May 22nd, 2024 | National Observer via UVic News

In the face of rising global temperatures, a recent article from Canada’s National Observer brings to light the pressing issue of extreme heat conditions impacting workers, particularly in the agricultural sector. The article underscores the urgent need for stronger regulations to protect these workers from heat-related illnesses. It shares the real-life account of a worker named Ryan, who experienced these extreme conditions in his mobile kitchen during a heatwave in British Columbia. This narrative illuminates the harsh realities faced by workers in such weather conditions.

Anelyse Weiler, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Victoria, is a key voice in this discussion. She also serves on the board of the Worker Solidarity Network. Weiler’s research explores the intersection of social inequalities and environmental crises in the food system, focusing on struggles for viable agrarian livelihoods, dignified migration, decent work, and resilient farm ecosystems.

Her interdisciplinary projects encompass community-based research on local food and migrant justice movements, the environmental and cultural politics of meat production, the revival of North American craft cider, food sovereignty and health equity, and comparative analyses of global farm labour-migration programs.

Weiler points out that heat protection rules for workers in Canada are inconsistent and emphasizes the need for updated regulations. Her insights, drawn from her extensive expertise and active contribution to several organizations advocating for food security, employment standards, and migrant rights, are particularly valuable. This is especially true in the context of advocating for improved working conditions, a need that becomes increasingly urgent with rising temperatures due to climate change.

If the work of Anelyse Weiler appeals to you, you can check out her open-access articles on UVicSpace, our institutional repository.