Farmworkers Seek to Intervene in Grower Lawsuit Against Secretary Solis

Written by Bruce Goldstein
Tuesday, 09 June 2009 08:22

View full article here.

A federal judge in Greensboro, NC, has set a hearing for Monday, June 22, to hear a coalition of growers’ organizations’ argument that Secretary of Solis acted illegally in temporarily suspending the Bush-Chao changes to the H-2A guestworker program.  Farmworkers have filed a request with the court to intervene in the case to demonstrate the harm they are experiencing from the Bush-Chao regulations, including the slashing of wages from $9.34 per hour in north Carolina to $7.25 per hour in many places.  Farmworker Justice is working with other attorneys on this intervention on behalf of several individual farmworkers and the United Farm Workers union.  Secretary Solis issued a formal notice last month announcing that the Bush-Chao regulations would be suspended on June 29, and that the H-2A program regulations would be revised over the next nine months.  However, for many workers in the H-2A program this year (those employed at companies that filed their H-2A applications under the Bush-Chao regulations), the Bush-Chao wage rates will be allowed.  In the lawsuit we and others filed in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, the UFW, PCUN and others, we are asking the court to hold that the Bush-Chao wage rates are illegal and should not be permitted to be paid during 2009.  In the North Carolina case, the plaintiffs include the National Council of Agricultural Employers, the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, the North Carolina Growers Association and others.

Posted in Food Justice Blog Posts.

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