Asparagus growers seek relief from wage law

07/23/2002 12:00:00 AM
The Packer Staff

(July 24) ELTOPIA, Wash. — Washington asparagus industry leaders say they’re encouraged that state lawmakers may consider revisiting the controversial minimum wage issue that has harmed the asparagus industry.

In a letter sent to asparagus growers, Alan Schreiber, administrator of the Washington Asparagus Commission, Eltopia, reported positive results from a July 12 meeting representatives of the commission, Washington Growers League, Yakima, and Dayton, Wash., asparagus processor Seneca Foods Corp., had with state legislative leaders.

“The meeting was extremely positive and the commission has been requested to provide the legislature with some mechanism to exempt the asparagus industry from the automatic increases in the minimum wage as long as the asparagus industry is under financial stress,” Schreiber wrote.

If changes are not made to the country’s highest indexed state minimum wage, industry leaders contend the state’s asparagus industry will soon collapse because of high labor costs.



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