8th District Debate Reaction Pt 2
SHRIER ... "The H-2A Visa program does not work well for either the farmers or for the workers and can lead to sort of a pattern of indentured servitude where a worker is essentially held hostage by a potentially abusive farmer."
Asked if it was ignorance on her part, Washington State Tree Fruit Association president DeVaney says that certainly seems to be the case ...
Devaney ... "The program has gotten a lot of attention, so I don't know that there's a lot of reason not to have been able to find out the facts."
Especially, DeVaney says, her reference to workers being forced to stay with a particular employer ...
Devaney ... "There could be advantages to reforming the program, to have the ability to move workers between employers, but right now that is a requirement of the program because the ability to bring in an H-2A worker is tied to that individual employer's documenting that there's a shortage."
DeVaney says it's in the rules ...
Devaney ... "You can't have workers that go from an employer that has documented that they cannot send anyone just to some other employer. That's why it's employer specific. It's not about forcing the workers to stay in a particular place. It's about ensuring they're not doing harm to the rest of the domestic workforce and it's really, I think, unfair to characterize this as an abuse by agricultural employers and these farmers when they're complying with the law designed to protect U.S. workers."
DeVaney says it's obvious the ag sector has much more education to do with regards to H-2A and other matters.
BL: Welcome back for another "Fruit Bites" brought to you by Valent U.S.A. Joining us again is Valent's Allison Walston. And this week Allison, we're talking about a new venomous spider in Oregon.
AW: Oh yes, the cousin of the black widow spider has been found in Oregon City, Oregon...the brown widow spider.
BL: Where does the Brown Widow come from?
AW: it is usually found in southern parts of Africa, Florida and southern California.
BL: How did it get to Oregon and is it time to panic?
AW: experts aren't sure how it got here yet, but it isn't uncommon for pests to hitch a ride in your luggage or on planes, trains & automobiles. It is not time to panic, just be on the lookout & take a picture to send to experts.
BL: Is the brown widow just as bad as the black widow?
AW: experts say that the brown widow is less likely to bite, but the venom will cause similar symptoms as a black widow bite. In both, the female spider has the reddish hourglass shape.
BL: Let's hope we have a cold winter ...
AW; or a potential mate doesn't also make it to Oregon.
BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I'm Bob Larson.