Department of Labor Makes Changes on Pay for Some Migrant Workers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Department of Labor Makes Changes on Pay for Some Migrant Workers

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TRI-CITIES, Wash-- Starting June 29th the Labor Department is making a change on pay and housing standards for some migrant workers.

The DOL is suspending a rule that affected migrant workers with H-2A Visas. About 70,000 workers nationally have these visas.

The Bush administration changed the regulations last December. They restructured the process of bringing foreign workers in when not enough domestic workers are available.

Without the new rule H-2A workers in Washington and Oregon may see their wages rise by about a dollar. Some farmers say there were many perks to the new H-2A.

WorkSource in Kennewick is one place that helps these registered workers and farmers connect.
"Farmers can now apply for consideration for H-2A status which then means those folks who come in qualified for that could have housing available to them as well," said Candice Bluechel, Worksource.

The suspension of the new rule will last about nine months. If you are a farmer and you apply for H-2A before June 29th the rule under the Bush Administration will still be in effect. Meaning the Adverse Effect Wage Rates will not apply to your farm this season.