Wage Hike for H-2A workers

Wage Hike for H-2A workers

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Forget the voter-approved hike in the statewide minimum wage, as it appears workers on the H-2A visa guestworker program will top that.

According to WAFLA Director Dan Fazio, the most recent labor stats will push the minimum wage up 5.44% ...

DAN FAZIO ... "The National Agriculture

Statistics Survey released its core data that will be used to calculate the Adverse Effect Wage Rate, that's the AEWR, and that's the rate farmers need to pay, it becomes the de facto minimum wage if you're using the H-2A legal worker program."

Fazio says the pay hike pushes the minimum wage for workers above the new state required wage ...

DAN FAZIO ... "So not great news. We've got over 5% increases in Washington and Oregon and then a 5.7% increase in California. So the Washington and Oregon wage goes from $12.69 an hour to $13.38 an hour and that makes that Pacific Region, Washington and Oregon, the highest wage area for the H-2A in the entire country.

Fazio says it's a troubling trend ...

DAN FAZIO ... "I'm really concerned. It appears these large percentage increases and higher wages for field and livestock workers are symptomatic of a dramatic labor shortage nationwide. So it's good news for workers, but very tough for farmers."

Listen tomorrow and learn more about the wage and what it means for small farms.

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