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Bob Larson H-2A Guest Worker Travel Soars Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: May 11, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Flying H-2A guest workers from Mexico and Central American is catching on. WAFLA has been busing workers from Mexico for six years, but is currently working to ramp up the number of flights while keeping it affordable…

DAN FAZIO … “We’ve got a grant going with the country of Guatemala to help subsidize the transportation because there is a transportation difference, the difference in cost, so it ends up actually being no cost differential at all to the farmer. As a matter of fact, this year, we’re able to get them a few dollars cheaper from Guatemala and El Salvador than Mexico because of the subsidies we’ve got.”

WAFLA Director Dan Fazio says they’ve been working with different airlines to find the best options for both the workers and employers…

DAN FAZIO … “We’ve got arrangements from Alaska, Aero-Mexico, Volaris, and I think maybe one other that our transportation coordinator is trying to negotiate right now. What we’re doing is buying lots of seats without names on them and then we fill in the names. And so, that’s a major hurdle we had to get over, that to know we’re going to have X number of workers on let’s say May 15th, and we want to get the best rates by booking in advance, but we’re not 100% sure of the name of the worker, so they’ve allowed us to do that.”

Fazio says they brought over 10,000 workers up from Mexico last year and expect to reach 12,000 this year, with less than half coming to Washington by air.

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