Labor Sec. refuses Walden request on crop seizure controversy

Walden-gregGreg Walden continues to press Labor Secretary for answers on “hot goods” orders
After 122 days, Labor Department still has not answered letter from Oregon Congressional delegation
By Oregon Congressman Greg Walden

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) again 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.

“One hundred and twenty two days ago, nearly every member of the Oregon delegation—Republicans and Democrats—wrote to the Labor Secretary after hearing reports of so-called ‘hot goods’ enforcement tactics that stopped shipments of highly-perishable berries with little opportunity for appeal,” Rep. Walden said in a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“In light of these and other complaints, our delegation asked the Department to detail its policies and procedures for making these decisions. One hundred and twenty two days later, we’ve yet to get an answer. That’s not right,” Rep. Walden said.

In August, 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 122 days, and repeated follow-up inquiries, the delegation has not received a written response from the Department of Labor.  On December 3, Rep. Walden called on the Labor Secretary to answer the bipartisan letter.

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