US - The US' National Turkey Federation has welcomed the action of Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to introduce a bill on foreign-born workers in the US, and said it is essential for the turkey industry to allow legal hiring of such workers.
The bill is known as S. 2827, “Willing Workers and Willing Employers Act of 2016”.
In a statement, the National Turkey Federation called the legislation an encouraging addition to the conversation about foreign-born workers in the semi-skilled sector of the economy.
The organisation said the bill creates a common-sense pilot programme that allows the US government to ensure that workers and employers are utilising the system as it was intended, that visa holders are complying with its rules, and that the programme is operating in a way that helps US workers and the economy.
The NTF said there are very few permanent visas for less-skilled workers, and existing temporary programmes only apply to seasonal labour, effectively excluding workers at year-round meat and poultry plants.
The legislation would help the turkey industry gain access to legal workers within the pool of general labour (semi-skilled) through a visa programme that could address the needs of the meat and poultry industry, if implemented correctly, the organisation said.
National Turkey Federation President Joel Brandenberger said: “There is currently no one bill that is a 'silver bullet'; however, Senator Flake’s bill will go a long way to fixing our broken immigration system.
"Ensuring the legal hiring of enough qualified workers is critical to the turkey industry and the long-term success of the US economy.”ThePoultrySite News Desk