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October 2019, Volume 25, Number 4

Florida, Southeast

The US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division recovered $16,332 in back wages for 44 H-2A workers from AG Labor LLC of Plant City. AG Labor's housing did not satisfy requirements and AG failed to list on its job order all of the sites at which H-2A workers were employed. AG Labor did not pay overtime wages to workers employed in a packinghouse as required.

The US in August 2019 agreed to suspend the tariffs on imported Mexican tomatoes that were imposed in May 2019 and to refund the tariff funds that were collected. Mexico supplies over half of US fresh tomatoes, worth $2 billion in 2018, and ships them to the US in 120,000 truckloads. The August 2019 agreement requires that 92 percent of the trucks from Mexico with tomatoes be inspected, and that Mexican tomatoes sell for at least a minimum price in the US.

There was a "flash drought" in the southeast in September 2019, as temperatures rose and there was no rain for an extended period. Some observers blamed global warming, asserting that heat waves are longer and more frequent and rainstorms more intense when they occur.