Walden wants answers on 'heavy-handed' Labor Dept.

No response in 4-plus mos. to Oregon delegaton

POSTED: 1:36 PM PST December 18, 2012 
Rep. Greg Walden
WASHINGTON -

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) again called on Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis on Tuesday to answer a bipartisan letter from six members of Oregon's congressional delegation, seeking answers to reports of heavy-handed enforcement practices by the Labor Department.

In a speech on the House floor, Walden said that “122 days ago, nearly every member of the Oregon delegation — Republicans and Democrats — wrote to the Labor Secretary after hearing reports of so-called ‘hot goods’ enforcement tactics that stopped shipments of highly-perishable berries, with little opportunity for appeal."

“In light of these and other complaints, our delegation asked the department to detail its policies and procedures for making these decisions. One hundred and twenty two days later, we’ve yet to get an answer. That’s not right,” Rep. Walden said.

In August,  Walden joined senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Reps. Kurt  Schrader, Peter DeFazio and Suzanne Bonamici in writing to Secretary Solis after hearing reports that the Department of Labor had been discarding rights of due process and appeal in using “hot goods” orders to enforce labor laws on farms in the Pacific Northwest. Click here for a copy of the letter.

After 122 days, and repeated follow-up inquiries, the delegation has not received a written response from the Department of Labor.  On Dec. 3, Walden called on the Labor Secretary to answer the bipartisan letter.