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To: Department of Labor, H2A regulation comment period
Your comments are needed to support critical new DOL H-2A regulations
I support of our nation’s farm workers, whose hard work makes it possible for us to have food on our table every day. The proposed regulatory changes to the H-2A agricultural guestworker program would reduce abuse, exploitation and trafficking of farm workers. Improving the H-2A program would in turn improve the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, over half of farm workers are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. The proposed changes would positively impact many of these farm workers and begin to address many of the systemic, abusive issues in the H–2A program.
I urge the Department of Labor (DOL) to move forward in finalizing the proposed rules, in its strongest form, so that we have more accountability, transparency and oversight in the H-2A program, our workforce and the U.S.
Why is this important?
In September, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed new regulations for the H-2A guest worker program that would reduce abuse, exploitation and trafficking of farm workers. Transparency and accountability in the H-2A program will in turn improve the wages and working conditions of US workers. The 327 pages of complex regulations by the Biden administration would improve the lives of the hard working men and women who harvest our food and reflect the recommendations that the farm worker movement have been making for years.
The public comment period will be open until November 14th. Please help us do all we can to make sure these changed regulations go into effect by sending your email to make sure the final regulations are as strong as possible and improve workers' conditions, wages, and ability to organize.
The proposed DOL regulations would improve conditions for H-2A farm workers by:
* Strengthening workers' right to advocate, form a union & have key services in employer-provided housing
* Protecting workers from unjust firing, retaliation, and other violations by employers
* Prohibiting employers from confiscating travel documents to prevent human trafficking
* Targeting unlawful fees, fraud, and other abuse in the recruitment and hiring of workers
These changes are urgently needed. Just last year, a federal investigation uncovered how H-2A employers ran a human trafficking ring, described by prosecutors as "modern day slavery" in Florida, Texas, and Georgia. In Utah, the former President of the Utah Farm Bureau is now subject to a human trafficking investigation after physically assaulting H-2A workers on his farm. Wage theft, abuse and exploitation are commonplace in the H-2A program and displace US workers while employers profit.
This can't keep happening. The current system is broken and oversight is urgently needed and the regulations must be changed. Take action to send us your comments, add a personalized comment on the box on the share page and we can submit them en masse and save you the difficulty of navigating through the government website.
How it will be delivered
We will submit your comments en masse to the DOLs comment period website to save you the difficulty of navigating through the government website.