Fruit Grower Association Accused of Trying to Suppress Wages
The Washington Farm Labor Association is in hot water after distributing information attempting to "help" fruit growers fill out a survey for the government.
The state wanted to be fair to growers with its regulations, so it distributed a survey asking how many workers spent how much time on various tasks. The key piece of information was how many workers earned "piece-rate pay" instead of hourly wages.
The industry association suggested "recommended answers" on the survey to skew the results in favor of the orchard owners at the detriment of the workers.
If a fruit grower provides housing to employees, they were encouraged to lie about it on the survey or else they may be required to offer the housing in the future.
Because the impact of the information campaign is still unknown, potential consequences are still being mulled.