Ag OT Issues Pt 1

Ag OT Issues Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, this is today’s Fruit Grower Report. Many farmers are concerned that folks outside of agriculture, including lawmakers, don’t understand the negative impact the new overtime law has on their ability to produce food.

Tenth District Senator Ron Muzzall says that’s because of advocates who convinced them that farm workers deserve overtime pay …

MUZZALL … “We have a few select groups, and I’m suspect of one of them, that have been pushing this, who have been able to get the majority’s ear and say that, you know, ag producers are taking advantage of these people and there needs to be change.”

But as always, Muzzall says there’s two sides to every story …

MUZZALL … “Unfortunately, this group has convinced them of that and the group that they convinced has not gone out in the country to talk to the producers.”

Muzzall says farmers must guarantee a minimum wage, but …

MUZZALL … “If they’re picking fruit, for instance, they’re getting paid based on the amount of fruit that they pick. There are certain people there that they’re very good at their job and so they’re guaranteed the minimum wage, but often times they’re making $30-$40 an hour.”

Tune in tomorrow for more from Muzzall on the problems with the new ag overtime law and why even testimony from the workers themselves is not enough to convince them it’s a bad idea.

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