As an offshoot of the First Family’s huge business network, it makes sense that Trump Winery puts Americans first. That seemed to be the case when the Virginia-based vineyard needed more workers. It recently put out a call for applications for workers on the field. There was just one, little problem: Americans didn’t want the jobs.
Trump Winery has since done a little turn-around on their call for applications, extending it instead to foreign workers. Perhaps not exactly what President Donald Trump had in mind when he campaigned about “making America great again”.
No Domestic Interest
Established in 1999, Trump Winery is a 1,300-acre estate nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Eric Trump, Donald’s son, is the owner. It is also the largest vineyard on the American East Coast, which makes its need for more hands on deck rather sensible.
But Atty. Libby Whitely, who has worked with Trump Winery employees, has admitted to Daily Progress newspaper that it’s been difficult to find just that. It’s hard to say whether this has been due to the nature of the job (planting and harvesting), or simply an extension of the boycotts on Trump businesses. The President’s first few months in presidency have been some of the most divisive and politically charged ever. That may have translated into a lack of local interest in employment under the Trump name.
Instead, Trump Winery has applied for a total of 29 foreign-born workers, through the federal H2-A work visa program, Denver Post reports.
The H2-A program allows companies seeking additional manpower to temporarily hire foreign-born agricultural workers. Companies who aim to do this must prove that they’ve experienced difficulties in acquiring local manpower. This includes having produced newspaper ads in the areas where workers will be stationed.
Even Foreigners Don’t Want It
The next obstacle that the winery needs to hurdle? The apparent lack of interest coming in from abroad, too. It was assumed that once Trump had opened the doors to foreigners, applications would no longer be a problem. Instead, they’ve found similar disinterest from abroad as well.
According to Whitely, only 13 applications came in. Those applications came from the likes of the Philppines, Indonesia, Kenya, and Nigeria. However, the number falls short of the 29 that the company needs.
The H2-A program mandates that workers must be paid at least $10.72 an hour for vineyard farm workers. They must also be provided housing and transportation, should they be required to be away from their residence overnight.