Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, this is today’s Fruit Grower Report. A new survey for employees in the ag industry will soon take effect that, in theory, addresses concerns about wage suppression in the H-2A guest worker program.

Washington Policy Center’s Ag Director, Pam Lewison says HB 2226 was recently signed by the Governor …

LEWISON … “Laid out in this bill, what they want is a prevailing wage survey that is done to farm workers.”

In addition to, Lewison says the existing survey …

LEWISON … “Right now, there’s a prevailing wage survey that is voluntary, that is administered to employers. You know, how much are you paying, how many H-2A workers do you have, and a list of other demographic questions.”

Which, Lewison says is a bit redundant …

LEWISON … “Advocates want to also have this piece of legislation tracking farm workers answering the exact same questions with a couple of extra caveats.”

Including, Lewison says the cost of the survey …

LEWISON … “So right off the top, you have about a $70,000 investment just for the incentive payments alone.

That doesn't include the cost of paying for the people who will administer those surveys and any of the data collection and sifting through of that data that goes on afterwards.”

So why are they spending these additional tax dollars? Tune in tomorrow when Lewison explains the reasoning behind this new survey and why, she says, it’s off base.

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