COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sudan
DATE OF ARRIVAL: 2003
Originally from Sudan, Peter Boyo-Mundo first arrived in Ottawa where he was unable to get a good job. Then he heard of the jobs and “good money” in Brooks, Alberta, where he headed in 2004.
In this interview, Peter speaks animatedly of the ‘If you don’t like it here, there’s the exit’ mentality he has observed in the workplace.
A meat trimmer at the Lakeside meat plant, Peter was an active part of the hard-fought and high profile battle for a union in 2004 and 2005. He and his co-workers are now protected from the arbitrary dismissal that was common before the union.
Peter serves as chief shop steward for UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) Local 401. He knows the union has a lot of work to do to improve the working conditions, as well as to change attitudes of people towards immigrant workers of colour.
“There are different groups of people coming to Canada – some are conventional refugees, some are migrant workers, and some are political refugees. [Sometimes] they group us together as migrant workers, which is a big mistake.”
Peter is making a go of things in Brooks while his wife and children remain in Ottawa.