In Michigan
6:19 pm
Wed March 24, 2010

Mich. Farm Bureau knocks state report on labor

LANSING, MI –

Michigan's largest farm organization says law-abiding farmers have suffered a "damaging black eye" after a critical report on the treatment of migrant labor.

Michigan Farm Bureau made a statement Wednesday, two days after the state Civil Rights Commission said migrants are living and working in "deplorable" conditions.

The commission acknowledged that not all farmers treat workers poorly. But the Farm Bureau says that message is overshadowed by other passages in the report. It says the report is misleading and one-sided.

Michigan farms employ 45,000 migrant or seasonal workers who mostly harvest fruit and vegetables. The Farm Bureau says laws covering wages, housing and working conditions can be enforced without more bureaucracy.