Probe of Port Slowdown & Winter Ag Academy

Probe of Port Slowdown & Winter Ag Academy

Probe of Port Slowdown & Winter Ag Academy

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Newly named Chairman of the state Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, Senator Michael Baumgartner, recently announced that he will hold a hearing in the early 2015 session to showcase the harm done to Washington's economy from the port slowdown caused by the ongoing labor dispute between the ILWU and the PMA. Ag producers have been hit hard by the port congestion problems, but perhaps none quite as bad Pacific Northwest Christmas tree growers whose foreign buyers canceled their orders for tens of thousands of trees after the trees were held up for weeks at the Port of Tacoma.

Washington Farm Labor Association's Dan Fazio is here to talk about upcoming training opportunities for agricultural employers.

FAZIO: Every year GS Long sponsors worker protection standard meetings for workers that are conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the Department of Labor & Industries.  This year they asked us to schedule leadership training for crew leaders on that same day, and Human Resources and legal training for the Human Resources directors and owners.  They're scheduled all day in a relaxed kind of full day training. I'll be conducting the Human Resources and Legal training, and of course the big topic there is going to be the issue of whether employers will need to provide extra pay for rest breaks for piece rate workers.

The Winter Ag Academy workshops are being held in Yakima on January 21, in Pasco on February 4, and in Wenatchee on February 11.  For more information visit

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.

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