Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Colo. Panel May Help Sheepherders With Complaints

Colorado lawmakers have put off for at least a year passing legislation that would set minimum wages and working conditions for immigrant sheepherders. But they voted Tuesday to set up a committee this summer that they say could work with the federal government to resolve complaints against employers. Rep. Daniel Kagan, a Denver Democrat, says the 11-member task force will review work conditions and complaint procedures. Kagan says foreign workers are sometimes subjected to 90-hour work weeks for anywhere from $600 to $750 a month on ranches in the West. "This is a human rights issue. My constituents want Colorado to treat guest workers in this state properly," he said. Kagan had hoped to increase sheepherders' pay to $9.88 an hour, the amount other Colorado farmworkers are paid. He also wanted workers to get days off — some claim they never do — and prohibit ranchers from withholding employees' immigration documents, which immigrant advocates say is common. Instead, Kagan said he was forced to settle for a yearlong delay and another study...more

1 comment:

johnr said...

I guess you can say goodby to the sheep industry in Colorado.