I am a fig farmer in Madera, and I want to respond to the Aug. 26 article regarding the farm worker overtime bill. Most farming is conducted in small towns like mine, where the cost of living is low and my employees can live a pretty good lifestyle on their current wages, let alone when they go up with the new minimum-wage increases.
In response to wage increases, I mechanized my fig plant and eliminated 22 jobs. Adding additional costs through new overtime rules will cause me to mechanize even further, eliminating even more jobs. This will be the unfortunate reality of those good-intentioned politicians who live in big cities and know little about our rural way of life.
They should consider asking those 22 former employees of mine if they would rather be working for $12 an hour or unemployed at $15?
Kevin Herman, Madera