24-Aug-08 10:00 PM CST
Industry Rallies H-2B Supporters for Sept. 10 Fly-In
Users of the H-2B program plan to gather in Washington D.C. for an upcoming Fly-In. The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) and Save Our Small Business are again hosting an event to bring the guest-worker programís woes to the attention of legislators.
At 8 a.m. Sept.10, the organizations will attempt last-ditch effort to get the H-2B programís returning worker exemption renewed this year before Congress adjourns around Oct. 1 for the elections. The office building and room have yet to be determined.
PLANET has ramped up efforts to help make it easier for its members to get involved. The organization now has in its membership database information about membersí U.S. congressional districts and your two state legislative districts to help us direct your advocacy efforts on all our green industry issues. While this information has been available for years from PLANETís Legislative Action Center, it now is entered in the database, based on each companyís address.
PLANET also has taken the entire Department of Laborís H-2B data base of more than 14,000 records and had the U.S. congressional districts added for the use of both the H-2B coalitions. This should help many groups locate companies that employ H-2B workers in congressional districts for which we do not have U.S. House co-sponsors for the H-2B bill. These tools will help to more effectively target advocacy efforts on H-2B and other legislative issues of concern to PLANET members.
Make August Count
Senators and members of Congress are in their districts during the month of August. PLANET urges its members and any other H-2B users to schedule an appointment with them or their staff this month and talk about the urgent need for H-2B reform. When possible, coordinate with other H-2B employers and schedule appointments together or try to see your member at a local town hall meeting, county fair, or other local event. Also, senators and members of Congress pay close attention to their local newspapers. A personal and heartfelt letter to the editor of a local newspaper can be very persuasive to an elected official. Constituents can send a letter or personalize and send the sample letter on PLANETís Web site under the H-2B toolkit. Please include information specific to your business or the local community when possible.
H-2B users should make local visits to their legislators during the break and make contact on Sept. 10 to support this united effort even if they canít physically make it to Washington, PLANET says.
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