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Jack Brooks

Md. crab processors battle federal wage rule

Md. crab processors battle federal wage rule

Jack Brooks and other leaders of Maryland's seafood industry have faced the same problem for more than a decade: a shortage of seasonal foreign workers to pick out the morsels of crab meat that wind up on dinner plates across the country. But this summer, Brooks and the operators of other Eastern Shore picking houses are dealing with an entirely different challenge. Brooks has plenty of workers, but he's not sure whether he'll be able to afford to keep them. Seafood processors along the East Coast are steamed about a new Labor Department requirement that would force businesses that use foreign workers to increase their wages by as much as 50 percent. Employers say the new...

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