(Radio Announcer Voice) And Now, a Message from the Ministry of Plenty

‘Extortion’: Why Did the Labor Department ‘Drop the Hammer’ on Oregon Farmers?

Oregon farmers and state officials are furious with the U.S. Labor Department after federal authorities in July put a hold on thousands of dollars worth of blueberries, citing “widespread” record-keeping and minimum wage violations, Eric Mortenson reports for The Oregonian.

“[T]he department invoked a “hot goods” provision of labor law that prohibited shipment of the berries. Labor officials also notified wholesalers that berries from the farms would be subject to the order and should not be processed or shipped,” according to the report.

“Hot goods” orders are used by the department’s Wage and Hour Division to halt the production and/or sale of goods its believes were produced in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Guilt and destruction of livelihood before proof of innocence: just another public service coming to you at a cost of 75% of all you earn.  You may now cheer wildly.


(Ah, no, seriously, cheer wildly.  Big Brother is watching)


18 thoughts on “(Radio Announcer Voice) And Now, a Message from the Ministry of Plenty

  1. EVIL,
    Guilty until proven Innocent. Words can’t describe my disdain for the “govt.” actions taken here.

    With farm goods, time is of the essence, and the Government has the power to impound your property and destroy it with no judicial redress?

    This should frighten every American who has ANY property…..

    • Now put it with that story of the guy who was arrested and committed to the psych ward without charges simply because he refused to submit to a search of his home without a warrant.

      Feeling “free” are we? 🙂

  2. (announcer’s voice)And now, the rest of the story
    An Oregon blueberry producer has settled a minimum wage lawsuit with the U.S. Labor Department after the agency deemed the company’s crop was “hot goods” that could not be lawfully sold.
    To settle allegations that workers were paid less than the minimum wage, Pan-American Berry Growers, of Salem, agreed to pay nearly $42,000 in back wages as well as a $7,000 penalty to the agency, according to a consent decree.

    “Hot Goods” Provision
    The FLSA prohibits the shipment, offer for shipment, or sale in interstate commerce, of any goods produced in violation of the minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor or special minimum wage provisions. In the absence of an employer voluntarily correcting the violations, the Wage and Hour Division may seek to restrain the shipment of the goods (e.g., not allowing the manufacturer to ship the goods to the wholesaler).

    It turns out that blueberry farmers like to use illegal immigrants to pick the crops, because they can pay them less than they would have to pay American citizens.

    I too hate it, B, when the gubbermint protects the working men and women of America from greedheads who hire illegal aliens.


    • Yep, the extortionist ALWAYS points to the person who is being extorted into signing the papers and screams “SEE, HE SIGNED THEM WILLINGLY< SO HE ADMITS IT!"

      How very…communist of you, comrade.

      Again, the govt. has a DUTY to PROVE guilt BEFORE it can punish or impose penalty. This did not happen here. THIS WAS AGAINST THE SPIRIT OF THE CONSTITUTION!

      Yet you defend it…

      • How would you fight illegal immigration, B? Just ask the employer if he hires them or not? Here’s what the US Department of Labor does:
        An investigation consists of the following steps:
        A conference between the Wage and Hour representative and representative(s) of the business, during which the Wage and Hour representative will explain the investigation process.
        Examination of records to determine what laws or exemptions apply to the business and its employees. These records include, for example, those showing the annual dollar volume of the business, the manufacture, handling or selling of goods moved in interstate commerce, and work on government contracts. Information from an employer’s records is not revealed to unauthorized persons.
        Examination of time and payroll records, note taking or making transcriptions or photocopies of information essential to the investigation.
        Private interviews with certain employees. The purpose of these interviews is to verify the time and payroll records, to identify a worker’s duties in sufficient detail to determine what exemptions, if any, apply and to determine if young workers are legally employed. Interviews are normally conducted on the employer’s premises, but other arrangements may be made. In some instances, present and former employees may be interviewed at their homes, by phone or by a mail interview form.
        When all the fact-finding steps have been completed, the employer and/or the employer’s representative will be told whether violations have occurred and, if so, what the violations are and how to correct them. If back wages are owed, the employer will be asked to pay the back wages and the employer may be asked to compute the amounts due.

        B, the ‘Hot goods’ regulation is a last resort, after the producer has refused to reimburse the workers, or failed to correct the problem.

        Assuming that you are against the hiring of illegals, how would you go about correcting the problem?

        • So the law doesn’t mean anything to you: as long as YOU think someone is guilty, that’s all you need to threaten to destroy them.

          And you had the nerve to whine about me putting words in your mouth about Soros. Seems to me they fit just fine.

            • “How would you fight illegal immigration, B?”

              Greg, I have an answer if I may …

              “Amendment VI

              In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence”

              That’s my answer. No government agency has the right to be judge, jury, and executioner.

              • Augger <—–< what he said.

                BTW: Greg, I gave you the same answer, you just don't have the ability to make the logical connections and — when I do draw the lines between the dots for you — you cry that I'm being mean and condescending. So, from now on, I write for the grown-ups. If this leaves you out, too bad. I've no time to teach you what your Dewey-driven indoctrination center should have taught you as a child.

              • These aren’t criminal prosecutions we are talking about, Augger, they are not crimes.

                When there is an outbreak of pfisteria in a meat-packing plant, should we wait for the speedy trial before stopping production at the plant?

                People who underpay their employees have a distinct advantage over the ones who play fair, as they have a lower overhead than their competition’s. Letting them sell the goods thus produced would be unfair to those who play by the rules.

                • If they are not crimes, then the govt. doesn’t have authority.

                  Thanks for admitting the govt. is criminal/tyrannical. Want to keep digging that whole you’re in?

                • “These aren’t criminal prosecutions we are talking about, Augger, they are not crimes.”

                  Greg, I am not even going to charge you with a false premise, I am actually just going to assert that you have not done your home work on this, or you are disputing for the sake of being pugnacious. Let’s example your quote above ..

                  First we need to define “crime”.


                  crime [krahym] Show IPA
                  1. an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited.
                  2. criminal activity and those engaged in it: to fight crime.
                  3. the habitual or frequent commission of crimes: a life of crime.
                  4. any offense, serious wrongdoing, or sin.
                  5. a foolish, senseless, or shameful act: It’s a crime to let that beautiful garden go to ruin.

                  Now that we have established what a ‘crime’ is, let’s apply it to the Fair Labor Standards Act that is in question (“Hot Goods” Provision ) on this ‘talking point’.

                  From the Fair Labor Standards Act, we have the following quote:

                  “It is a violation of the FLSA to fire, or in any other manner, discriminate against an employee for filing a complaint or for participating in a legal proceeding under this law. ”

                  Source: Enforcement Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

                  Now, please explain to me how you can deem this not a crime.

            • You asked a question intended to divert and justify. If I don’t answer, it is because I am staying on topic — a topic you cannot debate without showing your true colors.

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