Back in march, there were concerns about the future of the Seasonal Farm Work programme as Jamaica closed its borders but a month later, Farm workers were allowed to leave. Jamaicans heading to the United States and Canada reportedly signed a waiver freeing the Government of any liability if they become infected with Covid -19, in order to travel and earn an income. Some farm workers preferred to remain until the pandemic is over.
Cyril Williams who has been a Farm worker since 1987 is one of those persons.
“The Government give the opportunity to go and if anything happen you deh pan you own, mi nuh like that part. You leave here as a hearty man and you go and get sick and they not responsible for you. That is not fair. You never take a sick man send there,” he says.
At present, countries such as the United States and Canada are still struggling to contain Covid-19. There are plans in place to reopen some businesses but the public is being advised to observe social distancing measures in place.
Cyril says workers can pull through the crisis.
“I am appealing to all farm workers when you go to board that airline, board it with a plan,” he says.
Meanwhile, another farm worker shares that others would like to go on the programme but are wary of the virus.
“Nobody nuh want run that risk so them stay. Most of them stay,” says Jermaine Price.
For now, their return to the programme is dependent on how and when COVID-19 is controlled.
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