Archive

U.S. Dept. of Labor releasing their ‘proposed’ reforms to the H2-A program

With the (USDOL) U.S. Dept. of Labor releasing their ‘proposed’ reforms to the H2-A program, the public now has until September 24th to submit comments.  A side-by-side comparison has been created to show the current program and what the new rule proposes.  CLICK HERE to review the comparison.  It should serve as a useful tool for any comments that you may wish to submit.  The link to the published rule is:  https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-07-26/pdf/2019-15307.pdf

 



Allen Lund Transportation Association Program (TAP)

Since 1976, the Allen Lund Company a third-party transportation broker, has worked with
shippers, growers and carriers across the nation to arrange the transport of dry, refrigerated
and flatbed freight. Specializing in perishable logistics, ALC moved over 400,000 loads in 2018
and continues to expand their footprint, opening new offices strategically located.

The newest service ALC has developed is a software solution, ALC TMS. "ALC TMS
was built from the ground up to manage the complexities of produce transportation, and we
welcome the opportunity to discuss all the features with our NWA partners...". Features
available to assist NWA members include spot bid, dock scheduling, load tracking and
numerous other options to make transportation a less stressful endeavor.

Additionally ALC provides to NWA members TAP (Transportation Association Program), which
includes:
Priority on providing capacity in tight markets
Lane analysis and reporting
Discount on live load tracking
Discount on ALC TMS
EDI 214 integration

Allen Lund Company (800) 404-5863 ALC TMS (800) 282-3246


CHEP & NWA Pallet Program

CHEP helps move more goods to more people, in more places than any other
organization on earth. Its pallets, crates and containers form the invisible backbone of
the global supply chain and the world’s biggest brands trust us to help them transport
their goods more efficiently, sustainably and safely. We have approximately 300 million
pallets, crates and containers, and a global network of 750 service centers. About 100
million of those pallets are in the U.S. alone.

Seeing CHEP’s commitment to the watermelon industry, the NWA and CHEP entered
into an official partnership more than a decade ago to benefit its members. Since the
partnership began, CHEP has donated over $150,000 to fund food safety and
traceability initiatives, research solutions to pest and disease pressures, promotions
(National Watermelon Queen Program) and overall member services operations.

In addition to giving back to the NWA, CHEP has also added tremendous value to
customers through collaborative initiatives, such as the CHEP customer storage
program. Members who are CHEP customers receive compensation for storing CHEP
pallets during the off season, making them readily available for use when harvest
comes.

I’m happy to chat on how CHEP can meet your transportation needs, or if the customer
storage program is a fit for your operations (click here to access a case study in
watermelons)—I look forward to hearing from you.

Rick Overholt
Director of Sales, Produce, CHEP North America
[email protected]
Cell: 661-204-9826

Testimonials

Click below to see how CHEP has created success for some of our members.

Frey Farms
Melon 1
Sweet Mama Produce

 


Blue Book

Blue Book Services began in 1901 when former potato-shipper A.L. Baker decided to address a real need he saw in the fresh produce industry. Since the livelihoods of fruit and vegetable traders relied on highly perishable commodities, there needed to be a sound way for these traders to choose reliable trading partners and protect their credit extensions.

To address this, Baker and other founders created “Baker’s Potato Code,” based on the simple principles of honor, integrity and service. This later came to be known simply as “Blue Book.” Throughout Blue Book Services’ history, our associates have been committed to staying on top of the needs of the marketplace, as well as providing best-in-class credit rating and marketing tools.
Over a century later, the lumber and building material industry reached out to us with their need for a reliable way to protect their credit extensions. In 2009, we expanded and adapted our services to include these providers, committing to the same level of advantage and innovation.
As our mission statement communicates, we are committed to providing our customers with the best resources for their success. And for over 115 years, we have done just that.

Jeff Lair
Marketing Director
Phone: 630 668-3500, x. 726
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.ProduceBlueBook.com


Highland AG

Highland Ag Solutions (HAS) is proud of our long-standing relationship with the NWA and state chapters. The HAS family, which consists of Highland Precision Ag, Highland Fresh Technologies and Coastal Ag Supply, is dedicated to providing growers with the tools and products needed to navigate through this new world of agriculture. The Highland Hub empowers growers to manage their food safety programs, review soil and water samples, follow recommendations, monitor weather stations and soil sensors, purchase crop protection products, nutritionals, shelf life extension products, equipment cleaning and sanitation solutions, and other supplies - all from their device. As the needs of our industry grow and change, HAS will be there every step of the way to keep growers connected, efficiently and securely.

Walt Shappley
Vice President

Email: [email protected]
Cell: 863.860.0431
Office: 863.844.4263 

 

Secretary Perdue issues a statement on the Department of Labor’s Proposed H2A Modernized Rule

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue issued a statement soon after the release of the Department of Labor’s proposed rule to modernize the H-2A program to reflect stakeholder concerns and improve access to a legal source of agricultural labor.  “The proposed rule will increase access to a reliable legal agricultural workforce, easing unnecessary burdens on farmers, increase enforcement against fraud and abuse, all while maintaining protections for America’s workers. When this rule goes into effect, our farmers will be released from unnecessary and burdensome regulations allowing them to do what they do best.”

The Department of Labor (the Department), Employment and Training Administration and Wage and Hour Division today posted online a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to solicit public comments on proposed changes to improve the H-2A temporary agricultural labor certification program. These proposed changes would modernize the Department's H-2A regulations in a way that is responsive to stakeholder concerns and enhances employer access to a legal source of agricultural labor, while maintaining the program's protections for the U.S. workforce and enhancing enforcement against fraud and abuse.

The NPRM includes several major proposals that would streamline and simplify the H-2A application process, strengthen protections for U.S. and foreign workers, and ease unnecessary burdens on employers. For example, the NPRM would streamline the H-2A application process by mandating electronic filing of job orders and applications, promoting the use of digital signatures, and providing employers with the option of staggering the entry of H-2A workers on a single application.
The NPRM also proposes to strengthen protections for U.S. and foreign workers by enhancing standards applicable to rental housing and public accommodations, strengthening surety bond requirements, expanding the Department's authority to use enforcement tools like program debarment for substantial violations of program rules, and updating the methodologies used to determine the Adverse Effect Wage Rates and prevailing wages to ensure U.S. workers similarly employed are not adversely impacted.

Finally, the NPRM would expand access to the H-2A program by revising the definition of agricultural labor or services to include employers engaged in reforestation and pine straw activities, as workers performing these services share many of the same characteristics as traditional agricultural crews. The proposal would also codify and update procedures governing the certification for job opportunities in animal shearing, custom combining, beekeeping, and reforestation.
The Department is posting a copy of the NPRM in advance of its publication in the Federal Register. A copy of the NPRM can be found by clicking here.

 

Independent Immigration Courts Needed, Legal Groups Say

Amid a growing crisis, legal associations have called on Congress to pass laws that would remove immigration courts from Justice Department control, emphasizing the inherent conflict of interest.
Four major legal groups are calling on Congress to make changes to the backlogged immigration courts that have buckled under the control of the Justice Department.

The American Bar Association (ABA), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Federal Bar Association (FBA), and the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ) reached out to Congress last week calling on the body to create an independent immigration court system that isn’t managed by the part of the executive branch responsible for prosecuting immigrants.

“As a result, the Attorney General is charged with being both lead prosecutor and lead judge in immigration cases,” the letter, addressed to members of the House and Senate, says. “This inherent conflict of interest is made worse by the fact that immigration judges are considered merely government attorneys, a classification that fails to recognize the significance of their judicial duties and leaves them particularly vulnerable to political pressure and interference in case management.”

The groups, speaking together on this issue for the first time, noted the significant backlog, which stands at nearly 900,000 cases, and said Justice Department policies limited opportunities for fair hearings and made the backlog worse.

“What exacerbates that is that the Department of Justice has implemented policies that are making it more difficult for the courts to operate efficiently and are increasing that backlog, so those factors are coming together in the confluence of pressure that I believe is being felt more seriously on the Hill than it has in past years,” AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said in comments reported by Business Insider.

The group added that using quotas for immigration judges and tying them to performance reviews meant that they often had “to decide cases under strict deadlines or face potential discipline.”

The associations called for the immigration court to be taken away from the Justice Department’s control and established outside of the executive branch.

The issues raised by the legal groups aren’t new—ABA made a similar call in a report it released in March, and other such recommendations have been made since the 1990s—but the issue is coming to a head during the current immigration crisis, which has also suffered from a shortage of immigration judges.

Recently, the Justice Department announced it would cut the number of in-person translators at court hearings and replace them with videos informing migrants of their rights. This issue further highlighted the concerns of the groups, including NAIJ President Emerita Denise Noonan Slavin, a former immigration judge.

“Court funds should be used to ensure the court operates efficiently and fairly,” Slavin said, according to Business Insider.

The groups emphasized that independent control would make the system more efficient while providing better access to justice.

“In its current state, the immigration court system requires a structural overhaul to solve its foundational problems,” the groups stated in their letter.

By: Ernie Smith

 

ELD Rules Release Delayed

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has contacted us about the proposed revisions to the Hours of Service elements of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule.  FMCSA now projects that the proposed rules will be released by July 31, 2019. However, this date is not binding and could change again, so we will continue to monitor the progress.

This is the second delay with this particular release - - the first was delayed from June 7th to June 30th

The White House Office of Management and Budget is still in review of the rules and must approve them before publication.  Once the proposed rules are published, we will communicate the details to you along with the link to public comments which will follow the proposed change release.   By law the FMCSA must offer a timeframe to accept public comments before any steps are taken to pursue a final rule change.    We will keep you posted as new developments arise. 

 
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