Farmers don't exploit workersLetter to the EditorBy TBO.COM
TBO – October 6, 2011
Harry Chamberlain should do his homework before writing a letter (“Exploiting migrants,” Your Views, Oct. 2). Farmers (like most companies) need good workers. You cannot have a successful business without good workers, and if you exploit your workers they will move on.
Farmers across the country pay good wages, supply housing and work very hard to run a successful business supplying healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables to the American people. Agriculture is a very labor-intensive business that supports other full-time American jobs (truckers, food processing, farm equipment, retail, etc.). We have proven time and again that Americans will not pick fruits and vegetables. The H2A guest worker program can only handle 10 percent of the needed workers but also imposes huge regulatory burdens and costs. We do not exploit the workers; we need them.
Already our imports of fruits and vegetables from China have increased 550 percent over 10 years, and unless Congress allows agriculture a workable guest worker program, we will have not only OPEC controlling our energy needs but also a FOODPEC telling us what we can eat. I won’t even go into food safety in China and Mexico.