Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New foreign worker law could hurt Louisiana processors

The economic impact of the new prevailing wage rate increase for H-2B-temporary non-agricultural workers could put some Louisiana processors out of business, according to LSU AgCenter economist Mike Salassi. The H-2B program, which covers non-agricultural employment, is one of two programs that govern the hiring of foreign workers. The second program, H-2A covers farm workers. The program allows foreign workers into the United States when qualified United States workers are not available and when the employment of foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed United States workers. Last year, Congress passed the law to increase the prevailing wage for these non-agricultural foreign workers, Salassi said. The law, which goes into effect this October, is designed to keep foreign workers from displacing American workers by taking jobs at lower wage rates. To read more of LSU AgCenter's Johnny Morgan's story, click here.

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