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Contract dispute serves as model for Florida farmers

An out-of-state contract dispute has frustrated some farm workers, leading them to stage protests outside an official’s office. The protest caused officials to take action, as they required a produce company to provide proof of how they were following a contract based upon a mediator’s decision, which was subsequently approved by the state labor board. As a result of the mediator’s findings and the board’s approval, the workers and the company are now arguing whether the contract should go into effect immediately, an issue that many Florida residents may find relevant to their own contract dispute.

The mediator’s decision was released at the end of June. The three-year contract as approved by the mediator set forth the workers’ rights to receive substantial pay raises. At the end of July, the state board approved the contract. However, the produce company was given a 30-day period to appeal if they felt the mediator’s decision was not just.

The company has indicated it intends to ask for a stay in enforcing the contract pending a court ruling on the underlying issues. However, the worker’s representative has stated that the potential of an appeal does not allow the company to ignore the terms of the contract during the period in which an appeal is pending. As a result, the workers are looking for the contract to be enforced and for the pay raises set forth in the contract to go into effect immediately.

A contract dispute regarding labor issues can be a complex undertaking for most Florida residents. To best understand all of the issues surrounding a business contract, it may be prudent to seek the proper advice prior to executing any binding documents. By receiving this advice, an individual can be apprised of all of their rights in the contract and can ensure that they are fully informed and prepared to perform all of the terms set forth therein.

Source: The Packer, “Union, Ace Tomato in contract dispute,” Mike Hornick, Aug. 9, 2012

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