Farmworker Housing Concessions Pt 3

Farmworker Housing Concessions Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Emergency farmworker housing rules are set to expire, but could be renewed, by this Saturday, as the Washington Farm Bureau and WAFLA continue pushing for an end to them altogether.

Farm Bureau CEO John Stuhlmiller says agriculture has always practiced safety and will continue doing so …

STUHLMILLER … “So, do we or do we not really need the extra COVID restrictions. We don’t believe the science demonstrates it, and especially it doesn’t require it after you’ve been vaccinated, certainly, there’s something to be said or why would we be vaccinating in the first place?”

And, Stuhlmiller says when we reach our goal, then what?

STUHLMILLER … “Okay, what if I get a 100% vaccinated workforce? Why couldn’t we remove those restrictions? And, that hasn’t been answered. We don’t get there because we’re not doing the full-on rule making and they’re not having to do a full investigatory work and look at the data and across the board they’re still responding to COVID almost Day-One, on what was it, the 15th of March last year?

Stuhlmiller says the judge’s removal of being a required 20 minutes from an emergency room or an hour from a ventilator was a big deal …

STUHLMILLER … “Yes, it was a significant win for us and WAFLA to get some common sense into the rule process. The stay says, department these were not well considered and workable rules. They weren’t based on health. They were just things that don’t work in rural communities. So, these you cannot enforce against.”

The emergency rules expire on Saturday and could be renewed, changed, or dropped altogether.

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