WASHINGTON (June 14, 2012)--Several Democrats on a key Senate panel voted with Republicans Thursday to block temporarily new labor-friendly Obama administration rules for seasonal foreign workers who often perform backbreaking labor at low wages.
The Appropriations Committee voted 19-11 to block the controversial rules for one year when debating legislation setting the Department of Labor's budget.
The rules are intended to make it more difficult for such businesses as seafood processors to exploit foreign workers and to get more Americans into seasonal jobs.
But business groups say requirements such as paying transportation costs and visa fees for imported workers are too high.
Employers also oppose a requirement to pay workers for three-quarters of the length of a contract, even if weather or other circumstances mean there isn't that much work.