Front Porch Blog

Forestry Guest Workers

Farm workers aren’t the only guest workers who have had a rough go of it. Immigrant workers in the U.S. on similar temporary H-2B visas fill jobs that even most undocumented immigrants don’t want: the forestry work which keeps our nation’s national forests and commercial tree plantations running. After landscaping, forestry is the second largest source of H-2B visas for unskilled, non-agricultural foreign workers. These workers wield chainsaws and dodge falling trees in snow and rain; carry heavy packs of seeds and pound shovels into rocky ground for hours on end; and often spend nights sleeping on tarps on the forest floor. In March a U.S. Senate subcommittee held hearings on their plight. And in the past two years, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed four class action lawsuits alleging labor violations by four different forestry contractors working on private timber land in the southeast, owned by International Paper, Plum Creek Timber Company, Weyerhaeuser, and other companies.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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