Labor Task Forece

Labor Task Forece

Labor Task Force. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

We’ve been talking a lot about labor and the possible ways to combat the issue here in Washington State. Dan Fazio with the Washington Farm Labor Association says a new task force is being put together.

FAZIO: The governor is announcing an agriculture labor task force. I had requested this last October when we had that labor shortage. The task force is schedule to meet 3 times in the upcoming months and the purpose is to make recommendations regarding a long term solution to the agriculture labor shortage.

There have been a lot of ideas thrown up against the wall but most don’t stick.

FAZIO: The solution is as any farmer will tell you is that we’ve got to do something about this immigration issue. We’ve got to do something to adjust the status of the workers who are here now but the long term solution is a workable and affordable program to bring people up here to do the jobs American’s don’t want to do. The problem is of course that the labor unions who have few if any seasonal agricultural workers among their membership oppose these guest worker programs.

The task force will include representatives from these unions and state legal services.

FAZIO: The other obstacle we have of course is Congress and we all agree that this is an immigration issue and it’s largely a federal issue but there is a lot that the state can do. So we’ve got resistance from some in Congress who are opposed to granting any change in status for the workers that are here now and that are undocumented.

More on Monday.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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