Piece Rate SCOW Ruling Pt 1

Piece Rate SCOW Ruling Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Is the Washington state Supreme Court playing a pivotal role in driving a wedge between urban and rural parts of the state?

Many believe it is after a recent decision in the Carranza V. Dovex that makes it more difficult for ag employers to pay workers on a piece-rate system.

The Washington Policy Center's Madi Clark says this decision is a perfect example of how the court follows right along with the anti-farming messages from special interest groups ...

CLARK ... "And they're really good at messaging it, totally incorrectly, but the urban populations believe it, the urban judges believe it, and they're so far away from Eastern Washington and rural Washington because there's berries up on the west side and there's apples on the east side that we need picked, and for farm workers and farmers themselves, the piece-rate system works great."

Clark says most of the folks from the state's urban centers, including most of the justices on the Supreme Court unfortunately, just don't get it ...

CLARK ... "A couple of special interest groups are really good at saying those farm workers are poor and picked on, they're not being paid, but overall that messaging of 'they're not being paid', which isn't true, they are being paid and farmers are ensuring that their workers are making minimum wage at least, and try to defend themselves in front of a Supreme Court that has no clue what's going on in agriculture or rural Washington, and they side right along with the special interest group that has a very sympathetic, albeit very wrong argument."

Clark says the ruling undermines piece-rate compensation plans and is an example of the court unfairly legislating from the bench while ignoring alternative ideas.

Listen tomorrow for more on the piece-rate system and one thing many people don't realize about it.

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