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Local News

Merkley & DeFazio Urge Closing Work "Loopholes"


U.S.  Senator Jeff Merkley and Congressman Peter DeFazio are weighing in on the issue of foreign workers being hired to do forest restoration work here in Central Oregon.  The two members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation have urged a federal appeals court to allow the U.S. Department of Labor to close loopholes in an employment program that allowed Oregon companies to use federal funds to import foreign labor for forestry jobs.  Thursday, Merkley released figures showing that in 2010 and 2011, one-third of the “labor-intensive service contracts,” which include jobs like forest thinning and fire prevention, issued in the northwest by the U.S. Forest Service went to companies using foreign workers under the H-2B program.


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