The federal H-2A program for agricultural guestworkers has long been an object of complaint for fruit and vegetable growers.
IFPA has announced support for the Supporting Farm Operations Act (HR 7046), an immediate and meaningful measure to address wage relief.
A letter sent to Congress on January 11 urging a freeze on increases in the adverse effect wage rate (AEWR) reflects increased frustration among American growers with federal guestworker requirements.
Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-MI) was joined by 74 of his colleagues on a bipartisan letter to House and Senate appropriations leaders requesting an H-2A visa guestworker wage freeze in an upcoming spending package.
The guestworker program known as H2A grows in popularity for labor-strapped Alabama growers, as in other regions.
The produce industry might want to distinguish what it wants in the farm bill from what it can get.
Proposed rules issued on September 12 by the Department of Labor (DOL) would affect the H-2A guestworker program.
The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association issued the following statement in response to the proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Labor on H-2A.
The adverse effect wage rate (AEWR) is one of many features that make the H-2A guestworker program unpopular with growers. One recent innovation makes it more so. This new provision applies multiple wage rates rather than the single statewide rate that had previously been in place.
The State Department dropped the fee increase from 63 percent to 7.9 percent after it received more than 80 comments from farmers.