On October 29, FRA reforestation and land management members, along with representatives from other sectors dependent on the H-2B seasonal and itinerant guestworker visa program, joined together to tell Congress why the newly adopted H-2B Wage Rule is unworkable and to weigh in about what we like and don’t like about Senate and House Immigration Reform proposals.
Thanks to Michael Economopoulous (Progressive Solutions LLC), Wade Zaharie (Alpha Services LLC), Cari Frock (Marshfield Forest Service), and John Enlow (Rayonier), as well as to over 45 contractors, association people, and DC-based representatives from the forestry, landscaping, hospitality, carnival, and golf-course maintenance sectors—for a total of 49 visits to Senate and House offices.
FRA focused on:
• Appropriators from both parties, advocating blocks on both the 2011 and 2013 H-2B Wage Rules in the next Appropriations process (current Appropriations expire on January 15); and on
• Judiciary Committee members, urging opposition to the American Jobs in American Forests Amendment (the “Merkley Amendment,” which would make it impossible for reforestation contractors to apply for guestworker visas on a workable timetable) in any House/Senate negotiation over a final Immigration Bill.
Altogether, the forestry cohort completed 18 office visits. We will be following up!
FRA appreciates the leadership of Laurie Ann Flanagan, co-chair of the H-2B Workforce Coalition, for organizing this event. Together, we represented a strong, unified message delivered directly to key policymakers on Capitol Hill.
More on Guestworkers in Reforestation at this link.
More at www.forestresources.org/fra/news_releases/FRA_Appal_OL_Trott_2013.pdf, and please visit the firm’s web site at www.trottlumbercoinc.com.