House Republicans call for H-2A wage freeze
New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House that would freeze H-2A worker wages at 2023 levels.
Michigan Republican John Moolenaar is the bill sponsor.
“Sometimes these issues get caught up with immigration issues and others,” he says. “We want to simplify this and say no, this is about our agriculture economy. It’s making sure people get a fair wage, but at the same time not driving farmers out of business.”
The national average Adverse Effect Wage Rate has more than doubled over the past two decades. Moolenaar tells Brownfield, “Even the workers are recognizing if these mandated wages keep increasing, they’re not going to have jobs because either people will be forced to do automation or simply give up the business and import the products.”
He says the Department of Labor has increased Michigan’s rate for the tenth consecutive year, to $18.50 per hour, the fourth highest in the nation.
The Supporting Farm Operations Act is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Michigan Farm Bureau, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, International Fresh Produce Association, U.S. Apple Association, and others.
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Author: Nicole Heslip