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Migration Dialogue provides timely, factual and nonpartisan information and analysis of international migration issues through five major activities: the newsletters Migration News and Rural Migration News, Changing Face and other Research & Seminars, and the Sloan West Coast Program on Science and Engineering Workers.
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Indiana. Texas-based migrant workers employed at Pioneer Hi-Bred (DuPont Pioneer) corn seed farms sued Pioneer and its recruiter, Yolanda and Abel Cuello, in June 2014. Leonides Figueroa asserted that Abel Cuello promised 23 South Texans corn detasseling "work for four or five weeks, sun up to sun down, at $8.00 per hour," free transportation to Indiana and back to Texas, "arrival pay" to buy food until they got their first paychecks and end-of-season bonuses.
Instead, Figueroa's 96-page complaint charges that the corn detasselers were housed at an Economy Inn with microwaves that were "inadequate for cooking." The only hot meals available were from a food truck operated by a Cuello relative that sold food to workers "at high prices." Defendants include Pioneer as well as Cuello's E&B Harvesting & Trucking Inc. and 3-C's Group Inc.
Wisconsin. A UW-Extension survey of 220 farm employers with 1,900 employees found an average starting wage of $9.36 an hour in 2013 for inexperienced dairy workers and $11.44 for experienced workers (www.uwex.edu/ces/farmteam/workgroup/humanresource). In 24 Fond du Lac county dairies that had an average 850 cows, there were 290 non-family workers and 30 family workers, an average 12 non-family workers per farm. Three-fourths of these non-family workers were immigrants.