A Disposable Work Force: Farm Worker Advocates Push for Agricultural Worker Protections

A new report published by the advocacy organization Farmworker Justice criticizes the H-2A temporary guest work visa program, claiming it makes agricultural workers vulnerable to poor working conditions. Farm worker advocates argue that to improve these conditions, foreign agricultural workers should be able to seek legal immigration status. The report, “No Way To Treat a Guest: Why the H-2A Agricultural Visa Program Fails U.S. and Foreign Workers,” outlines why this visa system, which “allows agricultural employers to hire foreign guest workers on temporary work visas to fill seasonal jobs,” is flawed and exposes workers to abuse. According to the report, the H-2A guest worker program:
· Does not provide adequate protection against the exploitation of guest workers;
· Drives down wages and working conditions for domestic workers;
· Creates an incentive for employers to prefer guest workers over domestic workers;
· Creates an atmosphere in which employers are able to violate the rights of workers in “rampant and systemic” ways;
· Fosters abuse in the recruitment of foreign guest workers; and
· Deprives farm workers of bargaining power and political influence.

The report, which is based on interviews with former and current H-2A workers, can be viewed or downloaded at : http://farmworkerjustice.org/images/stories/eBook/pages/fwj.pdf

Source : http://ehstoday.com/health/agricultural-worker-protections-0909/

 

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