It’s hard to believe that it’s already August and harvest has begun. Many growers reported that they started harvesting some crops as early as mid-July. Please be prepared and educate all of your crews about safety hazards in and around equipment. The tail end of this July was quite a hot one, with most crops showing the effects of the heat as their fruits were maturing. The heat also affected employees, sapping energy levels and rightfully so with multiple days at near record highs. The grower community has been doing a great job in protecting its labor force by starting and stopping crews earlier in the day, which was a great idea, as there were no heat illness accidents reported.
This last week I had the opportunity to spend some time in Sacramento at the state office of CFBF as a member on the labor policy recommendations committee. Where we fully discussed many rules including the overtime rule that has been checked as another bill in the senate. Most other county FB’s are talking to their labor force and explaining how this law would really affect them by losing 20 hours a week. Something other Farm Bureaus are reporting as working well is having your workforce writing and sending their own personal letters voicing their concerns about how this rule will affect them and their families to our representatives. That way our representatives hear directly from the people they believe that they are helping with this law.
This overtime law would have an enormous impact on Ag operations, causing them to lose the flexibility of seasonality needs of hours to be worked and to the great people doing the work in the fields. Please urge your people, and work with them, to help us all get through this fight because we must defeat this rule. If anyone has any questions or needs info on this rule please feel free to call the office and get the info you may need, thanks again and have a prosperous and safe harvest.