BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre calls for immediate action for workers in BC treeplanting case

Lawyers at the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre (BCPIAC) are calling on the government to act quickly to remedy injustices experienced by tree planters formerly employed by Khaira Enterprises Ltd (Khaira), a tree planting company run by Khalid Bajwa and Hardilpreet (Sunny) Sidhu.

Workers employed by Khaira were forced to work extremely long hours with few breaks or days off. They slept in crammed storage containers with no ventilation and were forced to drink untreated water and eat expired or inadequately cooked food. We understand that the Ministry of Forests was aware of the situation and allowed these practices to continue until July 2010 when the camp was finally shut down due to the deplorable conditions.

Most of the workers are originally from Africa and they were routinely subjected to racial slurs, discrimination and violence. Ros Salvador of BCPIAC states, “This situation is just an extreme example of the widespread racism that Black people and refugees experience in BC on a daily basis. It is not an isolated incident.”