Hot Goods Part 2

Hot Goods Part 2

Hot Goods Part 2. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Yesterday we introduced you to “hot goods;” products that are created or harvested by illegal employees and transported between states. Dan Fazio, Washington Farm Labor Association says in an Oregon situation the Department of Labor is claiming that one farm worker could not conceivably pick as many blueberries as was reported so therefore it falls under the “hot goods” category.

FAZIO: So the Department of Labor says to the farmer we’re going to call up your packing house and tell them that in our opinion your crop is produced with illegal labor and I think that when we call them they will agree with us to pull that crop out and if it’s cherries or blueberries it sits there and rots.

He says that the Department of Labor is banking on the idea that the packing house will not want to deal with any legal actions.

FAZIO: The packing house says I don’t really want to close down my whole operation here and I don’t want to monkey with it, I’m just going to pull Greg Martin’s stuff out and let it rot. The Department of Labor says I’m going to be a nice guy here - if you agree to all our allegations we won’t pursue a “hot goods” injunction.

Of course this has the farmers quite upset and asking...

FAZIO: Why do you have to use the “hot goods?” Why can’t you just levy a fine and then prove your fine?

The DOL would have no way of proving the issue. They’ve said they are available now to do some outreach regarding this issue. WAFLA has submitted a list of questions to the DOL but as yet have not received any answers. WAFLA has a webinar scheduled for May 7th on the issue.

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

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