Tag Archives: Labor

Whatcom Wins? Resolution to Oppose Development "On or Near" Cherry Point Approved by Local Democrat Central Committee

Apparently there’s going to be little fan-fare, or media attention given to the July 18th, 2013 resolutions adopted at the Whatcom County Democrat Central Committee meeting.  There was overwhelming approval for these three resolutions, of which two did receive Bellingham Herald media attention, but not the Resolution to Honor the Lummi Nation’s Sacred Lands and Waters of Cherry Point. It’s hard to understand why a party that says it supports labor would approve this resolution?  Especially, since it is well in advance of receiving the results from the State of Washington’s environmental impact statement (EIS), which has been given carte blanche to scope the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project impacts from an unprecedented global viewpoint.  The Department of Ecology will be looking at the effects that this project will have on train traffic, coal, site-development, employment, natural resource uses and so many other hoops-for-them-to-jump, that it would create one, huge run-on-sentence; all at an unprecedented global level.  But, what is an even greater quandary to me is; Why do the local labor halls continue to organize and support a party that has, and continues to chase out legal, viable, manufacturing and production jobs from Whatcom County?  According to my sources, the …

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A View from the Farm

We are getting reports in on last years crops.  I read about an interesting online survey in my March 4th FB News that was conducted in California.   The questions were about experiences with labor hiring during the 2012 harvest. 800 California Farm Bureau members responded.  The report titled “Walking the Tightrope: California Farmers Struggle with Employee Shortages”  is available at www.CFBF.com.     Just a few quick observations for you. 61% of all respondents reported employee shortages. 71% of the  farmers who grew labor-intensive crops like tree fruits, vegetables, table grapes, raisins and berries reported employee shortages. To cope with the workforce shortage farmers offered higher wages, delayed pruning and harvesting, used mechanization if possible, or did not harvest some of their crop. 19% of the respondents had planted fewer acres, not harvested a portion of their crop or gave up leased land because of a lack of available harvest help. Farmers were open about their reliance on a largely immigrant workforce. Their efforts to hire U.S. born employees on farms have been mostly unsuccessful, even during the deepest part of the recent recession. Why does this matter to us in Washington?  California produces over 90% of the U.S. crop …

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