Nov 22, 2010
Civil rights report makes recommendations

When the Michigan Civil Rights Commission released a report in March on the living and working conditions of migrant and seasonal workers in Michigan, it caused quite a stir. The report featured testimony from several migrant workers, and was a very critical assessment of conditions in the state.

The result of the report was a look at all aspects of Michigan agriculture dealing with workers. A list of recommendations was included in the report. As result of one recommendation Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB), Michigan State University Extension and various commodity organizationsare cooperating to provide a series of management programs this winter.

“I think there has been a lot of very good dialogue during the process between growers, agencies and all involved,” said Craig Anderson, manager of MFB’s agricultural, labor and safety services department. “There is a knowledge that the vast majority of growers and farmers are doing it right in the first place. We need to provide the knowledge to allow all operations an understanding of the complex regulatory structure they face.”

For growers, there will be a series of educational workshops aimed at training them in all aspects of worker laws. A schedule of these workshops and registrationwill be made public in December at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The workshops will be held in several regions of the state: southwest, the “Ridge,” the Hart area, northwest, central, the “thumb,” the metro area – and possibly workshops in the Upper Peninsula and Alpena areas.

By Derrek Sigler, Assistant Editor


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