The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a final rule to amend H-2A temporary labor certification regulations to better protect agricultural workers.
It’s also designed to update the H-2A application and temporary labor certification process.
Not everyone in agriculture is happy with the rule. Western Growers Association President and CEO Dave Puglia says America’s farmers are already stretched to the limit by rising costs and shrinking margins.
“With economic blinders on, the administration will now mandate that farmers pay higher wages to H-2A workers and domestic workers in corresponding employment,” he says.
“Increasing wages by regulatory order will force farmers to cut back on U.S. plantings and increase their farm operations in Mexico and other countries where the wages are a fraction of the H-2A wage.”
He also says while no one wants that to happen, these are entirely foreseeable consequences of “economically myopic” decisions like this. For more information, go to wga.com.