its inception in 1966, the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) has grown to employ approximately 20,000 workers annually, the majority from Mexico. The program has been hailed as a model that alleviates human rights concerns because, under contract, SAWP workers travel legally, receive health benefits, contribute to pensions, are represented by Canadian consular officials, and rate the program favorably. Tomorrow We're All Going to the Harvest takes us behind the ideology and examines the daily lives of SAWP workers from Tlaxcala, Mexico (one of the leading sending states), observing the great personal and family price paid in order to experience a temporary rise in a standard of living. The book also observes the disparities of a gutted Mexican countryside versus the flourishing agriculture in Canada, where farm labor demand remains high.Drawn from extensive surveys and nearly two hundred interviews, ethnographic work in Ontario (destination of over 77 percent of migrants in the author's sample), and quantitative data, this is much more than a case study; it situates the Tlaxcala-Canada exchange within the broader issues of migration, economics, and cultural currents. Bringing to light the historical genesis of .complementary. labor markets and the contradictory positioning of Mexican government representatives, Leigh Binford also explores the language barriers and nonexistent worker networks in Canada, as well as the physical realities of the work itself, making this book a complete portrait of a provocative segment of migrant labor..Fresh information. . . . A clear and highly readable argument [that] does a good job of covering virtually all the issues surrounding guest worker programs. Readers of this work will be impressed not only with this breadth but with the human detail Binford dons on each of these issues, giving them flesh and blood.. - David Griffith, Professor of Anthropology and Senior Scientist, Institute for Coastal Science and Policy, East Carolina University