AgJOBS Bill Gets Majority Vote
April 29, 2005
April 29, 2005 -- Legislation, sponsored by Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), referred to as "AgJOBS", to reform the labor programs was short of the 60 votes needed for the legislation to be considered for approval although it received a majority of U.S. Senate support.
"As the 109th Congress considers the AgJOBS legislation, the American sheep industry requested congressional support of the provisions included in S. 359 that are critical to our industry's use of the H-2A program," stated Peter Orwick, American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) executive director.
The H-2A program is the key provision for sheep producers to contract sheepherders. Several provisions in the current law must be maintained in congressional authorization of labor programs to ensure that the program works for this purpose.
Enforcement of contracts is a key program issue to the sheep industry. The H-2A labor program has been successfully utilized in our industry since the 1950's but, increasingly, sheep producers have herders illegally walking out of their contracts. We ask that every effort be made in the 109th Congress to ensure the Department has solid authority and sufficient funding available for enforcement actions.
"ASI approved policy at the annual Board of Directors meeting this January directing ASI to coordinate with sheep and labor organizations in support of sheepherder provisions in legislation and to enhance enforcement provisions of contracts. ASI will continue to work with the Congress in future efforts to address this important legislation," concluded Orwick.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33