Gebbers Farms Fined Pt 2

Gebbers Farms Fined Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Just a few months before being hit with $2-million in fines from the state for violating coronavirus safety rules, local health officials were saying Gebbers Farms had established “impeccable” protocols before coming under the scrutiny of Labor and Industries.

One thing the state doesn’t appear to be considering, 12th District Representative Keith Goehner says is what workers

do on their down time, away from work …

GOEHNER … “That is a frustration for any employer when they’re being held accountable for certain spacing and certain numbers. And yet, when that individual is off the clock, you know, if you try and regulate people’s lives then, of course, you’re being too oppressive on the individual so it’s a no-win situation.”

On top that, Goehner says, the crops won’t wait for workers trying to follow these rules …

GOEHNER … “Whether it’s harvesting or even the summer work, whether it’s thinning whatever kind of work is going on, you have specific time frames this work needs to be accomplished and then you move on to the next phase. And, there doesn’t seem to be a recognition of how that factors in.”

And farming in general, Goehner says is unpredictable …

GOEHNER … “The growing season, you know, has time constraints to it and you can’t slow down production or ramp up, you know, just because things are better. I mean, you’re confined, you’ve got variables that you have to deal with that obviously you can’t control.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the accusations aimed at Gebbers.

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