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Public Statements

Department of Labor "Hot Goods" Issues

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. WALDEN. Madam Speaker, 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?

In August, my colleagues and I from the Oregon delegation--Republicans and Democrats alike--wrote to the Secretary about 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. So far, we are still waiting for a written response 108 days later.

We know the Department can move with great speed when it wants to--when it's trying to shut down a farm with little due process or appeal. So why does it take so long to get answers for Oregon farmers? Again, I ask the Secretary to clarify in writing the Department of Labor's procedures for due process after a farm inspection.

Certainly, no one is advocating for unfair labor practices, but our farmers deserve due process and a clear understanding of what to expect from an investigation. Only the Department of Labor can provide these answers to Oregon's congressional delegation and to the citizens we represent. 108 days later, we and they still do not have those written answers, and that is simply unacceptable.

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