|H2B Wage Increase - ACTION NEEDED|
Shawn McBurney | Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs | American Hotel & Lodging Association
It is obvious that DOL has no concern for seasonal and small businesses and their employees. The department is clearly seeking to eliminate the H2B program through regulations.
DOL is accepting comments on this proposed change until July 8, 2011. Please go to www.regulations.gov enter 1205-AB61 in the search box and comment on this rule and have your clients comment as well.
Also, and this is very important, please have your clients contact their members of Congress to urge them to block the implementation of the rules issued by DOL on the H2B program. Constituent contacts are critical in our efforts here in Washington. In our meetings in congressional offices on this issue, members of Congress are sympathetic to our concerns but have noted they are not hearing from their constituents.
Without your clients contacting their members of Congress, the H2B program will effectively cease to exist as an option for staffing.I have attached a sample letter that can be used in contacting members of Congress (House and Senate). This letter and other information can be found at www.h2bworkforcecoalition.com .
Draft Letter to Congress
As an employer in your district, I wanted to let you know about the importance of the H-2B seasonal worker program to my business and the local economy.
The H-2B program not only allows me to maintain my business in the absence of local workers willing to accept the seasonal positions, it also provides a great benefit for the H-2B workers themselves by allowing them to better provide for their families, and for the company’s full-time workers whose positions require support from seasonal workers. While I would like to hire only local workers, the reality is that even after extensive recruitment efforts and even in a tough economy, it is very difficult to find enough local workers willing to work in manual, seasonal labor positions. The H-2B is essential for the survival of my business.
Unfortunately, a January 19, 2011 U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) final rule will greatly increase the wages rates for H-2B workers well above levels that can be supported by small, seasonal businesses. Further, a March 18 DOL rule would make the program even more costly and complicated. As a small business that has struggled to keep my full-time workers employed through the recession, I simply cannot absorb a massive wage increase that is not supported by economic realities. The new rule threatens my operations and the jobs of my workforce.
The H-2B program is essential to the economic vitality of my business. Please discourage DOL from moving forward with costly and restrictive new H-2B regulations.
Thank you very much for your time and attention to this matter.