Congress wants answers on Oregon farmer crackdown

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By Congressman Greg Walden,

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) called on Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to answer a bipartisan letter from six members of the Oregon Congressional delegation requesting answers on reports of heavy-handed enforcement practices by the Labor Department.

“I rise today to ask Labor Secretary Hilda Solis a simple question on behalf of the farmers of Oregon: when will we get answers about the department’s heavy-handed enforcement tactics?,” Rep. Walden said in a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Only the Department of Labor can provide these answers to Oregon’s Congressional delegation and the citizens they represent. One hundred and eight days later, we and they still do not have these written answers, and that is unacceptable,” Rep. Walden said.

On August 17, 2012, Rep. Walden joined Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Kurt Schrader, Peter DeFazio, and Suzanne Bonamici in writing to Secretary Solis after hearing reports that the Department of Labor had been discarding rights of due process and appeal in using “hot goods” orders to enforce labor laws on farms in the Pacific Northwest. Click here for a copy of the letter. After 108 days, and repeated follow-up inquiries, the delegation has not received a written response from the Department of Labor.