Friends and family in Abbotsford are holding a candlelight vigil to honour the lives of three female farmworkers who died in a car accident nine years ago.
Amarjit Kaur Bal, Sukhvinder Kaur Punia, and Sarbjit Kaur Sidhu lost their lives when their unlicensed van driving them to work skidded out of control.
Although a coroner’s inquest into their deaths made some recommendations to improve transport conditions, Aaron Ekman of the BC Federation of Labour says more needs to be done.
“There’s still a number of recommendations that have to be implemented as the results are not all the way there, so we’re going to continue to do this vigil every year at the memorial.”
Ekman says their deaths and the resulting coroner’s inquest brought to light the dangerous conditions many farmworkers were exposed to.
“As a result of the recommendations, immediately about 30-35% of the vans transporting farmworkers from the home to the farms were taken off the road because they weren’t meeting certain standards, so it at least triggered that.”
They want to see more vehicle safety checks and more rights education for farmworkers.