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Bob Larson Farm Bureau Suit Aimed at Min Wage Initiative Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: March 01, 2017

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I’m Bob Larson. Thanks to the voter-approved Initiative 1433, the minimum wage is going up and a paid leave requirement will be put in place.

But a lawsuit filed last week says the initiative was poorly written and does not consider the farmers and ranchers who hire seasonal workers.

The Washington Farm Bureau’s Mark Streuli says the added regulations could force farmers and ranchers to seek more lucrative markets out of state or out of business altogether …

MARK STREULI … “Competition is incredibly difficult. And your family is like mine, I want to eat Washington beef not beef from Brazil. I don’t want to eat apples from China. I want my family to have Washington apples. If Washington Agriculture can’t compete, it’s just not practical for Ag in Washington state.”

Streuli says it’s just one more hoop to jump through …

MARK STREULI … “Yes, exactly. And it’s not like, oh well they just raised their prices and passed things on. That’s just not how it works in Ag. It will take a little bit of time, but time is really of the essence as well because the state family leave kicks in in January of 2018.”

Streuli says the work force is crucial to production …

MARK STREULI … “Their workers are really important to them, but this just makes it more and more difficult to bring on more workers or even to hire the young workers to give them the work ethic and the experience they learn to keep working these kind of jobs.”

Streuli says they are now waiting for the judge to make a ruling on whether or not the case has merit and should move forward.

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