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January 1998, Volume 4, Number 1

Rural America

Welfare Reform and Farm Labor
A welfare reform and farmworkers conference, the CAL-Work Summit, was held December 5, 1997 in Fresno, California. There were many presentations on

Midwest: Meat/Poultry Processing
The Gazette of Cedar Rapids ran a series of stories on immigration in the Cedar Rapids area in November 1997, noting that in FY97, the INS

Southeast: Hispanics, Tobacco
Hispanics in North Carolina/Georgia. In November 1997, 10 farm workers were murdered in North Carolina and Tennessee. As Hispanics move into

UFW: No Strawberry Elections
The UFW announced in October 1997 that it would request no ALRB-sponsored elections of California strawberries workers in 1997. The UFW said it

Farm Workers

Enforcement: Child Labor, TIPP
The Associated Press ran a series of stories on child labor in December, locating 165 children working illegally in 16 states, from the chili fields

Florida: H-2A, Suits
In December, Langley Groves in central Florida asked Department of Labor for permission to import orange pickers for work beginning February 7,

Washington, Oregon
There were no reports of labor shortages in the Washington apple harvest in 1997. Washington harvested about 5.5 billion pounds of apples in 1997,

In Turner, Maine, Mexican immigrants dominate the work force at the DeCoster Egg Farm, the largest brown-egg producer in the US, with 4.5

ALRB Access, Reinstating Illegals
Ivonne Ramos Richardson was confirmed for another five-year term as a member of the ALRB. Trice Harvey was not confirmed; he left the Board, and

Assistance Programs
The federal government spends over $600 million annually to assist migrant and seasonal farm workers and their children. Most of this federal

California: Wages, Data and UI
The federal minimum wage increased from $4.75 to $5.15 on September 1, 1997. The California minimum wage, currently $5, will increase to $5.75

Workers Compensation, Pesticides
Workers compensation programs are federal- and state-operated systems for compensating workers who are injured or develop an incapacitating disease


GAO Issues H-2A Report
The GAO issued a report on December 31, 1997 that concluded there are "no national agricultural labor shortage at this time" and that "A

HR 2377, Other Guest Worker Issues
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) introduced S.1563, a 24-month pilot program identical to H.R. 2377, introduced by Rep. Bob Smith (R-OR). H.R. 2377, the

INS Enforcement
The GAO issued a 101-page report in December that concluded the INS has no effective means of determining whether border control strategies such as


Canada: Guest Workers
Many Mexicans urge the US to develop a seasonal worker program like that in place with Canada. The Canadian program is based on a

Philippines: Dole, Plantation
Dole, the world's largest producer and marketer of fresh fruits, won permission in 1994 to continue to grow bananas on a 1,004-hectare

Southern Africa
An April 21-15, 1997 conference on farm workers in southern Africa lamented the absence of labor standard protections such as minimum wage and the

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