In an open letter to workers' compensation insurance companies, Western Growers called for immediate rate reductions in light of the passage of Senate Bill 899, the landmark reform bill recently signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"Because the fresh produce industry has been particularly damaged by the current workers' compensation system, our association has been a consistent and vigorous backer of Gov. Schwarzenegger's reform proposals," says Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif in the letter. "On behalf of our association, we request that your company implement rate reductions immediately. While we understand that precise savings over the next few years cannot be instantly predicted, we also believe that it is absolutely clear that rate reduction is the essence of this reform."
The letter urges an immediate 10% rate reduction.
Western Growers is an agricultural trade association whose 3,000 members grow, pack and ship 90% of the fresh vegetables and nearly 70% of the fresh fruit and nuts grown in Arizona and California, about one-half of the nation's fresh produce.