While many farm groups seem pleased with a new House labor bill, the American Farm Bureau Federation says it falls short of a long-term solution.
Changes made to the Farm Workforce Modernization Act before introduction improve the ability of farmers to retain H-2A workers, take a small step toward protecting farmers from frivolous litigation, and add a study to examine whether the H-2A program affects U.S. farmers’ ability to compete with foreign ag imports. However, AFBF says the key amendments not included in the bill would ensure a fair and competitive wage rate and limitations on the use of federal courts to solve workplace grievances.
AFBF President Zippy Duvall says that “While welcome, these changes unfortunately fall short of assuring that American producers will be able to keep their farms going. Once Congress passes legislation, no one will have an appetite to revisit the issue and simply put, this bill’s approach is not yet good enough.”