Labor Revisions Pt 1

Labor Revisions Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. If you’re a farmer who understands the challenges of finding an adequate workforce, you’ve now got NEW revisions to the H-2A visa program.

Kate Tynan, Senior Vice President at the Northwest Horticultural Council, says most of the changes make the regulatory and financial burden worse on H-2A users …

TYNAN … “Unfortunately, the impact is fairly small in terms of the day-to-day operations of the program. I say “unfortunate” because, to your point, workers shortages have become such a significant issue and, you know, growers have increasingly been left with two options to get the growers they need to grow and harvest their crop. And that’s either use this program or frankly go out of business.”

Tynan says it should fit more of our needs …

TYNAN … “So, we really needed to see some meaningful changes to make this program more functional for growers of all sizes and we just did not see that. You know, there were certainly changes made procedurally. Most of them, actually, posed the risk of making the program more costly and more burdensome for folks.”

Tynan says one thing they were watching here in Washington state was what they were going to do with federal requirements like state prevailing wage surveys …

TYNAN … “Washington state is one of the few states in the nation that conducts prevailing wage surveys. And our industry has frankly had a lot of concerns regarding the transparency of that process and accuracy of the wages that were being reported out of the part of the prevailing wage surveys.”

Tune in tomorrow for more … from Northwest Hort Council Vice President Kate Tynan.

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