NCAE News Brief #36
September 4, 2015
 
 
 

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

— Dorothy Nevill

 
 

NCAE News, Legal/Technical, & Other Employer Issues

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a ruling against BWI that greatly changes and expands 30 years of history on the topic of joint employment. We will see much more legal analysis about what this might change for Ag Employers, but the bottom line is that this ruling significantly expands what will be considered joint employment.

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Regulatory Actions

We have just learned that there will be NO extension to the comment period on the DOL Overtime rule, so comments remain due September 4, 2015 (Friday!) We do not have any good economic data sources, that is why we asked for an extension, so our comments will be more general, however the proposal to raise the salary bar from $23K to $52K (plus) for the overtime exemption nationally will make for significant changes in how employers hire and compensate managers in all areas of work that are not exempt from overtime. We know there are over 3000 comments submitted already, some against and some claiming their lives will be made much better when their salaries are raised or they receive overtime, apparently they have not considered that they may become unaffordable at those prices!

Because we were NOT granted an extension and are working under a tight deadline, we can only offer to list NCAE Member organizations if you can agree to be listed without extensive review/comment to the draft. Attached is the ROUGH draft, Frank will spend some time on it Thursday mid-day and will finalize it, put it on NCAE letterhead, and submit no later than noon Friday. We will take your brief inputs and requests to sign-on until 10 AM EASTERN time on Friday. All News Brief readers are welcome to use any/all our draft text to write and submit your own comments NO LATER THAN September 4, 2015 (theoretically you can submit until midnight Eastern time, but it is suggested you attempt no later than about 9PM as the Regulation.gov site can get slow during high-usage periods.)

ROUGH 9/2/15 NCAE DRAFT here:


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If you want to Sign-on to NCAE’s Comments as written - please email Frank@ncaeonline.org directly with Subject: [Your Organization] Sign-on to NCAE Comments on Overtime Rule

Or if you want to submit your own comments, SUBMIT to DOL on/before 9/4/15 here:


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NCAE’s comments will also support the comments already submitted by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) citing the fact that many NCAE Members and Allies are associations and non-profits themselves and that a majority of our active Members are on various non-profit boards as well. It is completely appropriate for those of you who are associations and/or on the boards of associations or non-profits to also comment to DOL that you support ASAE’s comments.


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Legislative Actions

Congress is back but expect them to be focused on budgets, and several other large and contentious issues. As a result, we do not expect much useful work on agricultural employer issues for the rest of 2015.

 
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Immigration Reform

9/1/2015. Politico. “Trump Terrible for Agriculture.” Be sure to read all the way to the end, we see the comment from Goodlatts’s staff — ” ““A spokeswoman for Goodlatte said he believes that American farmers need a reformed guest worker program, but — "any solution to fix our broken immigration system needs to start with interior enforcement first."” Could this be the same group (Goddlatte staff) who continue to tell the Ag Workforce Coalition that they have not had time to consider our comments and proposals yet —of course we do and have always maintained that status for current workers, an improved guest worker program for ag must happen no later than concurrent with increased enforcement. Read more:


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NCAE This Week

Frank’s 20 minute “Open Mike” interview with Agri-Pulse was published late last week. This is 20 minutes long:


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Thanks to Agri-Pulse Jeff Nalley for this opportunity to have our voice heard about NCAE Member needs and issues.

Until Next Week,
Frank
 


News articles and citations of interest for week ending 9/4/15:

 

 

People’s World

8/31/2005. “Farmworker rebellion spreads along almost the entire Pacific coast.” This is obviously an extremely leftist publication but discussion of “rebellion” is very disturbing.

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CATO Institute

8/31/2015. “The Great Job-Creating Machine.” Agriculture remains a Major job driver even though only about 15% of the world’s workforce are directly involved.

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Mail Tribune

8/31/2015. “Mark L. Hopkins: The illegal immigration argument.” “No wall in history has ever had much success keeping people out, –.” –“We can close our southern border, but we have other borders to the east, west and north. They are far more extensive and difficult to control than the one between the U.S. and Mexico.” AND –“Again, the issue is jobs. If we shut down the availability of jobs for undocumented workers, we will see many of them exit the country for better opportunities elsewhere.” –Yes, as we have said repeatedly –we can figure out how to deal with imported workers in the US or we can expect to see our food and other labor intensive agricultural products (as well as many other kinds of goods) created elsewhere and then imported into the US for our consumption.

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Wall Street Journal

8/29/2015. “Trying to Teach Big Agra in a Hotbed of Locavores.” This is an excellent article that hints at a treasure-trove of statistics potentiall available from the author, Peter A Coclanis, who calls himself “an economic historian who respects the achievements of American farmers, expecially hose associated with Big Agra.” –the result today is the world’s strongest agricultural economy. This economy is dominated by a tiny number of large, super-efficient enterprises: The largest 4% of U.S. farms account for two-thirds of farm output, and the largest 0.5% account for a third as much. – ” He also notes that Americans spend only about 10% of total income on food versus twice that much in many other developed countries.

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National Review

8/28/2015. “Farm Lobby: Our Workers Don’t Deserve Higher Wages.” It is troubling when any publication draws such messages from “the farm lobby” –it is particularly troubling when a supposedly conservative publication decides that our message is: “ – Our Workers Don’t Deserve Higher Wages –!” That is NOT our message and never has been, our message is that we operate in a global economy and buyers set prices, not farmers.

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