Workforce Modernization Act Passes with Bipartisan Vote
The United Fresh Produce Association applauds passage of the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act approved by the House of Representatives last week by a vote of 260 to 165.
“For too long, the fresh produce industry has suffered under a system that fails to meet the labor needs of our industry,” said United Fresh Produce Association President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “Passage of this legislation represents an important step in ending decades of uncertainty for growers of fresh fruits and vegetables. I’d like to personally thank Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) who spearheaded the bipartisan negotiations that led to this agreement. United Fresh looks forward to similarly working with bipartisan members in the Senate to build on the work of their House colleagues and craft legislation that deserves our support.”
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act provides much needed reforms to the H-2A program by expanding access to year-round industries, brings certainty to wage costs that have ballooned in recent years and provides a pathway to earned legal status to the current undocumented workforce.
For more information, contact Robert Guenther, United Fresh’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy, at 202-303-3409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Workforce Act Must Come to Full House Floor
In response to passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act by voice vote in the House Judiciary Committee, Nov.20, Western Growers President & CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:
“Western Growers applauds today’s passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act in the House Judiciary Committee. We thank the lead authors, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Congressman Dan Newhouse, and the bipartisan group of legislators who have negotiated and supported this bill.
“Throughout the U.S., agriculture is experiencing a critical shortage of labor that jeopardizes our ability to continue producing an abundant, safe and affordable domestic food supply. Securing a reliable and skilled workforce is critical to the future viability of America’s family farms,” said Nassif.
This bill does exactly that.
“By protecting existing, experienced farm workers, and streamlining the agricultural guest worker program to provide a more accessible, predictable and flexible future flow of labor, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act contains real solutions to the labor crisis facing the industry.
“This bipartisan bill, which has 29 Democratic and 23 Republican co-sponsors, has been carefully crafted through a series of difficult stakeholder-driven negotiations, and has garnered the widespread support of nearly 300 agricultural organizations across the country, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and farm worker unions.
“While the Farm Workforce Modernization Act is not perfect, we remain committed to working through the legislative process to address our outstanding concerns, and encourage to Speaker to bring this bill before the House floor for a vote as soon as possible.”