We only have TWO DAYS to stop the damaging Temporary Worker Housing Emergency Rule

 

We know farmers and ranchers care deeply about their employees. It is time to stand up against those who deny this. It is also time to hold L&I and the Department of Health to professional standards. Government’s duty is to ensure the safety and well-being of our industry. Their job is not to act out of fear and pandering to create emergency rules that hobble farmers’ and farmworker’s ability to provide food, fuel and fiber for our world.

Together, we can correct the false messaging that agricultural employers are not protecting their workers. Safety practices have already been adopted on farms across the state protect workers, their families, and their communities.

Even if you do not have a Temporary Worker Housing facility we need your help in making our collective voice heard today!

The new rule would cut available beds in half and limit access to high-paying harvest jobs.

Without labor, there is no harvest; and, without harvest, there is no food on the shelves.

Your comments must be submitted to both DOH at housing@doh.wa.gov and to L&I at cynthia.ireland@lni.wa.gov by Monday, April 27, 2020.

Sample Letter:

To whom it may concern at the Department of Health and Department of Labor and Industries,

I am ___________ (insert name and farm story).

I am providing these comments regarding the emergency rules proposed 4/23/2020.

As a farmer, I care deeply about my employees and take great effort to keep them safe.

Your collective duty as agencies is to ensure the safety and well-being of our workers and our farms and ranches, not to act out of fear and pandering to create emergency rules that hobble us and our farmworkers in our ability to provide food, fuel and fiber for our world.

These draft rules are unworkable and clearly were written by people that do not understand agriculture.

Careful consideration must be taken so that farmers aren’t run out of business due to these overreaching rules.

Farmworkers have been “essential workers” to agriculture long before COVID-19. Maintaining their safety is critical to me.

Any new rules must be based on lessons already learned and the fact that recovered workers will likely be protected against re-infection.

We have an obligation to provide temporary worker housing for our H2A workers. This proposed rule will eliminate a third to half of all available housing, greatly harming safe and secure living conditions for our essential workforce.

Please reconsider your action.

Sincerely,

 

To Download this letter, click here.

Find read the draft rule language, click here.