Department Of Labor Requires Higher Wages For Foreign Workers In Crawfish Processing
Those mudbugs may be a popular meal here in Louisiana, but the job of peeling them for others is something that many of us wouldn't like to do. That's why, for most processors, hiring foreign workers who are willing to do the job is something that is common practice in this Louisiana market.
The problem that has become an issue for most processors is the U.S. Department of Labor has recently passed new regulations requiring a 32% increase in wages for these foreign workers.
Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says, "what business can absorb a 32-percent labor cost
increase with any degree of ease?" Strain is working on a way to streamline the process of hiring the workers in five year cycles instead of the current way, which is yearly. Doing the paperwork and processing fees each year can become expensive, around $200-$500 per worker.
Strain also wanted to remind us that the state also uses these workers for sugarcane, timber and other industries in the state and that the increased labor costs will likely affect each of these industries.